Tag Archives: ebook

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:

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences or 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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

My List of Books for Implementing People CMM®

I am often asked – “which book should I use for understanding People CMM®?” I have, on several occasions, provided names of different books related to topics under discussion. So, this time when someone asked me, I decided to create a comprehensive list of books and articles that I have found useful.

I have over time referred many books, and the list below is a combination that I found useful to get more insights into generic and some specific aspects of the model.

The list is not a result of a comprehensive survey and evaluation. There are likely to be other books that are better for specific topics; and a different combination of books may work as well or better.

Anyway, here goes:
PCMM Book Cover“The People CMM® (Second Edition): A Framework for Human Capital Management” by Bill Curtis, William Hefley, and Sally Miller. Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in and Flipkart-India .

Well,  if you want to understand the model, you need a copy of the definitive book. Without this book, other books will provide fragmented insights and will not make holistic sense. And if you are serious about understanding or implementing the model, I suggest that you get a printed version in addition to downloading a free softcopy pdf version (from SEI/ CMMI Institute site), for quick searches of specific topics and keywords.

PCMM Book of Rajesh NaikDIVERSION: You can see an image of my dog-eared copy of the paperback version. It has been with me since 2003 (an older edition). It has witnessed (if books can witness :-)) many appraisals (both pre-SCAMPI as well as SCAMPI), and many training courses. If you get really close to the book, you can smell Dalian, Manila, Riga, Bratislava, London, Colombo, Mauritius, Bangkok, Pittsburg, Austin, and many Indian cities – Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, NCR, Hyderabad, Pune, Indore, and Mysore. There are stains on different pages – coffee, tea, cranberry preserve, sambhar, apple juice – you get the picture. Someday, I hope it acquires a historic and antique value; until then I will continue to use it (and also accumulate more history :-)).

Other books that I found useful:

Human Resource Champions Cover
1) “Human Resource Champions” by David Ulrich provides an approach to HR that shifts the focus from activities to be done to outcomes to achieve. The book helped me to look at HR as a business partner with an enhanced role as a strategic player, administrative expert, employee champion, and change agent.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

From the Ground UP Cover
2) “From the Ground Up” by Edward Lawler III provides six principles for organizational transformation. I found it very useful for handling the change management that People CMM® implementation requires.
Available at Amazon.com,Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Competitive Advantage Cover
3) “Competitive Advantage Through People” by Jeffrey Pfeffer explores how effective people management practices enable organizations to achieve superior performance, by using examples of successful companies that treat their workforce as “assets/ investments” instead of “costs/ expenses”.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Balanced Scorecard Cover
4) “The Balanced Scorecard” by Robert Kaplan and David Norton. I found it useful for process areas of Performance Management and Organizational Performance Alignment.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Strategy Maps Cover
5) “Strategy Maps”, once again by Robert Kaplan and David Norton, helps me in generating ideas for the process area Organizational Performance Alignment.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Competence at Work Cover
6) “Competence At Work” by Lyle Spencer and Signe Spencer is the classic for setting up a competency framework and competency assessments. I keep going back to this book for the process areas – Competency Analysis and Competency Development.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

HR Scorecard Cover
7) “The HR Scorecard: Linking People, Strategy, and Performance” by Dave Ulrich, Mark A. Huselid, Brian E. Becker provides the framework for setting up a robust measurement program for tracking performance and effectiveness of HR/ People management in organizations. This book has been useful to me to set up the “measurement” related practices of People CMM® across many process areas.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Workforce Scorecard Cover
8) “The Workforce Scorecard: Managing Human Capital To Execute Strategy” by Mark Huselid, Brian Becker, and Richard Beatty – this book (in addition to the HR Scorecard book) gave me more insights in designing effective metrics for People CMM® implementation. The book also enlightened me on how behaviors, competencies, and culture impact organizational performance.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Designing Team Based Organizations Cover
9) “Designing Team-Based Organizations: New Forms for Knowledge Work” by Susan Albers Mohrman, Susan G. Cohen, Allan M. Mohrman Jr. This book provided me greater understanding of the process areas – Empowered Wokgroups, Workgroup Development and (to some extent) Competency Integration.
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Workforce of One Cover
10) “Workforce of One” by Susan Cantrell and David Smith enabled me to look at the aspect of customization of HR practices to meet the requirements of multiple segments of people. This is now increasingly possible because of the availability of automation for administering flexible policies. You can read a detailed review of this book on another post here .
Available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart-India.

Here are two papers (not books) that have been extremely useful to me, in addition to the list above (besides, they are “classics”) .

  • The Core Competence of the Corporation by C K Prahalad, and Gary Hamel (Amazon-Digital version)
  • Fighting the War for Talent is Hazardous to Your Organization’s Health by Jeffrey Pfeffer (Free Download here).

This is my list  for People CMM®. Please use the comment/ reply facililty to add your own list of useful books for understanding/ implementing the model – a small write-up on what the book addresses and how it is useful in the context of People CMM® will help other readers.

Some book reviews 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 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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

You don’t need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook

Till a few months ago I had not registered the fact that I could read ebooks on other devices (like my laptop) and didn’t need a Kindle device. This was in spite of my wife’s constantly telling me so for years.

Last month, though, the coin dropped and I took aside an hour to set up my laptop to read Kindle ebooks. Then I felt that it may be worthwhile to have a blog entry on this topic because I suspect there may be a few (or many?) others like me who dismiss the very idea of reading Kindle ebooks because they don’t have a Kindle device. So I invited my wife, Swapna Kishore, to write this post for AlignMentor

[Brief intro: Swapna Kishore is an author of technical books and speculative fiction. She also maintains a comprehensive website to support dementia daregivers in India. She blogs here.

Over to Swapna…

Read Kindle ebooks within minutes on your laptop, mobile, or tablet – by Swapna Kishore

The world of instant information is just a few keystrokes away now because we can buy and start reading ebooks within minutes –  the latest books from across the world. Amazon, for example, has a vast number of ebooks in its Kindle store.

But wait…are you availing this opportunity? Or have you brushed it aside saying, “I don’t have a Kindle (device).”

Because, you see, you don’t need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook. You can read Kindle ebooks on your laptop, mobile, tablet, or even in your browser. It takes just a few minutes enable any of these devices to read Kindle eBooks. Really.

A quick way to understand this is

  • A Kindle e-reader is a physical device that you can hold in your hands. You can use it to read documents in a number of formats. You can read Kindle ebooks. You can also read other stuff (PDF files, DOC files, etc., depending on which Kindle e-reader you have). You can also do other tasks, but that’s irrelevant for our discussion.
  • A Kindle book (ebook) is an electronic counterpart of a book. It is the digital version of the book, a file using a particular format. You can read this file on any device that can interpret the format and display the content (the book). A Kindle ebook can be read on the Kindle e-reader device.  And if you install the appropriate Kindle Reader App (software) on another device, a Kindle book can also be read on that device.

So, if you want to read a Kindle ebook on your laptop, it’s easy – install the app for your version of Windows or Mac, and then use it to read ebooks. The process is the same for other devices; Kindle ebooks can be read on your laptop, smartphone, iPad or Android device, or even your browser.  What’s more, you can read the same book on multiple devices. Read it on your laptop. Then, if you are in the car (and someone else is driving it) and you want to continue, you can resume the reading on your iPad or iPhone or Blackberry. You can even synchronize to pick up reading at the point you left it. It’s that simple.

The download links and procedures for the required apps are available at the Amazon site. So all you need to do is:

  • Decide which device(s) you want to read your ebook on (your iPad? your Android device? your laptop? one device? more devices?)
  • For each device, download and install the relevant free Kindle reading app. Apps are free, and downloadable from Amazon (for Kindle ebooks). Check the Kindle section on Amazon for “Free Reading Apps”(currently here.)
  • Test it out:
    • Buy a Kindle ebook and make it available on the device(s) you want to read it on (using wireless or download and USB transfer). For testing the app, you can “buy” a free ebook: Check for Kindle ebooks, using Sort –> Price Low to High
    • Start the “Kindle reader” on that device and read the book

Now that your device(s) is set up to read Kindle ebooks, next time you can just buy the ebook, deliver/ download it to the device, and start reading. You can also read a sample of a Kindle book before you buy it. Every Kindle ebook is just a few clicks (and a few rupees/ dollars) away.

I have been using my laptop to read Kindle ebooks for over two years. In fact, I read ebooks from all ebook vendors on my laptop (they all have ways for you to read their ebooks on multiple devices). I bought a Kindle e-reader some months ago, and I use that sometimes, but even now, I often read ebooks on my laptop. (I can check my email and Facebook on the side, see 🙂 Or even draft a blog post like this one 🙂

And now, just in case you didn’t feel like reading the above:Kindle Device Schematic

Please feel free to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

By the way, if all this has made you feel that you need to seriously consider a Kindle device, then click here.

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 :-).

Book reviews uploaded on the same blog:


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.