Few people have had a bigger impact on how the modern corporation is run than Michael Hammer. With James Champy, Hammer wrote the bestseller Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (HarperCollins, 1993). The book, which argued that companies could radically improve their performance if they rethought and rebuilt their processes, spurred the transformation of businesses around the world.
A former computer science professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hammer heads Hammer and Co., a management consultancy that specializes in business process.
Hammer sees the chief information officer well positioned in the enterprise to be a catalyst for corporate transformation. While he argues that process management improvements must be led by senior, business-line executives, he says CIOs can play a pivotal role as chief process officers.
A chief process officer, Hammer says, is an organization’s chief of staff for process work, the center of its expertise and the keeper of its skills and methodology.
In a recent conversation with contributing editor John McCormick, he expanded on this idea and offered insights into how CIOs can be effective chief process officers.
This is an edited version of their conversation.