It looks like one or two people may have been paying attention during my presentations at last week's Pharmaceutical Technology Congress, as I've received several requests for more detailed information and background readings. So, herewith:
- The MIT Sloan School of Management offers a two-day course on IT for the Non-IT Executive several times a year. Among the faculty are Peter Weill and Jeanne W. Ross, authors of the highly recommended book, IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results (see below for more information about the book).
- Normal Accidents. Charles Perrow. 1999. Princeton University Press. 386 pages. This book describes the concept of interactive complexity and its relationship with process/component coupling...While the book is starting to show its age (most of it was written in the early 1980s) and suffers a bit from the author's penchant for Marxian analysis, it nonetheless provides a very useful framework for understanding the behaviors (and dangers) of complex systems, e.g. nuclear power plants, spacecraft, large IT projects.
- IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results. Peter Weill, Jeanne W. Ross. 2004. Harvard Business School Press. 288 pages. Perhaps the most complete guide to IT governance and business alignment as of this writing. Lots of detail, yet still very readable. Highly recommended. I particularly encourage reading this book at the same time as reading the next book...
- Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage. Nicholas G. Carr. 2004. Harvard Business School Press. 208 pages. Despite it's provocative title, this widely mis-read book makes quite a few subtle points about IT management. Comparing and contrasting this book with the Weill & Ross book is a worthwhile exercise I will leave to the reader.
- Dan Lohmeyer, Sofya Pogreb, and Scott Robinson. "Who's accountable for IT?" The McKinsey Quarterly. 2002 Special Edition: Technology. Good, practical advice for achieving better alignment of IT and the rest of the business.
- Jeanne Ross, Peter Weill. "Recipe for Good Governance." CIO. June 15, 2004. Some of the key points of the Weill & Ross book are outlined in this article.
- Thomas J. Allen. "Architecture and communication among product development engineers." MIT Sloan School of Management Working Paper WP 3983-97. 1997. Classic overview of the relationship between distance and communications.