Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Aligning Ferret : How an Organization Meets Extraordinary Challenges

Authors: Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik
Published: 2008
Publisher: Postscript Impressions

This book is about how Sunny Chinappa, a senior manager of a small Indian IT firm called Ferret, plays a key role in aligning it to the business goals of its parent organization which has recently acquired it.

The authors who are experienced management consultants have very effectively captured the essence of corporate planning through this "business novel". After reading it one would appreciate the fact that a successful organization requires something much more than effective engineering and project management processes. The non-negotiable need for strategic planning, performance management and competency building has been clearly brought out.

"Aligning Ferret" can be an effective educational material for introducing these areas to the beginners. At the end of each chapter there are consolidation exercises which pose several thought provoking questions related to the incidents narrated in the chapter. The purpose of such exercises is to make the readers pause and think how they would have handled such situations in their workplaces. This can lead to some fresh insights which may prove helpful in dealing with the issues they face in their organization.

The book also provides glimpses of well established business strategy tools like Balanced Score Card, Malcolm Balridge Quality Model and P-CMM and supplements them with a list of very useful references for further study.

The story line is realistic, strong and tight in its narration . It is a real "page turner". If you work for an IT company you can easily relate to many of the characters and incidents in this book.

The best thing about this book is its sense of humor. I found myself breaking into smile, chuckling and even laughing out aloud at least twenty times in my journey through 200 odd pages.

IT professionals, especially those in the middle-management levels will definitely enjoy reading "Aligning Ferret".

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