Saturday, October 8, 2011

High Performance Operations

Author:        Hillel Glazer
Published:    2011
Publisher:     FT Press
Hardcover:  272 pages

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Acknowledgement :
I thank the author and the publisher for sending me a free pre-publication copy of this book  and seeking an honest opinion of mine through this blog post. It has been a privilege to have read this book before it was released.

Book Review:
Many organizations treat compliance requirements like SOX, CMMI , FDA, ISO 9001, which are imposed on them either by clients or regulatory authorities as a necessary evil or a dead weight which needs to be endured as a hygiene factor to sustain their business. 
But at the same time there are also some organizations (though in minority numbers) who have successfully leveraged the same compliance requirements to enhance their business performance and gained competitive advantage. The author Hillel Glazer has helped several such organizations to achieve this feat by creating process solutions that build compliance into the value stream using a system engineering approach.
This book provides the essence of this approach called Process Solutioneering (R) [ patent applied for by the author].
The key points regarding  effective handling of the compliance requirements as described in this book are:
  • To effectively integrate compliance requirements into the operation one must tie in their expectations to performance requirements.
  • Instead of focusing on the compliance practices specified in the standards, one should focus on the values from which these practices are derived. This will enable the operations to address these practices without unnecessary additional work.
  • Any activity undertaken to meet the compliance requirements should contribute to TQ$ (Time, Quality and Money)
  • Compliance requirements must be examined from the two perspectives - risk it is intended to avoid or/and the opportunity it intends to exploit. If an existing operation is already avoiding the expected the risk or exploiting the same opportunity, the effort required to achieve compliance is minimized.
The author has primarily aimed this book at managers and executives. And it has found its mark right on ! The book can be a real eye-opener for them when they realize how compliance issues can be effectively leveraged to transform their operations to a high performing one  provided they are willing to invest in terms of establishing appropriate leadership, culture, trust, autonomy, learning and communication system.

As far as the experienced and well read  business process management professionals are concerned they may be already  aware of many of  the concepts discussed in this book.

A few suggestions  to enhance the utility and popularity of this book - lesser repetitions of the same concept, more diagrams to support the explanations (for e.g. the analogy of  Lift, Drag ,Thrust in an aircraft), inclusion of real life case studies from the organizations where the author had been a consultants.

Look forward to a second edition or  a sequel which addresses these suggestions.

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