Thursday 18 December 2008

What is SOA Governance?

This is one of the frequently asked questions to me. While my answer depends on the background and motive of the person asking this question, let me state the general-purpose answer to this question in this blog.

SOA Governance is a subset of IT governance. Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross from MIT have given the definition of IT Governance as "Specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT." On similar lines, we can define SOA governance as specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to realize the full value of SOA adoption in an organization.

To better understand SOA governance, let's categorize it as design-time governance and run-time governance. Design-time governance primarily includes business services portfolio planning but sometimes also includes SOA Platform planning. The business services portfolio planning involves establishing answers for following questions:

* Which services to develop?
* Which services to develop first?
* Is this really a new, reusable service?
* Who is going to pay for the development and maintenance of this service?
* Who owns this service?

By establishing answers to these questions, the reuse potential of SOA adoption can be fully exploited thus giving rise to cost reduction and IT flexibility.

The run-time SOA governance involves definition and enforcement of policies for security, SLA monitoring, routing and transformation. While design-time governance focuses on developing right services, run-time governance focuses on ensuring smooth execution of these services as per the expectations.

While governance is more to do with people behavior, some tools can be used to aid the people responsible for governance. One can use service repository as the tool for design-time governance as it stores all metadata related to services at a central location. For run-time governance, one can use a service registry and/or services management tools. Many Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) products also provide the functionality for run-time governance.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Benefits of Enterprise Architecture

Once in a while, whenever I get time, I browse certain web sites to check whether anything new has come . I know RSS is a great mechanism to keep oneself updated on what's new on almost all web sites. But still I like this random check on my favorite sites.

One of my such favorite sites is the MIT CISR web site. This site hosts the working papers and research briefings, which are freely accessible. Today while I was going through them, I found one research briefing on Benefits of Enterprise Architecture. I found it very useful as it has given a list of both technology-related and business-related benefits of Enterprise Architecture.

The authors Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill, have described three types of technology-related benefits: IT costs, IT responsiveness and risk management. IT costs benefits include reduction in IT operations unit costs (cost of services such as helpdesk, network capacity and email) and application maintenance cost. IT responsiveness benefit includes reduction in develpment time. Finally, risk management benefits includes the following ones: reduced business risk, improved regulatory compliance, increased disaster tolerance and reduced security breaches.

The business-related benefits include the following:
  • shared business platforms - greater data sharing and integrated process standards
  • senior management and business unit management satisfaction
  • strategic business impact - operational excellence, customer intimacy, product leadership and strategic agility
The research briefing also provides details about how maturity level of enterprise architecture help organizations grow these benefits.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Model Value Analysis

Today I read an excerpt of an upcoming book titled "Business Modeling: A Practical Guide to Realizing Business Value" written by David Bridgeland and Ron Zahavi, available on OMG web site. It discusses a very simple technique to ensure that business modeling does not run into trouble due to Model Value Destruction. Many of us must have heard of failed business modeling exercises in our own or our customer organizations. There are various reasons why business modeling projects fail. These include reasons such as model value destruction, scope failures, straight through modeling, creeping complexity, ugly models, and incompetent modelers. Though the book addresses how each of these dangers can be avoided, the available excerpt provides how model value destruction can be avoided with model value analysis.

Value destruction happens when the company takes an action that has a smaller economic
benefit than the cost of the action. Similarly, building some models incur more cost than the benefits that can be generated out of them, thus resulting into model value destruction. It can be avoided by using Model Value Analysis.

Simply put, model value analysis is a summary of the expected costs and the expected benefits, and a comparison of the two, as described in a spreadsheet. One sheet of the spreadsheet should list all the possible benefits of business modeling against which both estimated one-time and annual time savings should be recorded. There are eight benefits of business modeling as given below.
  1. Communication
  2. Training
  3. Persuasion
  4. Analysis
  5. Compliance Checking
  6. Requirements for software development
  7. Direct Execution
  8. Knowledge Management and reuse
It is not necessary that each modeling exercise should save time (and hence cost) against each one of the benefits listed above though one can discover additional benefits during model value analysis. In the second sheet, one must record all time spent (both one-time and annual) for business modeling against following elements:
  1. Constructing the model
  2. Socializing the model
  3. Maintenance
While hours can be the unit to record both costs and benefits, perhaps dollar value is the better unit to use for comparison by taking into account personnel cost.

While this technique looks so simple, it may consume considerable amount of time and efforts if one employs it for making decision regarding complex business modeling exercise. A good rule of thumb is to spend 1% of the total anticipated modeling time on the model value analysis, to decide whether the other 99% makes economic sense.

BTW, after reading this excerpt, I am now awaiting the release of this book as it seems to have useful content on business modeling. Since it is being published by OMG itself, the quality has to be very good!

Monday 3 November 2008

IBM's Smart SOA

IBM is spending millions of advertising dollars on promoting what they call as smart SOA. After ignoring for so many months, I finally decided to look into it. Following are my notes that are trying to capture the essence of smart SOA without any IBM advertising!

Smart SOA is a set of guiding principles based on IBM's thousands of real-life deployments and experiences with SOA. IBM defines four approaches for adoption of SOA: Fundamental, Extend End-to-End, Transform and Adapt Dynamically. Fundamental approach involves departmental, very focused projects to meet an individual business need. IBM has defined five entry points as the means to pursue this approach viz. reuse, connectivity, people, process and information. Projects associated with Reuse entry point typically involve creating reusable service-based business components out of existing IT systems. The connectivity entry point links people, processes and information in the business through the use of an intermediary service gateway or bus. The people entry point improves productivity by aggregating services as views, as well as enabling human interaction in the context of the business process. Common projects associated with process entry point include automating and optimizing manual business processes and human workflows. Finally the information entry point provides access as reusable services to complex, heterogeneous data sources within an enterprise.

The Extend end-to-end approach involves collaboration between business and IT to optimize and bring greater innovation to business processes that span the organization and extend beyond it. BPM enabled with SOA along with maintaining integrity across the processes is a major component of this approach. The Transform approach is a broader approach than the earlier ones as it involves using technology for strategic advantage. It is about innovating the business model itself as opposed to the individual end-to-end business processes through which that business model is implemented. Finally Adapt Dynamically approach involves creating a predictive business that responds to market forces in a semi-automated, intelligent way. It embeds a belief that the emerging ideal of rapid transformation in a semi-automated way will become increasingly possible as a critical mass of service providers in the ecosystem adopt SOA to enable the business to respond with agility to business opportunities.

IMHO, the first approach is the one which will be used by majority of enterprises as of today. Few innovative companies will go for second or third approach. The fourth approach seems to be quite futuristic though it provides a grand vision for SOA adoption.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

The Keys to BPM Project Success

Today I read an article titled "The Keys to BPM Project Success", written by Derek Miers and published in Jan 2006 issue of BPTrends. This article describes a recipe for execution of a successful BPM project. In this blog, I am trying to capture the steps of the proposed BPM Project Delivery Framework. The article provides quite a few examples while describing these steps, which are worth reading once to get convinced for significance of each of the given steps.

Step 1 – Establish the Steering Group consisting of executive head of the affected business area, CIO or lead IT executive, BPM program manager (or head of BPM CoE, if exists) and senior LOB managers from the functions directly affected. Conduct the initial Steering Group Workshop to obtain formal commitment from the business, linkage between BPM program & strategy of the organization and tactical agreement on the choice of project & consensus on scope.

Step 2: Identify the suitable target process which has relatively low level of maturity, high impact and low complexity. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the selected initial project can complete within 3-6 months.

Step 3: Develop the business case that can be tied back to the Key Business Objectives (KBOs) of the organization. Techniques such as Goal Question Metric (GQM) technique developed by Victor Basili and his colleagues can be used to ensure alignment.

Step 4: Gain executive sponsorship

Step 5: Form the BPM Project Team consisting of BPM Project Manager, Senior User from the affected area, one or more SMEs from the LOB area, Lead Business Analysts and IT Specialists.

Step 6: Understand the process by using techniques such as Role Activity Diagrams (RADs) and Object State Transition Network (OSTN) techniques in addition to flow diagram based approaches.

Step 7: Identify breakthrough opportunities such as potential for faster cycle times, enhanced customer service, channel integration, minimizing the number of times of handling the work items,role rationalization, management and monitoring of personnel performance and better exception management.

Step 8: Develop and prototype on the BPM suite

Step 9: Implement and align organizational change

Besides this recipe for sucess, the article also provides a 16-points list of pitfalls to avoid. In all, the article is a good read of anyone interested and/or involved in initial BPM projects in an organization.

Monday 27 October 2008

Colligo for SharePoint

Today while surfing the internet, I came across a Canada-based company called Colligo. Among its various products, one that caught my eyes is Colligo Reader. This product can be used to download the sharepoint site contents on the laptop, which can be read offline. It's a free download for personal (non-commercial) use. I have just installed it and downloaded a couple of internal sharepoint sites on my laptop using this product.

Before installing this product, I had an impression that I can now see the entire sharepoint site without being connected to the site over network. However, I then realized that I can only view the document libraries and lists offline using this software. While that has disappointed me a little, I have also figureed out that this itself has a lot of value for any user of sharepoint sites.

Obviously, the paid products from Colligo provide more powerful features such as two-way synchronization and I hope to at least try them out once I get comfortable with the use of Colligo Reader.

Developing Office Applications using SharePoint

Currently I am spending a good amount of time in learning and teaching how SharePoint can be used to develop office applications without coding. What are these office applications? One can define office applications as those applications that are owned by and used by the same department. I contrast them against enterprise applications, which are owned by one department but are used by multiple departments. Let me illustrate this classification with examples. Leave and Attendance System is owned by HR department but used by all of us. On other hand, recruitment application is owned by and used only by recruitment group.

Since Office applications are used by the same people who own them, they are typically easier to develop. Why so? A typical enterprise application becomes complex over a period of time, largely due to the growing exceptions that need to be incorporated and also due to the complex rules of authorization that get embedded in the applications. Since Office Applications are used by the same department, one can have minimal rules of authorization. Also the complex and one-time exceptions can be handled outside the system so that the system can be kept simple enough to maintain easily.

I know this line of thinking makes people uncomfortable. How can one have a system, which does not cover all kinds of exceptions that can arise? My argument is that by insisting on including all exceptions in the system, we end up having systems quite complicated and difficult to maintain over a period of time. For enterprise applications, this complexity is very much justified but not for office applications.

So what is the use of SharePoint in the development of office applications? Yes, one can develop office applications using Excel. Rather Excel has been popular among office workers, largely because office applications can be developed using Excel quite easily. What is missing though is the workflow feature in Excel. Also Excel files with large macros and data become difficult
to manage as they get stored on personal drives of office worker who develops them. Use of SharePoint provides same facility as that of Excel plus it provides workflow thereby giving complete solution framework for development of office applications that too without any coding!

Currently I am involved in development of an internal office application, which will be owned by and used by Training Department. I will continue to post learning from development of this
application on this blog site.

Saturday 2 August 2008

ERP products from India

When we think of ERP product coming from an Indian company, we can think of only Ramco. I just went on their site and found that they have now come up with ERP on Demand, which is nothing but a SaaS offering. What I found interesting on their site is one whitepaper in which they have addressed the security concern, which is associated with any hosted application. They have compared keeping data on capus against in vendor's data center with keeping family valuables in home against in bank's lockers. In India, where bank lockers are perceived to be quite safe to put family valuables, this comparison really connects with Indian psyche. Obviously they have provided quite a few details on the security of their data center and have mentioned their 27001 security certification. It's worth reading this whitepaper fully!

While Tally is a leader in accounting packages in India, its site also mentions an upcoming ERP product, named TallyAscent. It will be interesting to see how much market can be penetrated by TallyAscent.

Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to see an ERP product from Godrej Infotech. eNccompass - ERP claims to have leveraged Godrej group's experience of running various manufacturing companies. It seems it has been implemented in various Godrej companies so it must have got matured by now. It will be worth watching its market penetration in coming time.

Billing Boss

While surfing net, I came across this interesting online business solution called Billing Boss. It is a free online invoicing tool, targeted for small businesses and freelancers. One can create, email and track the status of invoices. After watching the small video demo hosted on its site, it looked very easy to use this tool.

Since I neither run a small business nor I am a freelancer, I can't use it. But I guess it will be interesting to see how this site gets used in future.

Monday 28 July 2008

mentor, trainer, consultant and counceller

Just came across this interesting way to classify mentor, trainer, consultant and counselor. It's as follows:

Mentor or Coach asks solution.
Trainer tells solution.
Consultant tells problem.
Counselor or Therapist asks problems.

One can also make a 2-by-2 matrix to put these roles in each grid!

Friday 4 July 2008

SAP Enterprise Services Workplace

When I first heard of SAP Enterprise Services Workplace, I wondered why would SAP share complete interface details of its all enterprise services. Today I got some time to look at the website and was amazed by the availability of details available there. It seems to be quite an information overload though I plan to explore it for few days in coming weeks.

Monday 30 June 2008

The Right Way Towards SOA

While browsing the web site of Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, I came across this interesting article on SOA adoption. Here are my notes:

In this article, the authors have identified two kinds of SOA: Technology SOA and Business SOA. An organization can go for Business SOA only after doing Technology SOA. The focus of Technology SOA is on reuse of technology components and IT productivity leading to faster and cheaper IT. On the other hand, the focus of Business SOA is on rapid reconfiguration of business processes and/or providing trading partners and customers with access into corporate systems, leading to better and faster IT.

The authors have then adapted the MIT CISR research, to construct an SOA maturity model as shown below:

Level 0: Ongoing Service Delivery
Level 1a: New Project Delivery
Level 1b: Governance and Alignment
Level 2: Technology SOA
Level 3: CIO/CxO Relationship
Level 4: Business SOA

It's worth reading the whole article to understand more details about each of these six capabilities.

Thursday 19 June 2008

Learning resources for process modeling using BPMN

Today I found following two very useful learning resources for process modeling using BPMN:

  1. process modeling using BPMN - article series
  2. process modeling using BPMN - eLearning series
I am still reading them!

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Courage as a Skill

The January 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review has focus on the leadership. One of the articles that I read yesterday was from Kathleen K Reardon from USC Marshall School of Business. In this article, the author has argued that courageous action in business is rarely impulsive, rather it is a special kind of calculated risk taking. She has coined a term, "courage calculation", which has been defined as a method of making success more likely while avoiding rash, unproductive or irrational behavior. Following six discrete processes make up the courage calculation:
  1. Setting primary and secondary goals, which are reasonably within reach, not pie-in-the-sky ambitions.
  2. Determining the importance of achieving them
  3. Tipping the power balance in your favor
  4. Weighing risks against benefits
  5. Selecting the proper time for action, which requires a deep sensitivity to one's surroundings and a great deal of patience.
  6. Developing contingency plans
Let me quote the last para of this article, which very well sums up the entire article.

"In the end, courage in business rests on priorities that serve a personal, an organizational, or a societal philosophy. When this philosophy is buttressed by clear, obtainable primary and secondary goals, an evaluation of their importance, a favorable power base, a careful assessment of risk versus benefits, appropriate timing and well-developed contingency plans, managers are better empowered to make bold moves that serve their organizations, their careers and their own sense of personal worth."

Friday 30 May 2008

Becoming an architect in a system integrator


My colleague, Amit Unde, recently wrote an article, titled Becoming an architect in a system integrator, in the latest issue of The Architecture Journal. In this article, Amit has described variations of architect role, explained the architect competencies and has provided useful advice to aspiring architects.

Amit has captured following three variations of architect role by putting them on a two-by-two matrix with Technology Focus one one axis and Strategy Focus on the other axis:
  1. Technical Architect on higher side of Technology Focus (indicating technology depth) and on lower side of Strategy Focus (indicating project scope).
  2. Enterprise Architect on lower side of Technology Focus (indicating technology breadth) and on higher side of Strategy Focus (indicating organization scope).
  3. Solution Architect exactly at the center of matrix
While there could be varying opinions on this way of defining architect roles, I tend to agree with these definitions.

Amit has also explained the architecture competencies. He has constructed a pyramid in which the foundation consists of leadership, relationship management and variety of experience. The middle layer for skills consists of domain knowledge, project management, technical acumen and communication skills. Finally the top layer consists of strategic mindset.

The advice for aspiring architects contains pointers to educational resources, certifications and groups and forums. But what are more interesting are the tips on how to choose employer for availing desired development opportunities!

In all, it's a good read for any practicing or aspiring architect.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Our SOA article got published in IT Professional magazine

I co-authored an article titled "Where do you want to go in SOA adoption journey?" some months back. It is now published in IT Professional, which is an IEEE magazine. If you have access to IEEE Digital Library then you can read the article at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/6294/4525527/04525540.pdf?tp=&isnumber=&arnumber=4525540

Please share your feedback on the article with me.

Today is 125th jayanti of Swatantryaveer Savarkar

Today is 125th jayanti of Swatantryaveer Savarkar.

Today is the day to remember him for his patriotism and his sacrifice for the nation.

Monday 26 May 2008

What the CEO wants you to know

I recently read this book, "What the CEO wants you to know", which is authored by Prof Ramcharan. The sub-title of this book is "Using Business Acumen to understand how your company really works". IMHO, the sub-title is what correctly describes the content of the book though the title is the one which is more catchy!

In less than 150 pages, the author has provided time-tested advice to each one operating in the business. What I liked the most about this book is a list of eight questions that one should ask about a company to understand its total business. These eight questions are as follows:
  1. What were your company's sales during the last year?
  2. Is the company growing? Or is growth flat or declining? Is this growth picture good enough?
  3. What is your company's profit margin? Is it growing, declining or flat?
  4. How does your margin compare with your competitors? How does it compare wit those of other industries?
  5. Do you know your company's inventory velocity? its asset velocity?
  6. What is your company's return on assets? (ROA = After-tax margin * Asset Velocity)
  7. Is your company's cash generation increasing or decreasing? Why is it going one or the other?
  8. Is your company gaining or losing against the competition?

Saturday 24 May 2008

First Pardhi to clear UPSC (India) exam

It was heartening to read a news story about Sajjansingh Chavan, who is first in his pardhi community to clear Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam in India. The Pardhi community is (wrongly!) considered to be a criminal tribe though the Criminal Tribe Act was repealed in year 1949. Born in Mumbai's Aarey Milk Colony slum, Sajjansingh is son of Ramsingh who worked hard to make his son earn MTech from IIT Delhi.

My heartiest congratulation to Sajjansingh! And salute to his father, Ramsingh!!

Wednesday 7 May 2008

open source software guide for SMEs

Today I came across very good reading on open source software. FLOSSMETRICS/OpenTTT free/libre open source software guide for SMEs has following TOC:
  1. What's Free/Libre/Open Source Software?
  2. Ten myths about free/libre open source software
  3. Basic FLOSS adoption models
  4. Finding and selecting software
  5. Best practices for FLOSS adoption
  6. FLOSS-based business models
You may like to read it too!

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Competing with the Best

I just finished reading this book named, Competing with the Best. It is authored by Dr Rajnish Karki. Since he had taught us strategic transformation course in SJM School of Management of IIT Bombay, I found myself familiar with most of the contents of this book.

This book is quite well-written though it is definitely not a light reading. It provides both theoretical discussion as well as case studies. The students of strategic management in Indian context will find this book quite useful.

Sunday 4 May 2008

The Art of the start

After reading the sample chapter of this book in January, in the month of April, I got to read this book entirely. I needed to wait so long because a copy was not available in India. We imported it from USA, which took fairly long time. But it was worthwhile to wait!

While Guy Kawasaki has covered the essence of the book in its first chapter, he has provided more details in subsequent chapters. Some of my takeaways are as follows:
  • Positioning boils down to the answer for a simple question, "what do you do?".
  • 10/20/30 rule for pitch: 10 slides, 20 minutes and 30-point font.
  • Sales prospect pitch should contain following ten slides: title, problem, solution, sales model, technology, demo, competitive analysis, management team and next steps.
  • A bootstrappable business model is characterized by low up-front capital requirements, short (<>
  • Start as a service business.
  • Hire "infected" people.
  • A chart showing what you and your competition can and cannot do is useful to show how you are superior to the competition.
  • Define deliverables and objectives for partnerships. Put an "out" clause in the deal.
  • Top five lead generation methods include: conducting small-scale seminars, giving speeches, getting published, networking in a proactive way and participating in industry organizations.

Tuesday 18 March 2008

Requesting your contribution in my research work

I am working on a research project with my friend who is a PhD Student at IIT Bombay. This research project aims to evolve a methodology for selection of web services during development of composite applications. As part of this research work, we are conducting a survey to seek opinions from software architect community for identifying the most important parameters in selection of semantic web services. This survey consists of 29 multiple-choice questions grouped into eight categories. Our initial respondents reported that it took them less than 15 minutes to complete this survey.

I have two requests to you:

1. If you work as a software architect then please respond to the survey at http://www.ikenstudio.com/Demoapplications/WebServices/Questionnaire.htm

2. Please pass on this request to your friends, who are also software architects.

By spending at most 15 minutes of your time, you will help us collect the quantitative input required for our research work. We will be more than happy to share the findings of this survey with you, if you wish.

Thanks!!!



Monday 10 March 2008

Book Review: The Case of the Bonsai Manager

This book written by R Gopalakrishnan is a must-read for any middle-level manager. What I liked the most about this book is that it made me think whether I am slowly becoming a stunted manager! The advise given by the book is quite valuable and convincing.


Thursday 14 February 2008

HBS Case on Wikipedia

Today I came across a Harvard Business School (HBS) case on Wikipedia. The case begins with a story of addition of the "Enterprise 2.0" entry in Wikipedia. It then gives some history of encyclopedias and that of Wikipedia. It explains the transition from Nupedia to Wikipedia before getting into detailed account of Wikipedia in 2006. There are quite a few exhibits that provide background data. Finally it describes some debates and controversies regarding accuracy, expertise, authority, anti-elitism and bureaucracy with a mention of philosophical differences between inclusioninsts and deletionists camps.

This is a well-researched case, worth reading to get a good perspective on Wikipedia.

Trends underlying Enterprise 2.0

I came across this very impressive blog on trends underlying Enterprise 2.0. Prof Andrew McAfee has explained following three trends in quite convincing manner:

  1. Simple, free platforms for self-expression
  2. Emergent structures, rather than imposed ones
  3. Order from chaos
Worth reading!

Andrew McAfee

Monday 28 January 2008

The art of the start

Today I took a "test drive" of Guy Kawasaki's latest book, The art of the Start, by reading its first FREE chapter from his web site. It's interesting! And has prompted me to buy the book! The first chapter titled The Art of Starting, provides five important things that an entrepreneur must accomplish, a mini-chapter on the Art of Internal Entrepreneuring and FAQ.

The list of five important things is as follows:
  1. Make meaning - Complete this sentence: If your organization never existed, the world would be worse off because _________________________.
  2. Make Mantra: Mantra is something short and sweet such as Authentic athletic performance (Nike), Fun family entertainment (Disney), Rewarding everyday moments (Starbucks), Think (IBM), and Winning is everything (Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers).
  3. Get going: Follow these key principles: Think big, Find a few soulmates, Polarize people, Design different, Use prototypes as market research.
  4. Define your business model: Here the advice is be specific, keep it simple and copy somebody!
  5. Weave a MAT (Milestones, Assumptions and Tasks): Seven milestones viz., Prove your concept, Complete design specifications, Finish a prototype, Raise capital, Ship a testable version to customers, Ship the final version to customers and Achieve breakeven. Assumptions about product or service performance metrics, market size, gross margin, sales calls per salesperson, conversion rate of prospects to customers, length of sales cycle, return on investment for the customer, technical support calls per unit shipped, payment cycle for receivables and payables, compensation requirements, prices of parts and supplies and customer return on investment and finally tasks such as renting office space, finding key vendors, setting up accounting and payroll systems, filing legal documents and purchasing insurance policies.
The list of recommendations for internal entrepreneurs is as follows:
  1. Put the company first
  2. Kill the cash cows
  3. Stay under the radar
  4. Find a godfather
  5. Get a separate building
  6. Give hope to the hopeful
  7. Anticipate, and then jump on, tectonic shifts
  8. Build on what exists
  9. Collect and share data
  10. Let the vice presidents come to you
  11. Dismantle when done
  12. Reboot your brain

Sunday 27 January 2008

People and Performance

Today I started reading a book titled People and Performance. It is a collection of essays written by Peter F Drucker, on the topic of management. Published by Harvard Business School Press, this book consists of 26 essays , divided into six parts. Let me share some of the points that I noted from this book.

1. Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) added management to the factors of production, land, labor and capital.
2. J.B. Say (1767-1832) coined the word, entrepreneur, who he said, directs resources from less productive into more productive investments and who thereby creates wealth.
3. A Scottish industrialist, Robert Owen (1771-1858), actually became the first manager. In his textile mill in Lanark, Owen, in the 1820s, first tackled the problems of productivity and motivation, of the relationship of worker to work, or worker to enterprise and of worker to management.
4. The problems where the job is to restore or maintain the operation at a preset level, traditionally require decision. However, in reality they are not decisions as there is actually only one right answer. Then there are so-called managerial decisions for situations such as allocation of existing resources, especially people. Here there is no right answer but a range of optimal solutions, each with a definable risk or a balance of risks. Finally there are entrepreneurial decisions where there is no one right answer and not even a range of optima.
5. Management has to do following three tasks:
  1. Fulfilling the specific purpose and mission of the institution, whether business enterprise, hospital, or university.
  2. making work productive and the worker achieving.
  3. managing social impacts and social responsibilities.
And all these tasks are to be done in a balance between the demands of today and the demands of tomorrow.

---------------
I hope to complete this book in next week.