Milton D. Rosenau and Gregory
D. Githens, Successful Project Management: A Step-by-Step
Approach with Practical Examples. New Delhi: John Wiley &
Sons, 2007. 360+xix. Rs. 289/-.
Over the last couple of decades, project management has been receiving wide
recognition and attention in the literature of management and is quite popular
among the project analyst and policy makers who plan and execute the blueprint
of a project. For attempting a sound and successful project management, the focus
should be on the various steps of project planning, execution and monitoring. In
this context, the book is a pragmatic guide for managing projects and programs,
irrespective of size, technology or industry. A comprehensive piece, it takes the
reader step-by-step from basic concepts of project management to complex issues
of technologies related to project management. Till date lot many scholars have
talked about project management and successful executions of project and
programs. But in this author takes a practical approach and makes it clear at the
beginning of the book that mostly projects do not go in accordance with the plan
and as a result replanning may be required, amending the negotiated definition.
Therefore, the author advocates for assigning "tolerable slippage time (TST)" in
the project definition and completion. Authors are Certified Management
Consultant and Managing Partner in Catalyst Management Consulting in Texas,
USA with combined experience of 70 years of experience and have authored
eleven books together.
The organization of the book is based on five managerial functions viz.
Defining, Planning, Leading, Controlling and Completing. The definition covers
the project goals, strategic alignment of projects and project life cycle. The planning
introduces the concept of "triple constraint" of time schedule, cost and performance
specification. It emphasizes that plan depends on the interaction of human and
physical resources. The managerial guidance to human resources and measuring
the project work in order to initiate corrective action or replanning is covered
under leading and controlling part of the book. The completing part conforms to
the definition or revised definition and wrapping up of all the loose ends so as to
mark the successful project completion. The theories presented are based on authors'
rigorous academic research and vast industrial experience. The nesting and weaving
of the different chapters gives fair glimpse of scholarly qualities of the authors.
Unlike other books this offers unambiguous and sustainable solutions to the
practical problems faced at different stages of project management.
However, the examples and case studies covered in the book are mostly
statistically created and not from real organizations operating in the industry.
Even though some interesting and thought-provoking case studies are drawn from
the corporate world, the identity of the organization is not revealed, leaving wide
scope for the readers to speculate. More could have been achieved by dedicating an exclusive chapter on communication issues in project management and by
providing corporate project management problems at the end of each chapter.
A new feature "Tool Icon" is one of the highlights of the book that elaborates
a useful strategic tool. Some of these are simple to use and some require practice
for efficient usage. The author cautions that one should implement this tool as per
the situation during the project management. The book is fairly intense and reader
needs to concentrate to visualize and interrelate concepts being conveyed in 342
pages. Highlights at the end of chapter, with "Do and Don'ts" for successful project
management and supporting flow charts and diagrams help in increasing the grasp
of the reader over the subject. This is a must read guide for project managers,
project team members, functional managers, scholars, entrepreneurs and any one
interested in good project performance as it teaches skillful application of the
processes, techniques and concepts of project management in a simple and lucid
Assistant Professor, L.M. Thapar School of Management,
Thapar University, Patiala, India.
Sydney Finkelstein, Charles Harvey, Breakout Strategy: Meeting the Challenge
of Double Digit Growth. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill, 2007, 346p. Rs.450/-.
Strategy’ is a book which encapsulates path-breaking
leadership and strategy combination for excellence of smart
companies. It is a compilation of strategy and business
initiatives which are taken by companies as they move the
trajectory path of spectacular business growth. The book in
following nine chapters tracks the path -
1. Breakout Strategy - The authors here explain, what
breakout strategy is. They argue, ‘that successful breakout
companies and leaders brace five essential strategy
Creating a workable
vision by understanding needs and aspirations.
Facing customers with a value proposition that
covers all the important bases.
Aligning what you do with what the customer really
Balancing the people and process sides of business
to deliver on your promises.
Liberating the energies of any strategy's toughest
critics - those who work within the business. And these
practices are brought to life in four types of breakout,
which we call taking by storm, laggard to leader ,
expanding horizon, and shifting shape.’
2. Getting on the fast track -
This chapter outlines the typology of breakout companies. An
exposition on various growth paths is given. - It examines
‘how subordinate companies, - new ventures and laggard
enterprises - breakout and get on fast track to business
3. Staying out in front - This Chapter, ‘considers how
already dominant companies plan to stay out front, either by
expanding geographically or by reinventing themselves from
within.’ Thus chapter 2 and 3 deciphers the characteristics
of breakout companies by comparing and contrasting their
growth pattern and finding a common denominator amongst
4. Breakout Dynamics - The chapter further deepens the study
by exploring how the dynamics of breakout can be understood
better and managed more effectively by skilled business
5. Putting vision to work - explains the formation, content
and application of an organizational vision of breakout
6. Being a magnet company - The chapter defines the elements
of a value proposition and shows how compelling propositions
create magnet companies.
7. ‘Delivering the promise’, illustrates that a business
model is the counterpart of value proposition, a unique
disposition of organizational assets and routines designed
to ensure the consistent delivery of a value proposition.
8. Executing Breakout - This is the most important chapter
of the book. It gives an exposition on how to execute - the
breakout strategy. It gives a blueprint -how projects and
programs can best be designed to effect strategic change and
9. Breakout Leadership - To execute any strategy be it
breakout strategy correct leadership is required. The final
chapter discuses issues relating to transformational change
which would form the context for an exploration of breakout
leadership capabilities and how business leaders develop
The book is a must read for practicing managers of strategy
- for its inspiring exposition of both subjective and
objective aspects of successful strategic management of
present day dynamic and volatile business environment. It's
a 'breakout' or path-breaking book.
Dr. Sudhanshu Bhushan, Professor, Institute for International Management and Technoloyg, #336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.
Marquard, W.H., Walsmart: What Really Takes to Profit in Wal Mart World.
2007, New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill, 267p. Rs.450/-.
In the context of the ‘Retail’ revolution that is
sweeping India currently, ‘Walsmart’ is oriented to provide
an in depth view of the dynamics that are behind the
creation of a large retail organization. The key business
level and corporate strategies that form the essence of a
retailer's spectacular success are identified and explained
in a rather inimitable writing style.
The book scores as an easy read; it would relevantly engage
academia, researcher, and analyst or even retail
professional alike. The flow of the discussion is apt as it
identifies emergence of Wal-Mart as a leader and establishes
the "Why"and "How" aspects of the retail giant's growth. In
chapter 4, the core elements that situate a retail
organization to win in a market are very effectively
identified and discussed rationally. In effect the genome of
the retailer stands dissected rather professionally.
If the work was to culminate as a tribute to Wal-Mart, the
second part should not have been written, but that would
have left story incomplete. The author outlines the
competitive counter strategy that could possibly help
survive and even grow in an industry under the shadow of a
fierce and un-yielding firm. Use of corporate examples and
interpretation of successful strategies followed by numerous
businesses provides sound basis to really absorb the impact
of author's recipe for making winner's out of minnows. The
book retains a flow and clarity of thought process that
keeps you reading, waiting for more. However as a book on
"Strategy" the author does little to establish what one
could take away and apply
to more generic business scenarios, the singular focus makes
its appeal as a general guide to business or corporate
strategy less forthcoming.
Sandeep Munjal, Assistant
Professor, Institute for International Management and Technoloyg, #336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.
Mallin, C.A., Corporate Governance. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007.
by Christine Mallin adequately and comprehensively
covers the topic of corporate governance. These are
times when modern business is gripped in chaos
lacking definition and direction - which can be
attributed to historically lopsided global business
growth. These are transition times with business
environment and system exhibiting turbulence with
business itself lacking definition and direction. In
such times Business Ethics and Corporate Governance
are subject matter of much significance and
importance. Corporate Governance has to be
meaningfully incorporated in modern day business.
This book by Mallin provides a blueprint for
corporate governance in this century in
international business with multifaceted global
dimensions. The book illustrates the complexities of
a very intricate subject of corporate vernance. The
book in divided in four parts -
1. Development in Corporate Governance - which
adequately deals with theoretical aspects of the
subject. Some model corporate governance codes are
2. Owners and Stakeholders - as an important
perspective for corporate governance is also
explained from various angles in the four chapters
-(1) Shareholders and Stakeholders (2) Family owned
firms (3) The role of institutional investors in
Corporate Governance (4) Socially Responsible
3. Directors and Board Structure - discusses their
role in corporate governance and subsequent chapter
illustrates their remuneration and its rationale.
4. International Corporate Governance is the most
important section of the book. Country specific
corporate governance is discussed and illustrated in
various parts of the globe. The convergence and
divergence of the corporate governance is explicitly
brought out, which provides good insights into the
subject from a global perspective.
The book could have various case studies in
corporate governance from different parts of the
globe- which is what is lacking in the book.
‘Corporate Governance’ by Mallin though could be a
good handbook for graduate and post - graduate
courses in the subject, at various business schools
Dr. Sudhanshu Bhushan,
Professor, Institute for International Management and Technology,
#336, Udyog Vihar, Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.
Ahmad, A . and Chopra, O.P., Passion to Win. New Delhi:
Excel Book, 2004. 322p. Rs.250/-.
Success is the most desired word
which everyone wants to achieve but very few can make it.
Successful organizations are like successful people, they do
not do different things, but they do things differently.
This book is all about such efforts by successful
organizations. This book is about how business organizations
become exceptional, achieve superior performance and
competitive ability compared to others in the league. The
book is based on a study conducted on some of the best
performing companies in India like Infosys, Wipro, Satyam,
Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy
Labs, Hero Honda, Eicher, L&T, Motorola, BPL, HLL, GSK,
Tatas, Reliance, ICICI etc.
It is based on research study by All India Management
Association. The good part about the book is that it is
focused on the Indian context and is aimed at developing
Indian organizations as globally competitive organizations.
The book has been written in a very different style. Rather
than loading it with professional jargons, the book
discusses the insights of highly experienced business
leaders and professional managers by quoting their views and
observations which were captured through direct interviews
with them in the process of writing this book.
The book is based on five distinguishing characteristics of
high performance organizations which have been identified by
the author as Inspiring leadership, Innovative strategy,
Distinct identity, Process driven execution and Win win
It has been divided into eleven chapters. Chapter 1-3 are
introductory chapters and also discuss few basic concepts of
strategic management like purposeful, values driven
enterprise and sustainable competitive edge. Chapter 4-8,
are based on the five distinguishing characteristics
identified by the author. Chapter 9 talks about firm as a
living system and the emerging modern Indian corporation.
Chapter 10, is a concluding chapter and talks about critical
analysis of performance and sustainability of the companies
studied and chapter 11 talks about learnings and
action implications i.e. lessons for the business leaders,
entrepreneurs and managers.
At the end of the chapters, the book has two research
appendices. Research appendix 1 is an analysis of the linear
trend of selected financial parameters in the sample
companies and research appendix 2 gives the rankings of the
top 100 companies in the year 1991 and 2002 based on market
capitalization. The good part about the book is that it also
has an index in the end to search for terms from within the
While the book would provide a good source for case studies
in the Indian context, the only apprehension is that the
data used in the book may soon turn obsolete and may not be
considered as contemporary by the users.
Kirti Madan, Assistant Professor, Institute for
International Management and Technoloyg, #336, Udyog Vihar,
Phase - IV, Gurgaon - 122001, Haryana, India.