Looking for a book to help get your IT shop better aligned with the business? Or maybe you want to brush up on your management skills? Here's a list of books that can help.
Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You
By Gerd Gigerenzer
Simon & Schuster Inc., June 2002
320 pages, $25
It is no longer news that many people don't understand numbers. Weathermen really do say "there is a 50 percent of rain on Saturday and a 50 percent chance of rain on Sunday, so it is guaranteed to rain this weekend." So the real contribution that Gigerenzer, a German scientist, makes here is how to deal with the problem, whether you are interacting with the people who report to you or with top management. His message: Forget percentages and "regressions to the mean," and put the numbers in simple language that even a CEO can understand.
Linked: The New Science of Networks
By Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
Perseus Publishing, May 2002
256 pages, $26
What do a cocktail party, a Little League baseball team, a terrorist cell and an international conglomerate have in common? They are all networks, argues Barabasi, a professor of physics at Notre Dame. Barabasi contends they all act and interact in consistent ways. Understanding how networks work, he insists, helps explain everything from the best way to organize an IT department to rooting out cures for disease. Barabasi does not try to predict exactly how all this will play out. His goal is "to get you to think networks," and in that, he succeeds.