Plain language about Digital Leadership and  Governance of Information Technology for Executives and Directors  
Waltzing with the Elephant review from Keith Frampton

Waltzing with the Elephant

Review by Keith Frampton

Waltzing with the Elephant! This evocative phrase is the title of the first book that I have seen that explains what IT governance is, why it matters, who is responsible and how you can pragmatically implement appropriate Technology for Information Technology governance.  The book is refreshingly free from jargon and is directly applicable and valuable to any organisation that uses or is impacted by information technology whether they are multi-national companies with hundreds of thousands of staff, government departments, small businesses, or community groups staffed by a few committed volunteers.  The author successfully communicates his extensive experience in assisting companies in understanding and implementing IT governance and has provided a very usable and valuable resource for understanding and implementing effective IT governance.

The book is based on and expends on the recent ISO/IEC 38500 standard on Corporate Governance of Information Technology.  The book is organised into four main sections.  The first section puts IT governance into context and very clearly explains the importance of such governance and that it is the responsibility of the business.  The second explains ISO/IEC 38500, the background and key drivers for the standard, and the management and control model that underpins the standard.  The third section then proposes, justifies and illustrates the real life applicability of an integrated system for governance and management of IT. 




The fourth, and final section, takes each major principle of ISO/IEC 38500, explains the business reasons and importance of the principle, provides realistic guidance as to how to implement it, and also how to both communicate the importance of the principles and how to monitor compliance with any organisations adoption of the principle.


A feature of the book is the extensive use of real examples from organisations of many different sizes from across the world.  As well as examples, Mark presents many scenarios to shed light on important areas of IT governance and both the examples and similar scenarios are presented in a clear style with even familiar ones shown in a new and insightful manner.  As well as the examples and scenarios there are numerous diagrams and models illustrating and effectively communicating the key concepts.  The overall tone is clear, supportive, thoroughly pragmatic, grounded in reality.  The book is available in two forms, (1) watermarked PDF, and (2) hard copy.

I recommend the book to anyone who has to understand, manage, govern, and direct information technology.




* Keith Frampton is a Senior Research Associate at RMIT University and Principal Consultant with The Marlo Group.