Category Archives: People CMM®

RCF (Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers) Successfully Adopts the People CMM®

RCF LogoOn 23rd January, 2015, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF), India was rated at maturity level 2 of the People CMM® as a result of an appraisal conducted using SCAMPISM-A.

The result of this SCAMPISM-A is available at the CMMI Institute site containing Published Appraisal Results (PARS), here (https://sas.cmmiinstitute.com/pars/pars_detail.aspx?a=23729).

This result has also been reported in the media, here.

This appraisal and rating was a milestone in an ongoing journey at RCF to improve the skills, motivation, engagement, and alignment of their people for achieving higher levels of organizational performance.

The adoption of the People CMM® by RCF is a bold initiative because it is possibly without precedence on many aspects. Here are a few key aspects in which RCF may be a pioneer in adopting the model:

  1.  RCF is a public sector undertaking (PSU) in India. Very few other Indian PSUs have adopted the People CMM® and none have successfully completed a SCAMPISM-A appraisal. RCF may even be the first  public sector organization in the world to be rated at any maturity level of the People CMM®  (though I can’t be sure, because the definition of a PSU varies across the world).
  2. RCF is involved in continuous manufacturing, sales, distribution and marketing of fertilizers and industrial chemicals. RCF is one of the very few in this industry (and may be the first) to achieve maturity level 2 of the People CMM®.
  3. RCF is over 50 years old and possibly the ‘oldest’ organization to have successfully completed a SCAMPISM-A appraisal.

RCF is currently a ‘Mini Ratna Cat-1’ PSU. According to news reports (see here and here), RCF’s status is likely to be upgraded to a ‘NavRatna’, given its past performance and new initiatives that it pursues. The ‘NavRatna’ status will increase RCF’s financial autonomy – some details are available on this wikipedia page.

RCF’s executive management is keen to share RCF’s experiences with other organizations. Some of this sharing will be soon published at AlignMentor.

The appraisal team was led by Rajesh Naik (CMMI Institute Partner: QAI India).

Please feel free to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available. You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author :-).

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

SCAMPI(sm)-A Enhanced with APR – Action Plan Reappraisal

Situation before APR option was available

Prior to the December 2014 release of APR, if a SCAMPISM-A resulted in an unsatisfactory rating(s) (e.g., a lower maturity level than the target maturity level), the organizational unit had to address the issues that had negatively impacted the rating and then do a new appraisal to achieve the target level. They did not receive any credit for the first (failed) appraisal.

Organizations obviously did not want to risk the chance of a failed appraisal, because in addition to correcting the identified negative issues, they would have to do the entire planning, scoping and sampling, artifact collection, artifact review, affirmations,  characterizations, ratings, and so on. Doing another appraisal was very time-consuming and expensive.

To play “safe” and avoid any chance of failing, organizations tended to postpone their appraisal till they were absolutely sure of achieving their target rating(s). This often led to delays in initiating the SCAMPISM-A. Organizations  also conducted excessive and unnecessary mini-appraisals in different avatars (pre-appraisal, SCAMPISM-B, SCAMPISM-C) to be doubly sure.

To address this, the CMMI Institute has enhanced the SCAMPISM-A method (released in end-Dec 2014) to allow for delta appraisals, within a limited time-frame, where the ‘failed’ SCAMPISM-A can be extended. This enhancement is called APR (Action Plan Reappraisal) and is built into the SCAMPISM-A, as an additional, optional phase.

More Details on the APR (Action Plan Reappraisal)

Before the APR option was available, the SCAMPISM-A had 3 phases, namely:

  • Phase-1: Plan and Prepare for Appraisal
  • Phase-2: Conduct Appraisal
  • Phase-3: Report Results

The new, optional phase, Phase-4 added in end-Dec 2014 is:

  • Phase-4: Action Plan Reappraisal

Action Plan Reappraisal

Here are some important aspects of the APR:

  • The APR (i.e., Final Findings of the APR) must be completed within 120 days of the Final Findings of the main SCAMPISM-A.
  • Only one APR can be conducted for a SCAMPISM-A.
  • The sponsor decides whether an APR is to be conducted or not (the appraisal team may advise the sponsor, but the final call is the sponsor’s). The APR is not mandatory, even if the target rating(s) has not been achieved.
  • The same ATL (Appraisal Team Leader) should continue in the APR (the method includes ways to handle exceptions to this).
  • The same ATMs must participate in the APR. There are some additional rules which require ATMs to examine the objective evidence related to the goals being re-investigated. If all ATMs are not available for some reason, the method includes ways to handle that situation.
  • At a minimum, all practices of the goals that were rated as Unsatisfied or Not Rated must be covered in the APR. More goals can be added if the appraisal team feels that the corrections to the weaknesses may impact other goals. However, the sponsor can explicitly reduce the model scope, and exclude some maturity levels or process areas from the APR.
  • The same basic units and support functions (from the original appraisal) need to be picked up in the APR. However, the sponsor can explicitly reduce the organizational unit, and the appraisal team can investigate additional basic units (from within the organizational unit).

Listing in PARS

If the APR option is chosen, no new listing will be made in PARS till the APR is completed.

After the APR is completed, the ratings achieved (as a result of the original SCAMPISM-A and the APR) will be listed in PARS (subject to sponsor’s permission).

The date of the appraisal result will be the date of the Final Findings of the original SCAMPISM-A (not of the APR). The three year validity will start from the date of the Final Findings of the original SCAMPISM-A.

PARs will NOT indicate whether the APR option was used or not.

PARs will show the final scope for which the appraisal was successful. If the scope was reduced during the APR, the PARS will show this reduced scope.

More Material

Links with more material:

  • The APR has been explained in simple, lucid terms by Pat O’Toole and Jeff Dalton. It is hosted on Jeff Dalton’s Blog – Ask the CMMI Appraiser. Read it!
  • The SCAMPI Method Definition Document (also called MDD) V1.3b, Dec 2014 includes the APR phase. Register and download the pdf from here (if you like to wallow in legalese)
  • Discussions between lead appraisers on the positive and negative aspects related to APR on a LinkedIn Group

By the way, this provides an opportunity for organizations and lead appraisers to be first in something 🙂

  • First successful APR
  • First unsuccessful APR
  • First APR with reduced model scope
  • …. and many more… 🙂

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).

 


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

People CMM® Appraisals – 2014 Update

Another year has passed and it is time to summarize data related to Class-A appraisals for the People CMM®. (the first post was Adoption of People CMM® -01: Appraisal Results).

Here is the updated data with the People CMM® SCAMPISM-A published results of 2014 added:

No. of People CMM® Appraisals Upto 2014

Data for 2010 to 2014 has been picked up from the Published Appraisal Results Site maintained by the CMMI Institute. Earlier data has been picked up from multiple sources as given in the table. Some appraisals may be missing from the data, if the appraised entity did not wish to publish the results (for whatever reasons).

Further analysis of the past 20 appraisals (of the last 3 years) listed in the Published Appraisal Results Site (with Filter People CMM® v2.0)  shows the following:

  • Eighteen of the 20 appraisals in the period 2012-2014 were led by three LAs (D Sankararaman, K Kothandaraman and Rajesh Naik).
  • The 20 People CMM® appraisals (of the last 3 years) were accounted for between five LAs.
  • There are 11 authorized LAs for the model on 5-Jan-2015 (the number of LAs was 9 in 2013). Five of the eleven have done at least one listed SCAMPISM-A appraisal in the last 3 years. (for a list of People CMM® LAs go to the Partner Directory; select “CMMI Institute Authorized SCAMPI with People CMM Lead Appraiser” option –> you will get the list of LAs for People CMM®).
  • Most appraised organizations of the last 3 years belong to the IT, ITes and engineering domains. Though there are some from other domains like telecom (Dialog).
  • Accenture – Tech units across the globe has the highest number of entries in the list of the last 3 years.

The reasons for the low number of appraisals for People CMM® have been discussed in the post Adoption of People CMM® -03: Why is it Low?  – I believe the same reasons continue to apply even today.

Hope we have a greater adoption of the model and more number of reported appraisals in 2013 and beyond.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author :-).

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.
The People CMM® (by Bill Curtis, Bill Hefley, and Sally Miller) has been available for more than 15 years. Version 1.0 of the model was released in 1995 and version 2.0 was released in 2001.


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

Quiz Book: People CMM® (V2.0) available on Amazon Kindle – with 3 Quizzes of 35 questions each

Quiz Book: People CMM® (v2.0) Book CoverTitle: Quiz Book: People CMM® (Version 2.0)

Authors: Rajesh Naik and Swapna Kishore

ASIN: B00PN2IE0I

This eBook includes 3 tests, each with 35 objective-type questions.

These quizzes are suitable for:

  • Human Resource personnel
  • People CMM® specialists, consultants, and trainers
  • Process/ QA professionals
  • Appraisal Team Members (ATMs)
  • Candidate lead appraisers and instructors
  • Process compliance auditors

The Kindle eBook is available here: Amazon.com and Amazon.in

Note: You can read Kindle eBooks on laptops, tablets, and phones by installing free apps available from Amazon .

 

Use the Look Inside! feature at Amazon for a sample.

 

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

Extension Appraisals and Delta Appraisals – Planned changes in SCAMPI(sm)

Some months ago, a new version of the MDD (v1.3a) was released. One of the reactions to the announcement was “does it have provision for extending current appraisal results beyond 3 years?” Or “Is there some kind of surveillance being added to increase the validity?” or “is there a SCAMPISM – M (M for maintenance) in this new version?” Well, the version released in Oct 2013 (v1.3a) does not have it.

However, the draft of a new version contains proposals for extension of appraisal results.

There are two key proposed enhancements in the SCAMPISM method. These are a part of the draft version (v1.4 draft) of the MDD and have been circulated for review comments. The two key enhancements are:

  1. SCAMPISM A Extension (SCAMPISM-E, also known as SCAMPISM-M – maintenance). If approved, this will be an option available to entities that are already appraised on SCAMPISM-A and would like to extend the validity/ expiry date of their appraisal rating(s) beyond the 3 year period, at a lower cost, effort, on-site period, and disruption.
  2. Action Plan Reappraisals (Delta appraisals). Note: Action Plan Reappraisals have been incorporated in the SCAMPI method since Dec 2014. Read more about it here.
    At present, if an organization “fails” their target rating(s), we have to carry out a full SCAMPISM-A reappraisal after fixing the weaknesses. This means a high cost, effort, on-site period, and disruption, even if the re-appraisal is within a short period of the original failed appraisal. Action Plan Reappraisals (if approved) provides an option for the organization to do a reappraisal that is focussed in and around the offending areas (areas of weaknesses responsible for the unsatisfactory ratings), with lower appraisal overhead.

As expected, these two enhancements come with their conditions and parameters and limits and their own methods/ processes. Please note that these two additions/ enhancements are in the draft/ pilot/ review stages and what is finally released may be significantly different.

Read on if these are of interest to you…

Extension Appraisals

Present versions of the MDD do not include any form of surveillance audits (like ISO 9001). The proposal introduces the concept of performing an appraisal to extend the validity period of SCAMPISM A ratings with a significantly reduced cost while maintaining the integrity of the SCAMPISM A results. Here are some highlights of the proposed enhancement:

  1. SCAMPISM-A Extension (let us call it SCAMPISM-E) can be used to extended the validity of the SCAMPISM-A by 2 years.
  2. The SCAMPISM-E needs to be conducted before the expiry of SCAMPISM-A validity
  3. SCAMPISM-E can be used only once for a SCAMPISM-A to extend the validity. That means a second extension cannot be done. So, after the validity period (2 years) of the extension, a full SCAMPISM-A needs to conducted for a fresh rating (or a set  of ratings).
  4. For SCAMPISM-E eligibility, the OU should not have undergone changes in their sampling factors and sampling factor values (type of work, locations, organization structure, etc.) between the SCAMPISM-A and the SCAMPISM-E.
  5. The OU and the model scope (e.g., target maturity level, PAs, capability levels) cannot be increased from that used the original SCAMPISM-A  (though the SCAMPISM-E scope can decrease from the original SCAMPISM-A)
  6. Along with other conditions, the SCAMPISM-E investigation must cover at least 1/3 of the model sope applicable (1/3 of the specific goals and 1/3 of the generic practices). This aspect is expected to bring in significant savings in effort, and cycle time during the onsite period.
  7. The subset of specific goals and generic practices proposed for investigation need to be reviewed by the CMMI Institute. The CMMI Institute can select additional specific goals and generic practices.

Action Plan Reappraisal

At present, if a SCAMPISM-A results in an adverse rating (lower than the target level(s)), the organization needs to go through the whole SCAMPISM-A process to get the desired rating. This could mean a different sample of projects, and hence collection of data, and sometimes interviewing the same set of people and asking similar questions all over again. The Action Plan Reappraisal provides the organization the option of addressing the weaknesses and subsequently performing a reappraisal that will, if successful, result in obtaining targeted appraisal ratings. Some highlights:

  1. If approved, the action plan reappraisal (Delta reappraisal) option will be available for a SCAMPISM-A as well as a SCAMPISM-A Extension (SCAMPISM-E) discussed above
  2. To be valid, this reappraisal needs to be completed within a defined period (4 months) of the ‘failed’ appraisal
  3. In the reappraisal, the goals that were determined as not satisfied need to be re-examined
  4. Only one such action plan reappraisal is permitted

Please note that these two additions/ enhancements are in the draft/ pilot/ review stages and what is finally released may be significantly different, or may not get approved at all for some time.

You can get more information in the links below:

Discussions on linkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/SCAMPI-Maintenance-Appraisal-SCAMPI-M-54046.S.176296625

A presentation from Nov 2012 @ NDIA Conference: http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2012CMMI/W15024_Campo.pdf

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

Are Surveys Really Objective?

If you are under the impression that you should believe the results of surveys (customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, etc.), you may want to rethink after you have a look at this episode of  Yes, Prime Minister (Episode “The Ministerial Broadcast”). Sir Humphreys instructs Bernard on how to design and administer a survey to get the result that you want. See this youtube clip (the quaint accent in which they speak English alone is worth it 😉 )

If your youtube clip does not load, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-) .


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

Occam’s Razor for Design of Systems and Processes

Occam’s (or Ockham’s) razor is a principle attributed to the 14th century logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham (does this profession  still exist? I am yet to meet a “logician” :-)).

Occam’s razor states that “one should minimize the assumptions to the minimum necessary to solve any problem”. It is a minimalistic principle (often called principle of parsimony) and can be used as a heuristic while doing scientific modelling and building theories.

Though the principle has been found in the writings of earlier medieval philosophers, William of Occam has been credited with it because he was its most prolific proponent.

Occam is attributed to have said something like “Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate” (as expected, he did not say these things in any modern language :-))- which means “plurality must never be posited without necessity” [if this was how people promoting simplicity spoke, I really don’t want to know how others spoke]

Various versions/ derivations of the Occam’s razor include:

“Keep it Simple, Stupid”

“Simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones”

“Simpler hypotheses are generally better than the complex ones”

“Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.” (Einstein?)

One of the common misuses of Occam’s razor is perpetrated by woo-scientists who say that God / brahman/ mystical forces are simpler explanations for any phenomenon that is difficult to explain. You can know more about woo science here and here.

Though Occam’s razor was initially applied to “explain things”, it can equally be applied to “building things” like systems and processes. Consciously using Occam’s Razor may make these systems easier to operate, maintain and upgrade.

Here are new variants of Occam’s razor as applied to design of systems and processes:

“It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer”

“A simpler design that achieves the purpose is better than a more complex design”

“Minimize the entities in any design to make it effective”

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” (da Vinci?)

Here is a write-up on how Occam’s razor has been used in Web Design “Occam’s Razor: A Great Principle for Designers“.

And another delightful article on design principles is “12 Laws and Principles to Aid You in Your Design” – Occam’s razor is number 1 in this list.

See this Wikipedia page for more details on Occam’s razor.

Occam’s razor has also been applied to human interactions, and that is the subject for another post, but here is a teaser:

  • "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".

Please feel free to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

New SCAMPI MDD (v1.3a) Released on Oct, 2013

The CMMI Institute has released a new version of the SCAMPISM MDD in October 2013. The full title is Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) Version 1.3a: Method Definition Document for SCAMPI A, B, and C.

The new version may be downloaded from the CMMI Institute site.

From January 1, 2014, all appraisal submissions (including SCAMPISM Class B and C) must comply with the new document.

So, what are the key changes in the new method?

  1. The main change has been to upgrade the Class B and Class C methods to v1.3. The earlier version of MDD addressed only the Class A method. Till the release of v1.3a, Class B and C were covered by a Handbook whose version was v1.1. This handbook was not compatible with version 1.3 of ARC. And the current SAS (appraisal database) was out of sync in its terminology with the handbook. All that seems to be now rectified. SCAMPISM Class B and C methodolgy will be compatible with the current SAS and ARC v1.3.
  2. A quick scan of the new MDD did not show any change to the SCAMPISM  Class A method. It remains the same as in the earlier version of the MDD (v1.3). So, no significant change is needed if you have started planning a Class – A SCAMPISM  appraisal in the near future. However, it will be better to download the new document and confirm for yourself.

Download the new version from here.

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

HMBP Conference 2013 on 24th Sept in Pune and 27th in Bangalore, India

The HMBP Conference (an annual event in its 4th year), showcases what leading organizations are doing and are planning to do in their implementation of high maturity practices.

This year, the HMBP Conference theme is “High Maturity Impacts: Interweaving Services and People” and it is also being held in two cities.

  • at a new venue – Pune on September 24th, 2013
  • in its regular den – Bangalore on September 27th, 2013

Since nobody could figure out the difference between a “Colloquium” and a “Conference”, I believe the organizers decided to stick to the more traditional word. 🙂


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

Aligning Ferret (by Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik) is now available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook

Aligning Ferret Book Cover
Aligning Ferret: How an Organization Meets Extraordinary Challenges (a business novel) by Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik has been published (at last :)) as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.

 

Click here to buy or view details on Amazon.com (or on Amazon.in).

 

About the Book

Aligning Ferret is a business novel (in the style of The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt) that uses an engrossing story to illustrate the implementation of organizational strategy, performance alignment, and people management in a fictitious, but realistically portrayed organization.

The story is narrated by Sunil Chinnappa (Sunny), a manager at a Bangalore-based software firm, Ferret. Sunil has just completed the implementation of world-class processes to deliver high-quality software at Ferret. But his self-congratulatory mood is cut short when Jim, the COO of the firm that owns Ferret, blasts Ferret for poor performance and threatens it with closure.

 

Here is an excerpt from the book:

“Ferret revenue and profits are totally off target,” says Jim. “And I can’t see your plans.”
“Plans?” My boss, Rajiv, looks stunned. “You have project-wise data and—”
“Plans, Rajiv. Overall plans, like your direction of growth, the sort of projects you’ll execute, and how much of our outsourced work you’ll undertake.” Jim sounds irritated.
Rajiv’s forehead creases. “We’ve improved our processes. Our focus is to execute PTI work better and—”
“Really? Ferret handles only 5% of our outsourced IT work.” Jim’s voice is sharp. “We acquired you to reduce our costs but we still have to use other IT vendors—expensive ones. If that’s all you can execute—”
“Jim—” Rajiv wipes his brow.
“I may acquire another firm in India or China instead of using Ferret.”

[Intrigued already? Click here to view details/ buy on Amazon. or Amazon.in 🙂 ]

Through Aligning Ferret, you will participate in Ferret’s effort to achieve the extraordinary growth Jim demands of Ferret. You will see how, led by Sunny, the managers at Ferret learn and apply relevant concepts, models and frameworks. They focus on performance management systems and on competencies to achieve overambitious targets. Models/ concepts they consider include strategy maps, Balanced Scorecard, and People CMM®. You will see the managers handle this strategy-alignment related effort in addition to coping with ongoing project deadlines, high attrition rates, and ongoing glitches and conflicts.

An aligned organization knows its objectives and focuses on achieving them. Strategy and alignment are not confined to top honchos deciding policy in boardrooms. All employees need to understand these concepts to work effectively within the organizational framework. Aligning Ferret’s engrossing and realistic story makes strategy, alignment, performance management, and related concepts a quick grasp for readers.

[To jump to Amazon and check the book out, click here]

We had released the paperback version of this book some time ago. Many readers had suggested that we also release a eBook version, but we got busy with other stuff, and hey, we wanted to first sell off the paperback copies :).

The book (paperback version) was well-received and perceived as useful by many readers, sometimes in ways that were unexpected / unintended! Most readers could relate the story to their own lives, to situations they have encountered, and to people they work with (including unreasonable bosses!). See comments from over sixty readers here.

The book was also reviewed in the media (magazines, journals, etc.). You may check out these review comments here.

This book has been successfully used by organizations as a supplementary reading to their Leadership Development Programs.

Aligning Ferret is also listed under “references” in The People CMM: A Framework for Human Capital Management (2nd Edition) (This book is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.in)

We have made some changes from the paperback version.

  • The consolidation exercises that were at the end of each chapter (in the paperback) have been moved in the eBook to an Appendix; this maintains the story flow, while the exercises remain available to readers who want to think more about the concepts covered in the book.
  • We have also tweaked some words and phrases to make the story more accessible for readers outside India.
  • Since this is an eBook format, we have been able to include hyperlinks for navigation within the book.

Here are some details, if you want to get a copy of the book:

[By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.]

Aligning Ferret Book Cover
Title: Aligning Ferret: How an Organization Meets Extraordinary Challenges

Authors: Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik

Publishing Date: Kindle Edition: May 2013 [Earlier Paperback in 2008]

Language: English

ASIN: B00CZA94XC

Available at: Amazon.com and Amazon.com.

 

[By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.]

You can also view a book trailer below:

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Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.