Friday, January 9, 2009

The Executives Guide to Information Technology or Balancing Agility and Discipline

The Executive's Guide to Information Technology

Author: John Baschab

The Executive's Guide to Information Technology is a sophisticated and comprehensive guide to running a cost-effective, efficient, and business delivery-focused corporate Information Technology (IT) unit. Eschewing the theoretical for the practical, the book gives managers the guidance they need to handle any problem effectively. It provides specific policies, approaches, and tools for each critical IT management functionó from application management to vendor management.

IT management experts John Baschab and Jon Piot provide the techniques IT managers and executives need to accurately assess their current operations. Further, they offer a step-by-step improvement plan designed to raise productivity and service levels while reducing costs significantly. The authors begin by examining the symptoms and causes of waste, inefficiency and underperformance in typical IT departments before offering in-depth analysis of each operational area of IT management. They present current and emergent best practices for transforming the department into a world-class service organization.

Packed with prescriptive advice and hard-earned insight, this comprehensive resource is organized into stand-alone chapters that provide quick access to important information when managers need it. In addition, spreadsheets, documents, and checklists are designed to aid in planning and decision-making and can be easily accessed on the included CD-ROM.

Designed to help IT managers and top executives get the most out of their departments, their budget and themselves, the book covers such topics as: managing the department, establishing leadership roles, assessing theorganization, cost management, project demand management, operations management, infrastructure planning, vendor selection and management, technical standards setting, investment evaluation, and productivity and quality measurement programs.

With The Executive's Guide to Information Technology, IT managers will understand the main sources of waste in their departments, identify major management issues, learn and implement critical steps toward improvement,
and manage more effectively. The book will help managers improve their performance and stature within their organizations by providing the tips and tools to overcome typical areas of friction and miscommunication between IT departments and other business functions. Executives will understand how to work effectively with the CIO or IT director, as well as provide constructive management input to the IT function, achieving the best return on their IT assets.

Interesting book: Cajun Foodways or Sushi

Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed

Author: Barry Boehm

"Being a certified bibliophile and a professional geek, I have more shelf space devoted to books on software methods than any reasonable human should possess. Balancing Agility and Discipline has a prominent place in that section of my library, because it has helped me sort through the noise and smoke of the current method wars."
--From the Foreword by Grady Booch
"This is an outstanding book on an emotionally complicated topic. I applaud the authors for the care with which they have handled the subject."
--From the Foreword by Alistair Cockburn
"The authors have done a commendable job of identifying five critical factors--personnel, criticality, size, culture, and dynamism--for creating the right balance of flexibility and structure. Their thoughtful analysis will help developers who must sort through the agile-disciplined debate, giving them guidance to create the right mix for their projects."
--From the Foreword by Arthur Pyster

Agility and discipline: These apparently opposite attributes are, in fact, complementary values in software development. Plan-driven developers must also be agile; nimble developers must also be disciplined. The key to success is finding the right balance between the two, which will vary from project to project according to the circumstances and risks involved. Developers, pulled toward opposite ends by impassioned arguments, ultimately must learn how to give each value its due in their particular situations.

Balancing Agility and Discipline sweeps aside the rhetoric,drills down to the operational core concepts, and presents a constructive approach to defining a balanced software development strategy. The authors expose the bureaucracy and stagnation that mark discipline without agility, and liken agility without discipline to unbridled and fruitless enthusiasm. Using a day in the life of two development teams and ground-breaking case studies, they illustrate the differences and similarities between agile and plan-driven methods, and show that the best development strategies have ways to combine both attributes. Their analysis is both objective and grounded, leading finally to clear and practical guidance for all software professionals--showing how to locate the sweet spot on the agility-discipline continuum for any given project.


Table of Contents:
Ch. 1Discipline, Agility, and Perplexity
Ch. 2Contrasts and Home Grounds
Ch. 3A Day in the Life
Ch. 4Expanding the Home Grounds: Two Case Studies
Ch. 5Using Risk to Balance Agility and Discipline
Ch. 6Conclusions
App. AComparing the Methods
App. BManifesto for Agile Software Development
App. CCapability Maturity Models
App. DTools for Balancing
App. EEmpirical Information

No comments:

Post a Comment