Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
This book is awesome. I love books on strategy specially related to IT. Im still learning about IT governance, PMO and PPM so at the moment this book fits my learning needs like a glove. There is so much to be learned in this book and I confess I will have to read it at least another time to fully grasp the information. Also it will serve as a nice source of reference to consult when needed.
Another plus is that each chapter contains a summary which is helpful to quickly review and reinforce the main highlights, and in addition contains a comprehensive set of questions to be asked in order to assess problems dealt with in each chapter. Also the book has a nice bibliography that I intend to explore in the future.
I could relate to this book on so many levels. The company I work for is a typical 20th century manufacturing german multinational (autoparts) and clearly has a strategy focused on execution and operational excellence. Since 2017 the company finally realized it is being disrupted by several industries (electric car) and car sharing apps like uber so top management finally decided to embrace a more innovative culture, but is failing miserably at that. Unfortunatelly the company still sees IT as a mere service provider and not as a strategic partner which is a kind of a dilemma. How to foster innovation when the company is not willing to make an self-assessment and make changes to its own culture?
To compund the problem even further, middle management is outdated and still has a 20th century mindset which is incompatible to what the book calls "DANCE-world" (Dynamic, Ambiguous, Non-linear, Complex and Emergent).
Top management still sees the execution-focused and typical "by-the-book" german mindset as our "competitive advantage", so it will be interesting to see how things unfold in the future.
Overall it is a solid book in terms of content.
So why not 5 stars? Well, there are a few shortcomings. First of all the hardcover version has no dust jacket, which is a pretty minor issue, almost irrelevant I must confess.
My main issue is the quality of the print and paper which is too thin for my taste. Actually whats printed shows through the other side of the page and this affects heavilly when trying to scan some information. Also I like to mark excerpts I find useful with a marker pen, but because the paper is so thin any portion that is highlighed causes the paint to bleed through the other side of the page.
Another issue is that for some reason some pages are binded together on a few milimiters, perhaps due to a failed process when cutting the paper. Also some figures are not well printed and show some vertical marks or blurs. Also, some figures have incorrect information, for example figure 5.1 in page 100 (DNA Strand of Execution) contains the workd "LEARN" in the middle when it clearly should be "EXECUTION". No big deal though as this is very evident mistake.
All of those issues are rather minor offenses IMO and do not affect too much the value of the book.
It could easily be a 5 star if not for those minor shortcomings.
I will recommend it to my colleagues that work with project management, PMO and PPM in my company.