Business Process Management (BPM): The Third Wave
||Author: Howard Smith, Peter Fingar|
List Price: $39.95
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: Meghan-Kiffer Press (January, 2003)
Sales Rank: 7,998
Average Customer Rating: 4.24 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 1 out of 5
Lots of proselytizing, little guidance
I got about 100 pages into this book and checked the cover to see if I was reading an L. Ron Hubbard book. There was a lot of trumpeting of the party line "The third wave of BPM is not a fantasy ... or hype. For BPM, like other true breakthroughs, is based in the mathematics ... as opposed to static relational data". Praise the Lord, I'm saved!
There's only one chapter on implementation, and even that provides very generalized guidelines - start small, prove the concept, pat yourself on the back in these ways. Admittedly the audience is so general as to set the lowest common denominator pretty low, but the argument is pretty simple: the old way of provisioning services in IT is restrictive and inefficient. If that's the case, could we not expect to see a glimpse of the new IT business processes that support a BPM management model and encourage its adoption?
If you need to be convinced that managing your environment to your business processes is a good idea, this book delivers that message loud and clear. If you're a believer, though, it does little to put you on the path to salvation.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Correct thinking about IT
Nicholas Carr's article in the Harvard Business Review has taken the backlash wave from the IT overspend in the 1990s to spin a sensational story, a story that some rebuttals have called "dangerous," for it distorts the role of IT in creating competitive advantage. Companies are indeed struggling with the issue of IT's role, and it is difficult to break out of existing misconceptions of IT. This is evident in David Forbes' review of this book. He seems so locked into his perceptions that he distorts what the book actually says. For example, he says the Smith & Fingar's vision is that of expensive ERP sysems of the past. He must be so busy railing against ERP systems that he failed to actually read the book's related discussions that are in fact in agreement with him. And, about Forbes' comments about usability... did he actually read the section on amenity? Again, agreement.
The point is that when it comes to IT, many people bring much baggage to the subject, for IT means many things to many people and is an emotiaonally charged subject for those with a particular stake in IT. Many read a book like this and filter it through their individual bias to the point where they distort what the book actually says.
As a business manager using the book to foster discussion in our company, I suggest readers go through it twice: once quickly with their defensive mechanizms in place, and then again with a keen eye on what the IT issues portend for their company going forward. We are doing precisely that in our company and find the book to be the focal point of our deliberations, for it covers all the key issues of the past and those setting the stage for the future. Correct thining about IT, not preconcieved notions or turf bias, is essential for companies to move forward, for as the book says, IT is not about the past fity years of business automation and its inherent limitations, IT is about a "change in kind" in business automation where the focus is not on data and record keeping, but on the way business is conducted. And yes, the authors totally agree that usibility is key to that, for it's business people who must manage their own business processes.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Most Fascinating Biz-Tech Idea
OK, here's the story on this one: Some obscure mathematician (Milner) has found a way to model the real world by unifying computer algorithms and communications protocols and this has been picked up by an equally obscure open source community (exolab) which founded a standards group (BPMI.org) and tech company (Intalio) who are building a new class of enterprise system (BPMS) which the book claims will be as important as databases. (you see, I can do research) The book, by CSC Index, the reengineering company, claims some new benefits for this process based approach to building business systems. At this point you might have decided not to buy this book. You'd be wrong. What the book describes is one of the most fascinating Biz-Tech new ideas this reader has ever encountered, period. And from the endorsements in the frontis, it looks like this might be a major trend. My best line from the book .... "As Walt Disney once said, objecting to a proposed sequel to his Three Little Pigs cartoon, "You can't top pigs with pigs" In the world of business, stacking a thousand doghouses one atop the other to build a skyscraper is a great proposition for doghouse vendors, but not for future occupants. Skyscrapers need an architecture of their own -- their own paradigm, not a sequel to the doghouse paradigm" Read and enjoy.
· Business Process Change: A Manager's Guide to Improving, Redesigning, and Automating Processes
· Business Process Management: Profiting From Process
· IT Doesn't Matter-Business Processes Do: A Critical Analysis of Nicholas Carr's I.T. Article in the Harvard Business Review