Michael Hammer: RIP, Reengineering, Reading

Michael Hammer passed away yesterday. There are already many obits, including the at one at the Hammer and Company site.

He is best known for his work on reengineering, and in particular for the book Reengineering the Corporation. It’s a book I am reluctant to recommend.

That’s because it is a classic example of an article padded out to book length. The article in question is great, and stands well today.

I first became aware of Hammer via a video on IT architecture, before he found reengineering and fame. The switch he made, then, was the classic one from doing things right to doing the right things – and not doing the wrong things, even if they are customary. I’d say that the spirit of reengineering is alive and well in the stripped-down design of many current web services.