|Dan Baker Blog|
Revenue Assurance Expert Opinions: A Book Review
In my interview with Eric, he talked about a new book that he and his fellow gang of RAabble rousers from talkRA have authored, entitled “Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers." Well, the publisher sent me the book and I’m happy to say it’s splendid. The authors reveal hundreds of insights and secrets from their professional careers in this book.
Sadly, most telecom books I’ve read are fairly tedious because the authors don’t think enough about guiding the reader along. This book is different. While the content is often dense, you don’t mind because it’s professionally edited and sprinkled with helpful analogies, philosophical musings and keen advice.
The late Alfred Hitchcock used to publish anthologies of mystery short stories. The book’s structure is like that. It’s broken up into many short chapters and one-page snippets, and in that way encourages you to jump around in the book.
In the introduction, we’re told, “Don’t expect a manual …" While the book does contains many blog articles like you’d see on the website, there are also several sections of the book that dive deep into topics – as you’d expect in a manual. One particularly good one is a 17-page sub-chapter on “Maturity in the Performance of Revenue Assurance." I’ll put it this way: The book is a judicious mix of manual- and blog-like contributions. With 323 pages of small-print type, it took quite some time to write this tome. I did a rough word count and calculated the book contains 40 percent more words than “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." In any case, it will take you a few weeks of bedtime reading to get through it.
That’s not to say that you can’t have fun with the book. In fact, there are several places where the authors lighten up and reward you for reading the chapter on “Understanding Controls." Co-author David Leshem wrote some short ones that raised a couple chuckles. And Eric’s “Which One are You?" piece that classifies RA personalities into Hamster, Pioneer, Dead Man Walking and another six categories is priceless.
This is a great book to explore on your next plane trip, but be sure to bring with you plenty of post-it notes and a small notepad to jot things down in. Enjoyed with a mini-bottle of Burgundy wine, your bliss is assured at 35,000 feet. J
The book will be useful to RA novices, not just seasoned RA pros looking to hear the opinions of their peers. And this is definitely must-reading for software and services vendors in RA, particularly the salespeople who leverage anecdotes and need to understand an RA manager’s points of pain. It’s all here.
Finally, to whet your appetite, I leave you with an excerpt from the book’s introduction explaining the purpose of the book.
“Give a man a fish, and he is fed for a day. Give him a fishing rod, and he can feed himself for a lifetime. What, then, if we teach a man to make his own fishing rod? We aim to teach RA practitioners the art of teaching themselves how to do RA. This way, you will be able to adapt to every challenge you face. We will give you stimuli for your imagination and strategies for building RA capability, as well as practical guidance based on experience."
The book, priced at $79.95, is available from CRC Press.