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Keep the Joint Running: A Manifesto for 21st Century Information Technology Paperback – January 5, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: IS Survivor Publishing (January 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974935433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974935430
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Carignan on February 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am probably not Bob's typical newsletter subscriber; I have been a CFO, a Controller, a General Manager and now a business owner. Although I have always been ultimately responsible for IT, I wouldn't call IT my "field". I stumbled upon one of Bob's newsletters 3-4 years ago and found it extremely insightful and well written. What really struck me, though, was how his newsletters applied to organizations as a whole, even though written for a narrower IT audience.

Over the years, I have collected his articles and refer to (and share) many of them again and again. With this book, Bob succeeds at bringing together a large body of work into a no-nonsense, indispensable reference for any manager looking for a leadership edge.

There are thousands upon thousands of books written about leadership. Some are good enough to warrant passing to a co-worker or boss after finishing it. This is one of those few books that you buy for your friends, co-workers or boss(es), because you don't want to give up your copy of it.
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Format: Paperback
A grizzled veteran gave me some great advice regarding the IT fads several decades ago: "those analysts who have not applied these techniques to real data are extremely optimistic about the results."

Bob's book is written from the perspective of my 'grizzled veteran." Since IT became a profession (Bob may argue whether it is a profession) there have been a string of "sure fire" solutions to all of the problems in the profession. The book "outs" a number of these and develops the needed skepticism for confronting the others.

Outcomes are what matter. As long as your techniques are simple, legal and ethical, focus on the outcome. Reading Bob's KJR book and essays will help you keep that focus.

John Blair
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The man is sagacious. I kept modding my head in recognition of all he craziness he describes that I have encountered in my working life. Now if only the people above me would actually read and internalize this....
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Format: Paperback
If you know Bob Lewis' approach and style you aren't looking to buy one copy of this book. You will buy two or more. You ask why? This is the kind of book you will use at work, read at home, and share with others you work with and remind them almost daily that, "Hey remember in Chapter Three when Bob said..., you'll be putting thoughts into action time and time again.

Yes, you will want to give a copy to your boss, and your bosses boss. This is the kind of no nonsense, put your faith in Bob type advise that you can put to great use.

I've been reading Bob's great work for a lot longer than most. If your leadership career (yes there are such things) is just getting off the ground - this is a great book to put you to the front of the class. If your career like mine is in it's middle years of firing on all cylinders, you'll use this to validate what you know, and give you that sharpened edge that will keep those in their thirties thinking - who is this guy who thinks faster and better than we do - and where does he come up with all this stuff that the CIO just eats up?

I have to hoard the copy I still have, I gave my first copy of "A Manifesto for 21st Century Information Technology" to my boss, who guards it jealously. He knows how good Bob is. We even tried to use a slogan at work, "Are You Better Than Bob?" knowing that our shop is full of Can Do, Make Do, find the solution types, where everywhere around us, we are continually trying to show them that success is state of mind, driven by great ideas being put into motion through motivation and inspiration. Bob's book will give you the inspiration and guidance to think and act like no leader in your organization.

PS.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading the newsletter that Bob Lewis puts out each week... Keep The Joint Running. Therefore, I was very interested in reading his new book Keep the Joint Running: A Manifesto for 21st Century Information Technology. A dose of cold reality without all the fluff and politics involved. So many leaders and management in IT could learn much by reading this book... :)

Contents:
Section One - Conceptual underpinnings: There are no best practices, only practices that fit best; To optimize the whole you must sub-optimize the parts; Bad metrics are worse than no metrics
Section Two - Putting process in its place: Relationships precede process; Relationships outlive transactions; Don't confuse documentation with reality
Section Three - The nature of the IT enterprise: Before you can be strategic, you have to be competent; Big solutions that work start as small solutions that work; Customers are external, Internal customers aren't; Don't run IT as a business, run it in a businesslike way; There are no IT projects
Section Four - Being smart, and something important to be smart about: Digest with intestines, think with brain; Every employee is irreplacable
Afterward

Lewis starts off early in the book by proclaiming there's no such thing as "best practices". That should get noticed... The six variables of business (cycle time, throughput, overhead cost, unit cost, quality, and excellence) are different for all businesses, so there's no "one size fits all" approach to doing things "right". So learn from everyone and let smart people figure out solutions that work. So now that Lewis has taken a direct shot at one of the most universal "truths" of business, what else can he do? Plenty...
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