Aligning Ferret: Related Resources

If your appetite for strategy definition and implementation, performance management systems, and related measurement and control, has been whetted by Aligning Ferret, or if you are already interested in exploring these further, here’s a good set of starting resources.

Books and Papers

  • The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into ActionKaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press
    This seminal book explains the concept of the Balanced Scorecard, first described by Kaplan and Norton in a paper published in HBR in 1992. A Balanced Scorecard is a control approach wherein managers use data on key aspects to check the implementation of a top-level strategy, and to take action in time. This book describes the concepts, and provides specific approaches to define and use scorecards. It is a must-read for people implementing strategy.
  • The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment, Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press
    Here, Kaplan and Norton explain how companies like Mobil, CIGNA, and Chemical Retail Bank have effectively used a strategy-centric approach for nearly a decade. The authors use these case studies to present a step-by-step implementation outline for other organizations.
  • Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcome, Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press
    Strategy maps are visually-oriented tools that executives can use to understand and articulate inter-linkages between various elements of an organization’s strategy. Managers can use the blueprint provided in this book to align processes, people, and information technology for superior performance. Another must-read for anyone serious about strategy.
  • Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies, Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press
    Here, the authors show how highly successful enterprises apply the Balanced Scorecard concept to corporate-level strategy and achieve powerful synergies. The book helps readers understand the corporate headquarters’ role in setting, coordinating, and overseeing organizational strategy.
  • The HR Scorecard: Linking People, Strategy, and Performance, Becker, Brian E., Mark A. Huselid, and Dave Ulrich, Harvard Business School Press
    The authors identify and explain linkages and interdependence between people, strategy, and performance. They build on the proven Balanced Scorecard concepts to link HR results with organizational goals, such as profitability and shareholder value.
  • Managing Performance to Maximize Results (Results-Driven Manager), Harvard Business School Press
    This guide shows managers how to develop high-performing employees by making both formal and informal performance assessments and feedback part of everyday interactions.
  • Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance, Lyle, M. Spencer, and Signe M. Spencer, Wiley
    A pioneering work in the field of competence (somewhat dated now), this book provides an analysis of 650 jobs, based on 20 years of research using the McClelland/McBer job competence assessment (JCA) methodology. The book includes generic job models for entrepreneurs, technical professionals, salespeople, service workers, and corporate managers, along with detailed descriptions of how to conduct job competence assessments.
  • The Core Competence of the Corporation, Prahalad, C. K., and Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review; Digital – Adobe Reader (PDF)
    Core competence is the collective learning in an organization, especially because it helps to coordinate diverse production skills, and integrate streams of technologies. This McKinsey Award-winner paper describes how identifying, nurturing, and growing core competencies provides tremendous competitive advantages to an organization.
  • Competing for the Future, Hamel, Gary, and C. K. Prahalad, Harvard Business School Press
    In this paper, Hamel and Prahalad caution that complacent managers will see their companies fall behind. They argue that business leaders need to be more than maintenance engineers who are confined to budget cutting, streamlining, re-engineering, and other old tactics.
  • The People Capability Maturity Model®: Guidelines for Improving the Workforce, Curtis, Bill, William E. Hefley, and Sally A. Miller, Addison-Wesley Professional
    Every organization needs to continually improve its ability to attract, develop, motivate, organize, and retain the workforce needed to accomplish its strategic business objectives. This book describes the People Capability Maturity Model, a framework for successfully addressing strategic workforce issues.
  • CMMI®: Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement, Chrissis, Mary Beth, Mike Konrad, and Sandy Shrum, Addison-Wesley Professional
    This book is a definitive reference for the CMMI® (Capability Maturity Model® Integration). It describes best practices for developing and maintaining products and services across their lifecycle. It integrates bodies of knowledge to provide a comprehensive framework for organizations to assess existing development and maintenance processes, implement improvements, and measure progress.
  • Key Practices of the Capability Maturity ModelSM, Version 1.1; Paulk, Mark C., et al, Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute; Digital – Adobe Reader (PDF)
    This document provides the original, comprehensive process framework for developing reliable and usable software that is delivered on time and within budget.
    Download from SEI.
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Senge, Peter M., Doubleday Business
    In this book, Senge explains that a firm’s only sustainable, long-term competitive advantage depends on its ability to learn faster than other firms. The author describes how companies can adopt the strategies of learning organizations to remove learning disabilities that threaten productivity and success.
  • Understanding Organizations, Handy, Charles B., Penguin Global
    This book provides a comprehensive view of how organizations function.


  • Palladium – The Palladium website includes the pages of the erstwhile BSC Collaborative (the organization founded by Kaplan and Norton). Most pioneering work on alignment and Balanced Scorecard emanated from the BSC Collaborative. The site has many recent papers and reports on strategy, alignment, and Balanced Scorecard. Palladium also publishes the best known journal on Balanced Scorecard.
  • The RBL Group – This site, run by Dave Ulrich, one of the most influential thinkers in HR, provides a set of excellent articles and papers on the role of HR and how it is expected to deliver value in any organization.
  • The Software Engineering Institute – The SEI is a federally funded research and development center conducting software engineering research in areas including process improvement and performance measurement. The site has several papers, models, and technical reports. SEI also offers training courses and other products and related services.
  • Baldridge National Quality Program – This site contains the details of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) program and is the main resource site for it.

® CMM and CMMI are registered trademarks of Carnegie Mellon University.