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Strategies are important for any progressive organisation. But even good strategies fail. And more often than not they fail on account of people not interpreting strategies or concepts correctly. Organisations, therefore, need alignment. Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik weave an interesting story of such an alignment at a Banglore-based IT company, Ferret, narrated by senior project manager Sunny Chinnappa. We witness Ferret attempting to overcome challenges so that its structure, systems and practices are in sync with the vision of PTI, a US-based customer that acquired it.

The authors' IIT-IIM tag make for impeccable credentials to attempt a book such as Aligning Ferret (Postscript Impressions), and the fact that this is their sixth book helps. The ease with which they bring in concepts such as Lead-lag effect, Balanced Scorecard, MBQM, CMM is commendable. They are able to carry the reader along as the plot thickens with Sunny and his colleagues getting familiar with these concepts. The parallel plot that deals with Sunny's pregnant wife, his sister and his nephew provides relief whenever the plot gets too heavy.

The book has lot of interesting nuggets such as the one on cross cultural differences best reflected in the use of: ‘OK'. While Indians use it to mean that they have understood what has been said, their foreign counterparts take it to be a commitment to what's been proposed.

Folks from the IT sector will find the book relevant. The fact that each chapter is followed by consolidation exercises challenges the ‘novel' tag that the book otherwise attracts and deserves.

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(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 03-08-2009)