March 28, 2017

Digital Supply Chain - Design, Management and Transformation

Digital Supply Chain - Design, Management and Transformation


A more connected, intelligent, scalable and rapid supply network.

Digital supply networks

Turn your supply chain into an “always-on” strategic differentiator
Organizations are achieving operational performance breakthroughs as digital supply networks enable supply network visibility—and unprecedented insights.

Digital Supply Chain Transformation

Today’s best supply chains use state-of-the-art information and communication technologies such as scanners, GPS, PDAs and tagging methods such as barcodes or RFID. Paper based supply chain documents are increasingly being replaced by Electronic Document Management.
Capgemini Consulting helps our clients build new operating models which incorporate seamless supplier integration, optimal inventory management and efficient execution of pull strategies in order to optimize working capital and transportation cost.

March 2017

Industry 4.0: The Five Steps Towards A Digital Supply Chain
by Strategy&, part of the PwC network

February 2016
Three Paths to Advantage with Digital Supply Chains
FEBRUARY 01, 2016 by Amit Ganeriwalla, Gideon Walter, Libor Kotlik, Robert Roesgen, and Stefan Gstettner

March 25, 2017

The Chief Supply-Chain-Management Officer - The New COO

The Chief Supply-Chain-Management Officer

Supply-chain management as an activity started only two decades ago. It started as a hotch-potch of a handful of disciplines that were not systematically linked.  However, in global companies,  separately handling the different aspects of SCM components, such as purchasing and warehousing, started to become expensive and ineffective. The challenge of cost reduction resulted in the rise of strategic sourcing and collaborative relationships with suppliers. CEOs thus looked for SCMOs who knew how to achieve cost efficiencies and possessed operational and outsourcing expertise. The relationships with the suppliers and distributors led to a chain development in real sense. Today, supply-chain management process links the chain  end to end: Planning, procurement, manufacturing/operations, and logistics are planned  together to devise economical solutions. The SCMO is expected to know all four functions thoroughly. He should be able to plan and to create an environment in which the multiple functions share knowledge and work together smoothly.

Sustainability is rapidly becoming an important concern  for executives who manage this function. Companies are finding that they can create and execute sustainability strategies throughout their supply chains, from suppliers to customers. So more and more SCMOs are being asked by their boards and CEOs to take up sustainability.

SCMOs will continue to pursue low costs  either through strategic or diverse sourcing, both onshore and off. They will need to manage long-distance logistics and transportation, taking into account unpredictable external factors that could have a major impact on costs, such as political instability or the price of oil. SCMOs will have to be technologically savvy and partner with CIOs to invent new ways for their companies to interact with customers and suppliers,

SCMOs will need to be big-picture thinkers who can participate in strategic and operational decisions at the highest level, in the C-Suite Conference Room. Since SCMOs will be active and equal members of the executive team, experience in running a business unit, managing a P&L, and interacting with customers will serve them well.

SCMOs will need experience in organizational design, which is a core management function. International experience will grow more critical in the job,  as global supply chains become more commonplace.

SCMOs will need to understand emerging markets and be ready to develop innovative solutions as some of the current solutions in the developed markets may not work in emerging markets, India being an important one.
HBR March 2011 Issue

March 24, 2017

Evolution of The Quality Management Philosophy and Practice

Till 1800, production of goods and services was primarily done by single person owned or family owned facilities. The quality of the item was negotiated and set by the individual owner-operator who was in turn also responsible for producing the item. This phase, which continued till Taylor's publication of Shop Management, that is the time period up to 1900, is now called the period of ‘Operator Quality Control’. In operator quality control,  controlling and improving quality of the product was aligned with the philosophy of pride in workmanship.

In the early days of factory of production, foreman became the most important managers of the factories. He is responsible for all management activities. So during the early days of factory production,  a second phase of quality management evolved, which is now termed as  the ‘Foreman Quality Control’ period.  Supervisors are now responsible to ensure that quality was achieved. We can imagine that he is doing some inspection. Also, the operator may not be directly talking to the customer now. Foremen or supervisors controlled the quality of the product, and they were also responsible for the shop floor operations.

The next phase of qual­ity is the ‘Inspection Quality Control’. With more complicated prod­ucts and processes it became impossible for the foreman to keep close watch over the quality dimension. Inspectors were assigned to check the quality of a product after processing. Individual product standards were set, and any discrepancies between standard and actual product features was reported. Defective items were set aside as scrap, and few items with minor defects are reworked to meet the specified standard or specification. This practice was picked up by Taylor, and inspection or quality foreman became one of the functional foremen in Taylor's functional foremanship model.  As we know, Taylor's function foremanship model was converted into line and staff model of management and inspection departments were established. They became very big also with plant level quality control or inspection head with many inspectors reporting to him.

In 1924, Wal­ter A. Shewhart of Bell Telephone Laboratories introduced the concept of statisti­cal charts to monitor variability of the process using measurements of product characteristics.  These charts were called process control charts. In the latter half of 1920s, H. F. Dodge and H. G. Romig, also from Bell Telephone Laboratories, proposed acceptance sam­pling plans for inspection. These plans proposed the concept of samples for inspection, thus elimination 100 percent inspection and saving inspection time. It is a productivity improvement innovation in inspection. But, it was stated that sample based inspection will give similar rate of outgoing quality as 100% inspection was giving. Industrial engineers adopted sample inspection plans in their productivity improvement practice. During 1930’s application of acceptance sampling plans was in full flow in industries. In 1929, Walter Shewhart with the help of American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Statistical Association (ASA), and Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) created the joint committee for the development of statistical techniques for application in engineering industries.

Total Quality Management: Focus on Six Sigma - Review Notes

March 23, 2017

A to Z of Management: Theory, Principles, Methods, Techniques, Tools and Practice

A to Z: Management -  Blog Posts by Narayana Rao

Letter "A"

1. Adoption of New Products and Processes
2. April - Management Knowledge Revision
3. Advertising

 Letter "B"

Brand Building Update 2015

Business Firm and Society - The External Environment, Social Responsibility and Ethics - Review Notes
Business Conceptualization - Management Insights from Economics, Engineering Economics, Managerial Economics, Industrial Economics

Letter "C"  -

Culture Change Management Process

Channels of Distribution
Letter "D" -

Distribution Warehouse

Discount Policy

 Letter "E"-

Efficiency Improvement - Need and Role of Industrial Engineering

 "F" -

Finance for Non-Finance Managers

 Letter "G" -

Goal Setting for MBO

Letter "H" -

Human Resource Training - Role of Indicated Reading Lists

 Letter "I" -

Innovation Marketing

 Letter "J" -

Job Design

Job Satisfaction

 Letter "K" -

Knowledge Management Software Packages

Knowledge Management
Letter "L" -

Location of Production Facilities

Leadership Development
Letter "M" -

Market Orientation

Make in India Campaign - Industry Sectors Information

Letter "N" -

Needs and Wants - Marketing Concepts

New Products
Letter "O"

Organizational Sociology


Letter "P"

Product Development


Letter "Q"

Quantitative Thinking for Management


 Letter "R"  -

Relaxation During Work Day - Recovering from Fatigue


Letter "S" -

Six Sigma - Zero Defect Movement Systematized


Letter "T"  -

The Role of Theory in Practice of Engineering and Management


Letter "U"  -

Understanding Marketing Productivity


Letter "V" -

Value Engineering - Recent Developments


Letter "W" -

Work-Methods Science

Waste Elimination

Letter "X"  -

X Reminds me of Theory X

Letter "Y" -

Y Reminds me of Theory Y

Letter "Z"  -

Z Reminds me of Theory Z

March 20, 2017

A to Z of Top Management Activities, Functions and Challenges - A to Z Blogging 2017 Challenge Theme

Top Management Activities, Functions and Challenges

A distinction between leadership, the leader, and the work of leading. Leadership is the principal dynamic force in organization that stimulates, motivates, and coordinates the organization in the accomplishment of its objectives. A leader is one who accepts responsibility for the success-
ful achievement of the organization's objectives, and is able to get the support of its members in the accomplishment of these objectives. The work of leading is management. It must be done in a
manner that is satisfactory to the group that is being led. Otherwise, the leader will not have its voluntary support.

Every executive should be a leader. The term executive includes, therefore, every employee whose principal responsibility has to do with directing and supervising the work of others. It includes, accordingly, all executive employees from and including the president to the lowest supervisor

Business objectives have been defined as values that the business organization is required or expected to acquire, create, preserve, or distribute. Values can be created only by work. The utility of an 
economic good or service is its ability to provide the customer or the organization with certain values that are needed or desired.  Its principal attributes are those of time, place, form, and possession. 
The creation of customer utilities makes possible the satisfactory accomplishment of the organization's primary service objectives.

Business functions may be classified broadly as managerial and operative. Management is the function of executive leadership.

Managerial functions involve the work of planning, organizing, resourcing, executing and controlling. My posts will describe the activities involved in these functions in A to Z sequence.

The accomplishment of the organization's economic mission requires the provision of various physical factors in performance. What they are depends on the requirements for the effective, economical performance of the particular business functions. The characteristics of the factors that are available may modify the method of performing them, however. They include such items as land, 
buildings, machinery, tools, materials, money, and any other physical implementation of these functions. They are capital items, either current or fixed.

Index for the posts

A to Z: 2017 Blogging Challenge - Top Management Challenge Areas

March 17, 2017

Digital Marketing Adoption by Fortune 500 Companies

December 2016
The Top Sales Strategies Fortune 500 Companies Use
80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are active on Twitter.
sales and marketing automation is one of the sales strategies that Fortune 500 companies use.

Nov 2016
The Technology Behind Fortune Global 500 Companies

The McKinsey View: The State of Digital Marketing & How to Capture Value
Full report on Salesforce State of Marketing 2016 can be downloaded from this web page.

October 2016

Are Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 Companies Using Instagram?

Some 30% of Fortune 500 companies and 22% of Inc. 500 companies have active Instagram accounts- Research from The Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

July 2016

Fortune 500 Companies Search for Marketing Tools - July 2016
Email marketing is still very important component of marketing communications and sales

What Marketers Can Learn from Fortune 500 Companies Mastering Instagram

March 2016
Only 17% of Fortune 500 Companies Actively Use Pinterest

The 2015 Fortune 500 and Social Media

June 2015
16% of the Fortune 500 companies had public-facing RSS feeds in 2008
31% of the Fortune 500 companies had public-facing RSS feeds in 2014

March 2015
59% of B2B Fortune 500 Companies Use Marketing Automation

September 2014
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research releases a study of social media adoption among Fortune 500 companies every year

83% of the Fortune 500 have corporate Twitter accounts with a Tweet in the past thirty days. This represents a 6% increase since 2013.

80% of the Fortune 500 are now on Facebook. This represents a 10% increase in the last year alone.

In 2014, 31% of the studied companies had corporate blogs, showing a decrease of 3% in use of this content tool during the past year.

March 2014
Does a Fortune 500 company need a social media strategy?
(as of 2013, over two thirds of all F500 companies maintain active Twitter accounts, and almost as many have Facebook pages)

July 2013

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Social media activity report of Fortune Magazine’s Fortune 500 list  indicates that
34 percent of this year’s Fortune 500 companies are now actively blogging,
77 percent maintain active Twitter accounts,
70 percent have Facebook pages and
69 percent have YouTube accounts.

May 2012
How Fortune 500 Companies Use Social Media
Lot of statistics of that time

March 16, 2017

Digital Marketing - Introduction, Evolution, Trends and Bibliography

Gratner World Digital Marketing Conference 2015 Presentation



Longitudinal Study of Digital Marketing Strategies Targeting Millennials
Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 29, No. 2, (2012)
22 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2016 Last revised: 23 Nov 2016
Katherine Taken Smith
Murray State University - College of Business

Training Programmes


March 15, 2017

A to Z of Digital Transformation of Business - Marketing, Production, Sales, Supply and Service

Digital Transformation - Definition

We define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.

Digital Transformation Articles - Collection from Blogosphere

Digital Supply Chain - Design, Management and Transformation


To Lead a Digital Transformation, CEOs Must Prioritize
Laurent-Pierre Baculard
JANUARY 02, 2017

Leaders have to recognize the opportunity of digital transformation and the threat if the organization ignores the opportunity because of disruptive innovations made by others.

They have to plan the new business entity as a separate department within the existing business, or as a separate business that is handled by all existing functions, or a separate division etc. Then they have to organize and provide resources. In the area of human resources, they either have to recruit from outside or develop the internal talent. In developing the internal talent, the leader's personal examples become important. Change requires effort to learn new things and leader's initiatives to learn and implement will become the role model for others in the organization to follow. While in the early days, the leader's personal guidance is required, slowly the leader has to empower people to do activities independently.

Which departments are digital transformation change agents?

Digital departments are now very common, with 81% of companies citing their existence. 40% have a formalized cross-functional workgroup employing four to five full-time employees.

Digital Transformation - 2016  articles

Digital Transformation - CMU Course Page - Syllabus

Digital Transformation in the Age of Customer  - Full Report
Digital Transformation of Industries - World Economic Forum White Paper January 2016
Digital transformation: The three steps to success - MKinsey Article
Using IoT Data to Understand How Your Products Perform
What does ‘digital transformation’ really mean? - Marketing Week Article
6 Predictions About The Future Of Digital Transformation

2016 State of Digital Transformation



Browse 100+ Books on Internet of Things - IoT Books
Business Analytics and Marketing Applications - 2016



Data Analytics - Driving Digital Transformation of Organization

Digital Oilfield of the Future

Digital Printing - Engineering Economic and Cost Analysis

Digital Transformation at Daimler Benz

Digital Transformation Books

Digital Transformation - CMU Course Page - Syllabus

Digital Transformation (DT) is a capstone course integrating the technical and managerial
aspects surrounding increased levels of digitization. As data starts to play a larger role in
managerial decision-making, what are the unique ramifications of these actions for
organizational dynamics? How can new information and communication technologies
(ICT) be deployed across an enterprise? What role does culture, organizational structure
and even adoption patterns play in understanding technology selection, user design and
how to derive value from technology? When analyzing DT, we need to examine change
from two perspectives:
• From a technology perspective: integration of new technologies, normalization of
data, and digitization of business processes.
• From a managerial perspective: new coordination and communication within and
across entities, new organizational forms, changing the information environment
underlying the business, and new incentive structures.
Successful efforts at digitization have to keep both technical and managerial perspectives in
mind. Using a collection of cases, this course will study how the deployment of ICT changes
interactions and processes within organizations, across organizations, within industries,
and across society

Cases discussed in the earlier Term

Case – ITC eChoupal (as a class)
Case – Dubai Port Authority (as a class)
Case –Security Breach at TJX
Case – VW in America
Case – Starbucks Mobile Payments
Case – Threadless, The Business of Community
Case - Project Hugo
Case – Newspapers
Case – Open vs. Closed Ecosystems – Nokia in 2010
Case – TV Disruption – Comcast Corporation

Digital Transformation in the Age of Customer - Full Report

Digital Transformation of Industries - World Economic Forum White Paper January 2016

Digital transformation: The three steps to success - MKinsey Article






Internet of Things - System Components
Internet of Things (IoT) - Very Big Business/Value Opportunity 2025
Introduction to Data Mining





Manufacturing System Digital Transformation and Reengineering








The A-Z of digital transformation


Understanding Your Products Through IoT and Data Analytics
Using IoT Data to Understand How Your Products Perform



What is digital transformation?
What does ‘digital transformation’ really mean? - Marketing Week Article
What is Big Data and What are its Applications? - IBM Experts Explanation




Articles Starting with Numerals

2016 State of Digital Transformation

6 Predictions About The Future Of Digital Transformation

Updated 18 March 2017, 17 June 2016

March 13, 2017

Introduction to the Field of Operations Management - Review Notes

Planned Revision of Operations Management Chapters Starts on 16 March

The goal of operations management is wealth creation.
It is done by supplying quality goods and services effectively and efficiently

Role of Industrial Engineering in Operations Management

Industrial engineering contributes to operations management by increasing the efficiency of operations. Wealth creation round 1 is done by operations managers. Wealth creation round 2 is done by industrial engineers in operations systems.

Wealth creation is continuously done everyday by Shopfloor operators and their managers based on the designs and plans created by operations managers and industrial engineers.

Based on the Chapter 1 Introduction to the Field by Chase, Jacobs, Aquilano 12 Edition

The essence of operations management: creating great value to the customer while reducing the cost of delivering the good or service.

In the context of this book, "operations" refers to the processes that are used to transform the resources employed by a firm into products and services desired by the customers. "Supply" refers to how materials and services are moved to and from the transformation processes of the firm.

Great operations and supply management is essential to the success of the firm doing business in goods or services.

This subject will provide you knowledge of concepts and tools to be  employed by companies around the world to craft effective and efficient operations. Efficiency means doing something at the lowest possible cost.  We can also say the goal of an efficient process is to produce a good or provide a service by using the smallest input of resources.  Effectiveness mean doing the right things to create the  most value for the company. Managers are responsible for effectiveness first. They have to find what customers want and then make arrangement for producing those items. Effectiveness in enhanced by understanding customers' needs and designing products that are acceptable to them.

A business education is incomplete without an understanding of modern approaches to managing operations. Operations management (OM) provides a systematic way of examining organizational processes. OM presents interesting career opportunities and the concepts and tools of OM are widely used in managing other functions of a business.

While marketing uncovers needs of people in general and uncovers needs of people at a particular point and books orders for the goods and services, it is the operations function of a business firm that develops goods and services and produces and delivers them to customers at the place where they desire the delivery.

Other Explanations of Operations Management

MIT's Explanation of Operations Management.

Operations Management deals with the design and management of products, processes, services and supply chains. It considers the acquisition, development, and utilization of resources that firms need to deliver the goods and services their clients want.

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Operations management is a value-adding area of an organisation concerned with innovation, production and distribution of goods and services to customers whilst ensuring that the use of organisational resources remains efficient and effective.

Chase, Jacobs, Aquilano - Earlier Editions

In this chapter in the book, the time frame of management decisions is discussed along with the different types of transformation processes. Services are compared to goods production with emphasis on the primary inputs, resources, the primary transformation functions, and the typical desired outputs in a variety of service and operations examples. Value-added services are also discussed along with their benefit to external customers.

Operations management is identified within the organizational chart and its role in the organization is defined. Chapter one presents a concept map and outlines the textbook chapters. The chapters are grouped by the key themes of strategic planning, project management, decision analysis, quality, supply chain management, and e-commerce.

The historical roots of the development of OM are traced from scientific management through the moving assembly line, the Hawthorne studies, and on to today's current manufacturing topics including supply chain management and e-commerce. This chapter concludes with current issues facing OM executives including effectively consolidating the operations resulting from mergers, developing flexible supply chains to enable mass customization of products and services, managing global suppliers, production, and distribution networks, increased commoditization of suppliers, achieving the service factory, and achieving excellent service from service firms.

What is Operations Management?

Operations managemetn (OM) is defined as the design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's primary products and services.

Operations management is a functional field of business with clear line management responsibilities. OM is frequently confused with operations research and management science (OR/MS) and industrial engineering. While all three are fields of management, both IE and OR/MS are staff management disciplines while OM is line management field. Operations management uses the tools of IE as well as OR/MS directly as well as indirectly through the project reports prepared by specialists, OM's role is distinct from these two disciplines.

Companies around the world desire effective and efficient operations. Operations managers design and operate the operations systems effectively and efficiently.

What is the difference between effectiveness and efficiency? 

Effectiveness mean doing right things that customers want to the specifications finalized by the organization. This effectiveness can be a daily issue in an organization producing custom products as the customer can keep on changing his requirement. The operations managers have to listen to the customer and agree on the specification and communicate the same to people in their works. Then they have to control the activity so that what is desired is getting produced. Effectiveness activities take significant time of managers. In production shops, a staff activity production planning and control helps production managers in ensuring the delivery of right product in right quantity at right time. So even in effectiveness activities, operations managers use staff specialists.

Efficiency means doing something at the lowest possible cost. Operations managers have to supply the agreed product at the lowest possible cost. They have the responsibility to make their operations efficient. So operations managers have to learn efficiency techniques and methods. Frederick Taylor emphasized efficiency along with effectiveness in his famous paper "Shop management". Industrial engineering is the discipline that emerged to take care of efficiency dimension of operations as a staff management discipline.

In operations management, three categories of decisions are taken.

Strategic (long-term) decisions
Tactical (intermediate-term) decisions
Operational planning and control (short-term) decisions

Strategic issues include what product (sevice) shall we make? How will we make the product? (technology decision) Where do we locate the facility or facilities? How much capacity do we build? Intermediate decisions can be thought of as annual plans, material purchase policies, staff levels adjustments and working capital support requirements for inventory financing. Operations decisions are daily machine dispatching decisions.

Chapter outline

Operations Management—A Critical Responsibility of Every Manager
Efficiency Defined
Effectiveness Defined
Value Defined

What is Operations Management?
Operations Management (OM) Defined

Transformation Processes
Transformation Process Defined
Differences Between Services and Goods

OM in the Organizational Chart

Operations as Service
Core Services Defined
Value-Added Serviced Defined

Why is Operations Not Perceived as Important?

Historical Development of OM
Mass Customization Defined
Manufacturing Strategy Paradigm
Service Quality and Productivity
Total Quality Management and Quality Certification
Business Process Reengineering

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is the name given to total system approach to managing the flow of information, materials, and services from raw material producers and suppliers through various factories and warehouses to the end customer of a consumer item or capital equipment or service.

A supply chain is a network of supply and operations processes. "Operations" refers to the processes that are used to transform the resources employed by a firm into products and services desired by customers. "Supply" refers to how materials and services are moved to and from the transformation processes of the firm.

From a company point of view Supply Chain manager is the former Works manager. The designation, works managers did not indicate his responsibility for supply chain even though he was handling that function in many companies. Designating his as Supply Chain Manager or as Supply Chain and Works Managers, will make him feel responsible for Supply Chain Design, Strategy and Operations.

Electronic Commerce

Current Issues in Operations Management

Case: Fast-Food Feast


McGraw Hill Operations Management Center

Presentation Slides - Field of Operations Management

Full chapter from Chase's Book

Summaries of all Chapters of Operation Management

Updated updated 16 March 2017,  2 Feb 2015,  3.12.2014, 10.2.2012

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

March 12, 2017

Productivity - Quotes

“Efficiency is doing better what’s already being done.” –Peter F. Drucker

“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.” –Henry Ford

“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” –Franz Kafka

March 11, 2017

Business Analysis - The Function - A Detailed Explanation

Business Analysis is the set of tasks, knowledge, and techniques required to identify
business needs and determine solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a
systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement or
organizational change.

Business analysis is distinct from financial analysis.

IIBA is the professional body promoting business analysis.

The IIBA is an organization that is dedicated to advancing the professionalism of its
members as well as the business analysis profession itself.

This note is based on the  BA Body of Knowledge published by IIBA.

Definition of the Business Analyst Role

A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.

Definition of a requirement
A requirement is:
(1) A condition or capability needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or achieve an objective.
(2) A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a system or system component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed documents.
(3) A documented representation of a condition or capability as in (1) or (2).

Requirements types

Business Requirements are higher-level statements of the goals, objectives, or needs of the enterprise. They are the reasons why a project is initiated and specify the things that the project will achieve.

User Requirements are statements of the needs of a particular stakeholder or class of stakeholders. They describe the needs that a given stakeholder has and how that stakeholder will interact with a solution. User Requirements serve as a bridge between Business Requirements and the various classes of solution requirements.

Functional Requirements describe the behavior and information that the solution will manage. They describe capabilities the system will be able to perform in terms of behaviors or operations – a specific system action or response.

Quality of Service Requirements capture conditions that do not directly relate to the behavior or functionality of the solution, but rather describe environmental conditions under which the solution must remain effective or qualities that the systems must have. They are also known as non-functional or supplementary requirements.

Assumptions and constraints identify aspects of the problem domain that are not functional requirements of a solution, and will limit or impact the design of the solution.

• Implementation requirements describe capabilities that the solution must have in order to facilitate transition from the current state of the enterprise to the desired future state, but that will not be needed once that transition is complete.

The Body of Knowledge

Body of knowledge will be described under the headings:

• BA Fundamentals
• Enterprise Analysis
• Requirements Planning and Management
• Requirements Elicitation
• Requirements Communication
• Requirements Analysis and Documentation
• Solution Assessment and Validation

BA Fundamentals

BA fundamentals explain what is business analysis and how is it carried out.

Enterprise Analysis

This activity is the collection of pre-project or early project activities and approaches for capturing the necessary view of the business to provide context to requirements and functional design work for a given initiative and/or for long term planning. It is important for those in the Business Analysis profession to understand the organizational environment in which they are working. They should understand how the project, which is being analyzed by him, supports the entire enterprise. Typical Enterprise Analysis activities are listed below. These activities are conducted concurrently and iteratively.

• Creating and maintaining the Business Architecture (understanding the current business architecture)
• Conducting feasibility studies to determine the optimum business solution
• Identifying new business opportunities
• Scoping and defining the new business opportunity
• Preparing the Business Case
• Conducting the initial Risk Assessment
• Preparing the Decision Package

Requirements Planning and Management

The Business Analyst must define the requirements activities that will be performed and how those activities will be performed on a project, in accordance with any existing standards in the organization. It includes identifying key roles, selecting requirements activities, managing the requirements scope and ongoing communication of the requirements gathering status. Proper planning and management of requirements gathering activities ensures the success of the requirements process and requirements deliverables.

Before initiating requirements activities and during the requirements process it is important to consider how the Business Analysis team is going about the requirements activities on a project.

Requirements Elicitation

The requirements serve as the foundation for the solution to the business needs. It is essential that the requirements be complete, clear, correct, and consistent. Leveraging proven means to elicit
requirements will help meet these quality goals.

The scope of the Elicitation work may be a new system or an enhancement to an existing system. The business analysis professional selects the appropriate mean(s) to gather the needed requirements based on the applicability of a technique’s process, key features and strengths and weakness.

Requirements Analysis and Documentation

The objective is to define and describe the characteristics of an acceptable solution to a business problem, so that the project team has a clear understanding of how to design and implement it.
Requirements analysis defines the methods, tools and techniques used to structure the raw data collected during Requirements Elicitation, identify gaps in the information (inform the requirement elicitation team to fill the gaps) and define the capabilities of the solution, which must be documented.

Deliverables from this process will be used by the project team to develop estimates for the time, resources, and budget required to implement a solution or solutions that will fulfill the requirements. The documentation is used to ensure that a consensus between all the stakeholders exists as to the behavior of the solution as it may require the concurrence of important stakeholders. The primary focus of documentation activity is to refine the proposed model of requirements based upon stakeholder feedback and iteratively ensure that  the proposed requirements support the business and user needs, goals and objectives.

Requirements Communication

The Requirements Communication step consists of  activities and considerations for expressing the output of the requirements analysis and documentation to a broad and diverse audience. Some requirements communication is done in parallel with Requirements Gathering and Requirements Analysis and Documentation. But bulk of it is done after requirements are finalized.  It includes presenting, communicating, verifying, and gaining approval of the requirements from the stakeholders and implementers of the project.

An effective business analyst must be able to clearly present the requirements in a format and structure that is appropriate for its intended audience. Business Analysts must understand the options and select the appropriate communication formats for their project. BAs must consider when and where communications need to take place, what communication approach is appropriate for each situation, and how each communication should be presented. Requirements must be “packaged,” reviewed, and approved before the solution is validated to ensure successful implementation.

Solution Assessment and Validation

This knowledge area covers the business analysis tasks necessary to ensure that the solution meets the stakeholder objectives, is thoroughly tested, and is implemented smoothly.

Once a solution design has been agreed upon, the Business Analyst assists the technology team with detailed design work including splitting a large project into phases, reviewing technical design deliverables, and helping to build usability into the application software.

In the case of a purchased solution, they will assist with any package customization decisions that need to be made and with interface requirements. As the solution is built and available for testing, the Business Analyst role involves supporting the Quality Assurance activities. They may help business stakeholders with user acceptance testing, defect reporting and resolution.

The Business Analyst is accountable for ensuring that the solution developed meets the defined needs and should assess project success after implementation. Business analyst is the first person to say that the solution takes care of all the requirements that he has specified.

Business Analysis For Dummies

Kupe Kupersmith, Paul Mulvey, Kate McGoey
John Wiley & Sons, 01-Jul-2013 - 384 pages

March 10, 2017

Personality Traits and Characteristics for Facilitating Creativity

Traits proposed by Torrance

Fluency, flexibility, originality, and ability to sense deficiencies, elaborate, and redefine

Reference: Scientific Views of Creativity and Factors Affecting Its Growth
Author(s): E. Paul Torrance
Daedalus, Vol. 94, No. 3, Creativity and Learning (Summer, 1965), pp. 663-681

Ellis Paul Torrance (1915-2003) developed  the TTCT (Torrance Test of Creative Thinking) uses simple exercises that test divergent thinking and problem-solving skills.

A full TTCT measures five attributes:

Fluency—the number the ideas a person can think of in a given period of time
Flexibility—the range of categories for the ideas participants came up with
Elaboration—the amount of detail in responses
Originality—the rarity of the idea
Openness—resistance to premature closure

1. Innovators normally have a clear vision about what they want to accomplish.
2. Innovators can clearly define the specific objectives and benefits of the emerging project or product.
3. Innovators can present their views effectively to persuade their peers or colleagues.
4. Innovators are capable of getting support not only from their superiors but also from their team members or colleagues.
5. Innovators are bold enough to take calculated risks and to face the unforeseeable impediments, difficulties or setbacks.
6. Innovators are capable of motivating and inspiring people into action, so that every team member
contributes significantly to the project and their cooperation or participation is total.
7. Innovators can influence or mobilize support and required resources to achieve the desired result.
8. Innovators can cope up with interferences such as criticism, tardiness, lack of corporate enthusiasm, disputes over allocation of time and other such resources for projects.
9. Innovators have the willpower to maintain momentum in spite of the decline in early enthusiasm and hard work of their team members.
10. Innovators are capable of ensuring the principle that credits or rewards of success are appropriately shared by the team members.


A chapter having very good content on the topic of personality and creativity   Number of lists of traits are given in this article.

Principles of Management - Subject Update

Basic Chapter Summaries of Principles of Management Based on Koontz and O'Donnell's Book

March 2017

Leaders have to manage the current activity to change it to make it better

March 2016

Seven Quality management principles (QMPs) 

by ISO  - Read them compulsorily if you have not read so far.

One of the definitions of a “principle” is that it is a basic belief, theory or rule that has a major influence on the way in which something is done. “Quality management principles” are a set
of fundamental beliefs, norms, rules and values that are accepted as true and can be used as a basis for quality management.

The QMPs can be used as a foundation to guide an organization’s performance improvement. They were developed and updated by international experts of ISO/TC 176, which is responsible for
developing and maintaining ISO’s quality management standards.

The seven quality management principles

QMP 1 – Customer focus
QMP 2 – Leadership
QMP 3 – Engagement of people
QMP 4 – Process approach
QMP 5 – Improvement
QMP 6 – Evidence-based decision making
QMP 7 – Relationship management

These principles are not listed in priority order.  All are important and the relative importance
of each principle will vary from organization to organization and can be expected to change over time in the same organization.

Seven Principles of Supply Chain Management

Principle 1: Segment customers based on the ser­vice needs of distinct groups and adapt the supply chain to serve these segments profitably.

Principle 2: Customize the logistics network to the service requirements and profitability of customer segments.

Principle 3: Listen to market signals and align demand planning accordingly across the supply chain, ensuring consistent forecasts and optimal resource allocation

Principle 4: Differentiate product closer to the customer and speed conversion across the supply chain

Principle 5: Manage sources of supply strategically to reduce the total cost of owning materials and services

Principle 6: Develop a supply chain-wide technology strategy that supports multiple levels of decision making and gives a clear view of the flow of products, services, and information

Principle 7: Adopt channel-spanning performance measures to gauge collective success in reaching the end-user effectively and efficiently

Seven Principles of Change Management

Senders and Receivers
Authority for Change
Value Systems
Incremental vs. Radical Change
The Right Answer Is Not Enough
Change Is a Process

The APICS Principles of Operations Management consists of five classroom-based, instructor-led courses.

         The Principles of Inventory Management

         The Principles of Operations Planning

         The Principles of Manufacturing Management

         The Principles of Distribution and Logistics

         The Principles of Managing Operations

A HBR article on Negotiation

Free Open Access Book


Source: In the World of Scientific Discoveries / V Mire Nauchnykh Otkrytiy . 2014, Vol. 60 Issue 11.11, p4244-4261. 18p.
Author(s): Danakin, N. S.; Shutenko, A. I.; Ospishchev, P. I.

Developing a Theory and Philosophy of Management
Chapter 1 of Pearson Book

November 2015

Innovation Excellence requires Ambidextrous Management

September 2015
New and Updated articles in area

Systems Approach in Management - Very detailed treatment is now posted

Execution is an important function of management

Planning and Execution - Theory and Practice

Resourcing is an important activity for all managers to accomplish set goals

May 2015

Negotiation: What Makes the Right Business Deal

Get the Boss to Buy In.

By: Ashford, Susan J.; Detert, James. Harvard Business Review. Jan/Feb2015, Vol. 93 Issue 1/2, p72-79.

Middle managers  gather valuable intelligence from direct contact with customers, suppliers, and colleagues; they can often see when the market is ripe for a certain offering, for instance, or spot signs that a partnership won't work. But in a top-down culture, they may not voice their ideas and concerns -- and even when they do, they often struggle to persuade the people at the top.

The authors suggest that middle managers should tailor their pitch to the goals, values, and knowledge of decision makers; frame the issue to show how it supports a strategic goal; manage emotions (their own and their audience's); get the timing right by, say, attending to a boss's preoccupations or watching larger trends; involve others, both in and out of their networks; and  adhere to organizational norms, such as how leaders prefer to receive information.


By: IHRIG, MARTIN; MACMILLAN, IAN. Harvard Business Review. Jan/Feb2015, Vol. 93 Issue 1/2, p80-87. 8p. 2 Color Photographs, 2 Diagrams.

Large-scale, sustainable growth is  possible when people take insights from one knowledge domain and apply them in another -- when deep technical expertise in one business unit is applied in a different business unit, for example, or when a best-in-class marketing group pulls a product development unit into the 21st century by sharing market insights gleaned from customer data.

The authors describe how to map your organization's strategic knowledge.  When knowledge assets are placed in a grid along two dimensions -- unstructured (tacit) versus structured (explicit) and undiffused (restricted) versus diffused (shared) -- it becomes easier to manage them for future competitive advantage.

Playbook - AMA NET

Interesting Source for Management Articles

Managing Power Dynamics in International Negotiations
About The Author: Yadvinder S. Rana is Professor of Cultural Management at the Catholic University in Milan, Italy, lecturer on intercultural negotiation and influence in leading international business schools, and founder of Neglob, a management consultancy firm that assists companies in international negotiations and global teams performance improvement. For more information about Rana and his new book, The 4Ps Framework: Advanced Negotiation and Influence Strategies for Global Effectiveness, please visit

The New Rules of Motivation: Unleash Employee Reciprocity
About The Author: Rodd Wagner is the New York Times bestselling author of the new book Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People (McGraw-Hill, April 2015).

Only 10% are great managers.
Around 35% OK.

Principles of Management - Subject Update - 2014

Updated  12 March 2017, 26 Mar 2016, 16 Feb 2016, 11 Dec 2015

March 6, 2017

Direct Marketing and Its Management - Kotler's Chapter - Topic Summary

Direct Marketing - Definition by Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

"Direct marketing is an interactive marketing system that uses one or more advertising media to effect a measurable response and/or transaction at any location."

The response of direct marketing is measurable as the marketing messages are sent to expected marketing decision makers and the messages are so designed that responses can be clearly identified.

Direct marketing messages are now being used to build relationships also. Examples would be sending birthday cards and information booklets.

Direct marketing is growing at higher rate than that of retail sales. Even in business-to-business to sales direct marketing is delivering results.

Direct marketing accounts for almost 48% of total advertising spending, and companies spend more than $161 billion on direct marketing per year (2005 year).

Direct marketing produced $2.05 trillion in sales in 2012.

Personalizing communications and providing information about the products about which they have interest at the right time increases marketing communication effectiveness. Right information about the right product (which he intends to buy) to the right person at the right time is the focus of direct marketing. Databases are used to pick the potential right customers and the things they may be interested in.

Benefits Reported by Users

Consumers short of time and tired of traffic and parking headaches appreciate direct marketing.
Significant number of persons report benefits from direct marketing methods. Consumers report that home shopping is convenient and also allows them to compare catalogues and order. Even business buyers report that they can go through relevant literature and make better choices without tying up time in meeting salespeople.

The growth of next-day delivery via FedEx, Airborne, and UPS has made delivery fast and easy.

Benefits Reported by Sellers

Sellers are reporting benefits. Sellers can buy targets mailing lists like recently married people, people who had a child birth recently, people who bought a home recently etc. They can customize and personalize messages. Direct marketing can be so designed that the message reach the prospects at the right moment and hence read by more-interested persons. The cost effective approaches can be determined among the direct marketing approaches.  Direct marketing approach becomes less visible to competitors.

For every $167 spent on direct mail, U.S. marketers sell $2,095 in goods. (Figure of 2014 or 2015)

Direct Marketing Channels

Direct Mail
Catalog Marketing
Interactive TV
Web Sites
Mobile Devices
Newspaper Advertisements with offers
Radio Ads with offers
TV Ads with offers
Home shopping TV channels

Direct Mail

In direct marketing, an offer, announcement, reminder or other item is sent to an individual customer. Highly selective mailing lists are used for the purpose. Letters, flyers, foldouts, CDs, DVDs, and computer discs and pen drives are sent through direct mail and parcel services. Although the cost per thousand people is higher than mass media, the people reached are better selected participants,  But direct mail is already a saturated channel as the response rates are falling in recently in financial services industry as compared to earlier days.

In the design of direct-mail campaigns or programs, marketers have to decide on their objectives, target markets, and prospects, offer elements, means of testing the campaigns and measures of campaign success.


In the case of expected orders, a response rate of 2% is normally considered good. The response rate is determined by the product category, price and the nature of offer. Direct mail can also be used to produce prospect leads, strengthen customer relationships.

Direct Mail Offer Elements

The direct mail offer strategy has five elements - the product, the offer, the medium, the distribution method, and the creative strategy. All can be tested. The mail itself has five components: the outside envelope, sales letter, circular, reply form, and reply envelope.

Some important findings of researchers related to direct mail communications.

1. The envelope should contain an illustration, and it must have a catchy reason to open it such as the announcement of a contest or benefit. Sometimes a nonstandard shape or size of envelope also attracts the attention.
2. The sales letter has to be brief on a good quality paper. It must start with a personal salutation and a headline in bold type. It should be signed by someone whose title is important. Computer-typed or printed letters are getting better response compared to printed letters. A pithy P.S. also increases response rate.
3. A colorful brochure or circular with detailed explanation of the offer accompanying the letter increases the response rate and offsets the increased cost.
4. The mailers must have a toll-free number for giving clarifications and bookings and a supporting website from which coupons etc. can be printed.
5. A postage free-reply envelope dramatically increases response rate.

Once again it is important to stress that all can be test marketed.

Direct marketing has effect on awareness, intention to buy and word of mouth apart from the actually buy order.

Direct marketers can calculate life time value of customers and campaign break-even response rate can be determined.

Direct Mail Target Selection

Recency, frequency and monetary amount are the criteria based on which targets are selected for sending direct mail. Point systems are used to select potential buyers. The potential targets are also determined by demographic segmentation to decide the products which are offered to certain segments.

Catalog Marketing

In catalog marketing, catalog containing all items offered by sale by the firm is given to customers. The marketing method is used in both business to business sales as well as business to consumer sales.

Read Catalog Strategists Tool Book
NMOA - National Mail Order Association

The catalog marketing is an important segment of sales in USA. The internet and catalog retailing industry includes 20000 companies with annual revenue of $350 sales. The companies operate special call centers to answer questions related to items covered in the catalogues, send free gifts and sales promotion vouchers, operate ecommerce sites to make buying more convenient and even organize exhibitions to provide a chance to see and feel the products. More detailed catalogs are uploaded on the websites to make more information accessible to interested persons.

Dell is the leading catalog marketer in USA.

Print versus Digital Catalogs

Why the Print Catalog Is Back in Style
Denise Lee Yohn
Harvard Business Review, FEBRUARY 2015

Seven Tips for Direct Marketers (Graphics services example)


Marketing Management, 13th Edition, Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller
Marketing Management, 15th Edition, Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller, 2016

Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Updated  9 March 2017, 29.1.2015, 11.6.2014,19.3.2013, 2.12.2011

Kotler's Book Chapter

The Art and Science of Success - Edward de Bono - Information and Summary

Tactics - The Art and Science of Success - Edward de Bono

Table of Contents

Part I Success

1. Styles and Characteristics of Success

Styles: Creative Style; Management Style; Entrepreneurial Style

Characteristics of Typically Successful Styles:  Energy, Drive and Direction; Ego; 'Can-do'; Confidence; Stamina and Hardwork; Efficiency: Ruthlessness; Ability to Cope with Failure.

Success principles; - Positive attitude; - knowing what you want to do; - make the most of your own talent; - energy, persistence, determination & single mindedness seem important in all cases; - Action i.e take a step & then the next step; - a sense of integrity toward oneself & others; - an expectation of success & the ability to think big; - ability to set goals & targets, & also to have dreams; - creativity & the ability to see things differently & to think new thoughts; - Seizing of opportunities & creation of opportunities; - eagerness & enthusiasm & the willingness to make things happen; One should make the most of one's talent in the pursuit of success by honing it. Do not be trapped into one field by some talent for that field - You can find a use for your talent in growing fields.

2. What stimulates success?

Negative Stimulants: Anxieties

Positive Stimulants: Power and Money; Image Improvement; Status; Making Things Happen; Doing Something Worthwhile

3. How far is success within our control?

Early Environment; Born to Succeed; Key Factors: Expectation.

Can You Copy a Style and Become a Success?: Learning by Copying

What Can We Learn from Images?; Role-playing to Success; Role-living and Success; Spot the Phony; When is Artificial Phony?

Does Luck Leave Success Outside our Control?  Is There Such a Thing as Luck?: Good Luck or Good Judgment?; Looking for Opportunity in Time and Place.

Part II Prepare for Success

4. Focus I

Self-Knowledge: Strengths/Weaknesses; Self-awareness and Self-correction

5. Focus II

Choice of Field: How They Chose What to Do?; Does the Perfect Job Exist?; Be Ready to Change Targets.

Part III Make it A Success

6. Thinking & Doing

How to Generate Ideas?: Create New Ideas; The Creativity of Innocence; The Creativity of Escape

7. Strategy

Design a Strategy: General Strategy; Detailed Strategy; How Rigid Should a Strategy Be?

Why Strategy is More Than a Plan?: How Strategy can Create the Culture of an Organization

8. Decision-Making

How to Make a Decision?: Category Thinkers; Intuition - Magic of the Muse?

9.  Opportunity 

No Standing Still - Types of Opportunity: Opportunity Building,  Opportunity Seeking.

Assessing Opportunity: Is Technical Advancement Always an Opportunity?; New Technology as Opportunity, A High-risk Area?

Opportunism: The 'Me-too' Philosophy.

Niche Strategy: Play Your Own Game

10. Risk

Are Successful People Risk-takers?: Gambler's Risk; The Risk of Innovation.

Courage to Be at Risk - The Difference between Risk and Adventure

Risk Reduction: Work to Make a Decision Work; Learn to Wriggle.

11. Strategy for People as Resources

How to Choose the Best People?; How to Construct a Balanced Team.

Team Motivation: Use People Wisely; Create a Sense of Involvement; display a Sense of Involvement; You Don't Have to be Like; Communicate Goals, How to Communicate.

Getting Rid of People.

12. Tactical Play

Tactics, Communication and Negotiation: How Far Should You Go?; The Game's the Thinking; Image.

Illusion and Bluff in Negotiation: Thinking on Your Feet; The Merit of Surprise.

Gamesmanship: Psyching Your Opponent.

The Proper Place of Tactics


The Lessons; New Horizons.

The Art and Science of Success - Edward de Bono - Summary and Interesting Points

6. Thinking & Doing

How to Generate Ideas?: Create New Ideas; The Creativity of Innocence; The Creativity of Escape

Doers succeed only by thinking and doing. There may be some persons who only think and describe possible products and ways of producing those products. That does not mean that thinking and doing are totally independent activities and does don't think systematically.

Does do think systematically in problems with known ways of solving problems. They also think systematically in problems with no known way of solving it. The second category of problems require intense creative thinking. In the first type of problems also, a bit of creative thinking is employed. But the areas of creative thinking will not be on the solution method itself. In problems where creativity is main component, the solution method itself has to be evolved through creative thinking.

Edward de Bono, author of this book is also author of "Lateral Thinking." He brings into this book two new terms "Creativity of innocence" and "Creativity of Escape."  

Creativity of Innocence

Creativity of innocence is displayed and practiced by people who are entering new areas when they learn only basics of the area and allow themselves a creative entry into the new area, let us say, a business with new products and processes. They come out with new products and processes as they evolved them without being aware of the earlier solutions and solutions methods being used by the existing producers.

Creativity of Escape

Creativity of Escape is brought into picture when the person is fully aware of the present ways of solving a problem but intentionally breaks the existing structures and goes for a new structure. This is what is developed and explained in lateral thinking. The new fact, result or data from the business is not fitting with the existing structure of products or processes to give required returns of growth. So the businessman or the strategic thinker has to break the existing structure into more minute parts and look for ways to create a new structure that provides the needed low cost product, product with more benefits, products with more quality, products with more involvement of customers, etc. etc.

7. Strategy

Design a Strategy: General Strategy; Detailed Strategy; How Rigid Should a Strategy Be?
Why Strategy is More Than a Plan?: How Strategy can Create the Culture of an Organization.

A strategy provides you with a long-term view and hence the ability to take risks or do things which do not make sense in the short term.

Strategy is not only the manipulation of resources but also the development of those resources.

8. Decision-Making

How to Make a Decision?: Category Thinkers; Intuition - Magic of the Muse?

Category thinking relies upon past experience as its input.

10. Risk

Are Successful People Risk-takers?: Gambler's Risk; The Risk of Innovation.
Courage to Be at Risk - The Difference between Risk and Adventure.
Risk Reduction: Work to Make a Decision Work; Learn to Wriggle.

Anyone who takes an initiative or pursues an opportunity is taking some sort of risk.
Risk-taking accompanies innovation.

The capacity for courage is generally thought of as the ability to face up enormous disadvantage ( may be with even very low odds) such as possibility of death in a war.

Any successful person has chosen action as against inaction. In any initiative or opportunity pursuit there is an element of risk.

Updated 9 March 2017