People-centric Process Management

Success in improving performance requires the right mix of focus on people, process, and technology. This book emphasizes the central role of people in this respect. The book reminds us that this idea is not new – but it’s an important one that merits reinforcement. There are some other ideas in this book that are also not new, yet are seldom practiced. These include; viewing the business from the “outside-in” or the customer’s point of view, remembering that the single most important objective of process improvement and management is to improve organizational performance, and that the central role of technology is to enable operational performance.

Paperback, March 2010, 170 pages, ISBN 978-1-907453-00-7

Authors: Ian Gotts and Mark McGregor

(Available from Amazon)


This is a topic that is close to my heart. I am a firm believer in engaging the people in solving problems and improving what is done.  In a world where process seems to mean technology, this book offers a timely reminder of the pivotal role that our people play in real success. We have made huge strides here over the last year particularly in changing the culture to one where staff are much more engaged in the work and continuously looking for ways to improve and to eliminate wasteful activities.  We’ve seen tremendous results in terms of efficiencies and service improvements. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their capability in process improvement or looking to drive real results from process improvement programmes.
Maurice Chadwick, Operations Director, Bank of Ireland

Much of the literature on business process management coming from IT vendors and consulting firms is much to do about serving up answers.  But because every company and every situation is unique isn’t it time to ask questions first? McGregor and Gotts do just that and more; they provide the right questions that will guide you along the path to achieving meaningful business results from your process initiatives.
Peter Fingar, Former CIO, Professor and author

For those with an interest in process management, make this one of the first books you read.  The book’s central lesson – that deep interaction with people is essential to improve process performance – should not be forgotten.  Although many analysts, vendors, and IT personnel enjoy discussing the range and sophistication of functionality in BPM technology, the authors remind us that all progress finally depends on human adoption. A process that uses a sharp stick to spear fish near shore is much more effective than a 60-foot fishing boat that cannot get out of dock for lack of a capable crew
Jim Boots, Senior BPM Adviser, Chevron

An insightful book about the central role that people play in any effective business process.  Automating and measuring processes are important, but in the end, it always comes down to the managers and employees who have to do the work.  This book will make sure you ask the right questions when you approach your next process project.
Paul Harmon, Executive Editor, BPTrends

This book, particularly the ‘smart questions’, reminds us that process management delivers value when people find, understand and adopt the processes in question. As a business process outsourcing provider we are custodians of the processes we deliver for our clients and our success in continuously improving the performance of these services depends on a people centric approach, with a transparent understanding of process and performance shared between service provider and client.  It’s a recipe for successful process improvement and long term client relations.  If you have an interest in this field I’d recommend you take account of the people-centric questions before considering which business process technologies to choose.
Sean Murphy, Head of BPO Performance Improvement, Steria

Although some organizations have moved forward with BPM initiatives and seen significant success, there’s still a large part of industry which sees BPM more as “yet another three-letter-IT-acronym” than as a business initiative with real value. This book helps to demystify how to get started with BPM and see it for what it can be at its best: a way for organizations to improve the process of process improvement – collaboratively driving change, sharing knowledge and empowering their workforces to participate in improvement.
Neil Ward-Dutton, Research Director, MWD Advisors

There are many books on Business Process Management, and its derivatives but few address the biggest challenge which is the People Side of Processes. It is written by two of the leading authorities in Business Process Management who are known for their depth of experience and their pragmatic approach to what is an increasingly important topic. It is a ‘must read’ for all leaders whatever the size, sector or maturity of their organisations.
Roger Cliffe, Quality Director, Vodafone Group Services

If you take a step back and look at any business process, can you imagine a business process without a person involved? No matter how much of the process is automated, at the end of the day there is always somewhere a person making use of that process. Think about it, the purpose of a business process is all about delivering value for somebody. So, the best way to look at a process is to look at the people involved. This book tells you where to look.
Frits Bussemaker, Korstmos & Founder BPM-Forum Netherlands

Technology was intended to aid human development, but its methodology gradually took on a prescriptive and restrictive role in this regard, tending to forget the people in the process. Mark and Ian through their work and this book “People-centric Process Management”, lead the way in bringing us back to the point where we remember that it is people who manage technology and people who manage process. This book is invaluable for all of us, wherever we are and whatever approaches we use. Because the book is not intended to be yet another roadmap, but instead it leads us to ask the right, smart questions and to aid us and our organizations on their journey and to keep our eyes on the end users. Keeping the issues of all our people, teams, users, stakeholders and customers as a central theme.
Hardus Snow, CEO South African Development Foundation

It’s a refreshing change to see a book solely concentrate on the ‘business’ side of Business Process Management and not only this, but the very People that make the organization run like clockwork whose opinion and input are often ignored during change. The book balances existing and new ideas side by side with some interesting case studies which the reader can instantly recognize and relate to within their own enterprise. The people-centric Smart Questions are thought provoking and guide the reader through the challenges of implementing process management, such as process governance, risk and controls, cultural change, whilst introducing new topics for consideration like Cloud BPM. Overall a good introduction to the human side of Business Process Management without the IT jargon.
Theo Priestley, Independent BPM Strategist and Analyst

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s