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K. Maroukian "Krikor Maroukian" (Athens, Greece)
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Configuration Management: Expert Guidance for IT Service Managers and Practitioners
Configuration Management: Expert Guidance for IT Service Managers and Practitioners
by Shirley Lacy
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Contribution to Configuration Management, 28 Mar 2011
What is startling and simultaneously intriguing about this book is its revolutionary approach to yielding information out of a number of organised brainstorming workshops which have been masterfully formulated into chapters by Shirley Lacy and David Norfolk.

The flow of information starts from distinguishing between Configuration Management, a CMBD and a CMS and then embarks on a useful number of hints and tips on how to establish the configuration management necessity in corporate culture and encourage such an initiative. The book goes beyond mentioning the standard 'senior management buy-in' message that in practice every notion in business entails. It goes on to address the difficulties configuration management may face in an organisation due to the resulting intangible benefits that form the majority of advantages such an initiative has to offer. However, throughout the Chapters the reader realises that an approach to `think smart, start small, dig dip and then widen up` on an organisation-wide basis is probably the way to go about a configuration management deployment. For example, a CMDB and CMS could be setup for a small IT team to prove the viability of configuration management for e.g. projects undertaken by that specific team and then once it accomplishes certain goals, move onto wider deployment for other teams/departments/divisions.

I liked in particular the final Chapter of `Dos and Donts' with which the book sums it all up as well as the mini Configuration Management glossary right at the beginning of the book. This contribution should not go unnoticed by IT professionals since it's not only got to do with IT infrastructure management but a wider spectrum of IT activities where even e.g. software engineering is enabled in many ways by Configuration Management.


Model Driven Architecture (OMG): Applying MDA to Enterprise Computing
Model Driven Architecture (OMG): Applying MDA to Enterprise Computing
by David S. Frankel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A clear and concise read on MDA, 11 Sep 2010
David Fankel clearly depicts the fundamentals of Model Driven Architecture highlighting the significance between the MDA layers and how these are interlinked. The metalevels M0, M1, M2 and M3 are explained with examples which make it simple to understand. There is a plethora of models available which indicate how various business requirements can be modelled and transformed from e.g. a CIM layer to a PIM layer.

Even though there isn't a lot of practical experience described in terms of enterprise computing as the book title suggests, the content of the book can be very useful in understanding the practical side of MDA implementation.


Real-Life MDA: Solving Business Problems with Model Driven Architecture (The MK/OMG Press)
Real-Life MDA: Solving Business Problems with Model Driven Architecture (The MK/OMG Press)
by Michael Guttman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.17

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary MDA Stories!, 3 Aug 2010
Michael Guttman masterfully narrates a set of stories where MDA concepts and approaches were applied successfully in public or private, small or large organisations. 'Real-Life MDA: Solving Business Problems with Model Driven Architecture' gives a distinct mark of MDA in how IT teams can be provided the necessary agile software development methods to accomplish tasks and projects within time, budget and scope.

A vast set of examples is provided which clearly link known MDA concepts to industry activities in terms of software development, IT teams collaboration and how organisation-wide MDA understanding brings benefits to collaborative environments altogether.

I would highly recommend the book to all MDA enthusiasts.


Handling Verbal Confrontation: Take the Fear Out of Facing Others
Handling Verbal Confrontation: Take the Fear Out of Facing Others
by Robert V. Gerard
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read on how to improve verbal confrontation skills, 3 April 2010
Dr. Robert V. Gerard presents a very well thought out communication plan using certain steps e.g. 1-2-3 to start from the bottom of a pyramid and move your way up till the tip of the pyramid which represents the (WIN-WIN-WIN) solution to the issue expressed during a verbal confrontation dialogue. According to Dr. Gerard, a WIN-WIN-WIN situation is one where the two parties engaged in a verbal confrontation win as well as their relationship/partnership. The pyramid can be also applied outside the context of everyday working environments e.g. at home, family/social meetings, etc. I believe that this book is a must read, in order to grasp better the fundamentals of how verbal confrontation should be conducted, diagnose your own mistakes in the way you confront others or vice versa and by adopting the 1-2-3 method, re-invent a way for yourself to communicate and confront effectively other colleagues or friends or family members.


The Good Mayor
The Good Mayor
by Andrew Nicoll
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.80

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisite example of a revolutionary approach to story telling, 30 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Good Mayor (Paperback)
'The Good Mayor' speaks of the `ethical' stance of The Good Mayor of Dot, Tibo Krovic, when he falls in love with his married secretary, Agathe Stopak. In fact, Mayor Tibo Krovic is a character who wishes to keep up appearances as the Mayor of Dot, and has a difficult time adjusting to the idea of going after a married woman no matter how useless a husband she has. What I particularly liked with the book was the inexistence of geographical locations, political era or any such environmental influence on the book's plot. For example, punctuation marks have been used for geographical locations such as the town of Dot, Dash island, etc. In this way, Nicoll has filtered out the irrelevant bits and pieces as he believes them to be. Andrew Nicoll has achieved to create a suspenseful love story, but not just another one, with a mythological twist. Being myself Greek, it seems that Greeks and Scots have one thing in common after all; Mythology.


The Return
The Return
by Victoria Hislop
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite narrative!, 28 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Return (Paperback)
'The Return' has indeed signalled a wonderful return of Victoria Hislop after publishing 'The Island'.

The beginning of the book immerses the reader quickly in the plot by establishing that Sonia now living in the UK has a passion for dancing. The second part of the book describes all the atrocities and sadness experienced by a Spanish family during the Spanish Civil War and finally the last part of the book links all the clues together to form a wonderfully written story.

I read it once and would gladly read it once again.


A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide)
A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide)
by IIBA
Edition: Paperback
Price: £35.96

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Leading Book for the Business Analysis Profession and its Literature, 16 Dec 2009
BABOK is a masterfully crafted business analysis global standard which focuses on knowledge areas and their associated activities and tasks and the skills necessary to conduct effectively the processes described. Its contents are as follows:

1) Introduction
2) Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring
3) Elicitation
4) Requirements Management & Communication
5) Enterprise Analysis
6) Requirements Analysis
7) Solution Assessment & Validation
8) Underlying Competencies
9) Techniques
Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: Bibliography
Appendix C: Contributors
Appendix D: Summary of Changes from Version 1.6
Appendix E: Index

Although BABOK demonstrates generic ideas, formulas and theory on how to conduct business analysis successfully it has gained worldwide recognition because of its industry-wide applicability. Since BABOK is based on and describes best practices as experienced by numerous professionals working in various industries; the documentation, tools and techniques refer to experience from successful projects drawn from these various industries.


Practice Standard for Project Risk Management
Practice Standard for Project Risk Management
by Project Management Institute
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.84

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptional Guide to Project Risk Management, 29 Oct 2009
I got hold of this standard having gained my CAPM qualification and wanting to explore Project Risk Management in greater detail, following the same structure PMBOK communicates on Project Risk Management (PRM).

I was not suprised to see that half of the standard referred to the six Project Risk Management processes mentioned in PMBOK's Chapter 11.

1) Plan Risk Management
2) Identify Risks
3) Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
4) Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
5) Plan Risk Responses
6) Monitor and Control Risks

However, the other half of the standard focuses on the presentation of some very interesting examples, templates, tools and techniques regarding the six PRM processes. From the references section of the standard, it is obvious that the standard is influenced not only by PMI's PMBOK but also from British, Canadian, Australian-New Zealand and Japanese Risk Management Standards as well as from IEEE and ISO standards.

The high credibility of information and the thorough explanations presented, make this Standard a must-have, must-read on Project Risk Management.


Invisible Architecture: The Benefits of Aligning People, Process & Technology: Case Studies for System Designers & Managers: The Benefits of Aligning ... Studies for System Designers and Managers
Invisible Architecture: The Benefits of Aligning People, Process & Technology: Case Studies for System Designers & Managers: The Benefits of Aligning ... Studies for System Designers and Managers
by Jenny Ure
Edition: Paperback
Price: £36.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on Enterprise Architecture!, 26 Jan 2009
Jenny Ure and Gudrun Jaegersberg have succeeded in presenting and analysing socio-technical, socio-political, socio-cultural and socio-economic systems through extensive experience in the area of enterprise architecture.

Specifically Ure and Jaegersberg extrapolate on the different types of socio-architectures that have been identified by various researchers in the past by discussing value creation through alignment of technical systems, human factors, local and global cultures and practices and enterprise strategic systems.

The research inluded in Invisible Architecture includes:
1) The problem with socio-technical systems
2) Aligning social and technical systems to create value
3) Aligning knowledge and objectives in enterprise systems
4) Cross-cultural architecture in the automotive supply chain
5) Strategies for creating value in socio-technical systems
6) The architecture of human information processing systems
7) Implications for designers and managers of socio-technical systems

I would highly recommend this book to all IT professionals whose work is related to Enterprise Architecture and Strategic Alignment of Corporate Systems.


CAPM/PMP Project Management All-in-One Exam Guide
CAPM/PMP Project Management All-in-One Exam Guide
by Joseph Phillips
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must-have companion of PMBOK, 5 Jan 2009
I read Joseph Phillips's All in One CAPM/PMP Project Management book while concurrently reading the PMBOK. The learning method I applied was simple. Firstly, reading a chapter in PMBOK, then reading a corresponding chapter in Phillips's book and finally taking the twenty question tests at the end of each chapter. On top of video presentations and the electronic format of the book the accompanied CD provides two preparatory exams as well.

Phillips not only discusses Project Management in accordance to PMBOK but goes on to elaborate on additional widely adopted PM methods and techniques. For example, while covering the Project Human Resource Management Knowledge Area he mentions Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg's Theory of Motivation, McGregor's Theory of X and Y and Ouchi's Theory Z, which are narrowly covered in the PMBOK 3rd ed.

Phillips has succeeded to construct a must-have companion to the PMBOK with extraordinary presentation where thorough explainations are provided through carefully structured diagrams where humor is not missing at all. I used the book to get ready for my CAPM exam. I am entirely certain that I'll reuse it for preparation purposes towards my PMP exam in the future.
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