Fresh Links Sundae – November 17, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

When tackling a very large initiative, most of us will attempt to divide up the effort into multiple smaller projects to reduce complexity. When large projects get divided into chunks, it’s possible to lose coherence. Bob Lewis suggests ways to keep the projects coherent and focused. When organizing large programs, don’t be incoherent (IS Survivor Publishing)

Deploying and managing IT in the developing countries can be decidedly different from managing technologies in the western world. Bright Simons describes his experience deploying enterprise IT in Africa and the lessons that IT organizations should consider. What’s Different About Enterprise IT in Africa (Harvard Business Review)

Many IT organizations work hard to improve their working relationships with the business. Peter Lijnse outlines four Business Relationship Management activities that IT can leverage to improve its effectiveness when working with business. The Business and IT Love Requires Lubrication (The ITSM Review)

When organizations execute major IT initiatives, conflict or duplication of effort can arise if the PMO and the IT service management team are not in sync. David Cole recommends ways for both organizational functions to work together. A Loving Co-Existence: When ITSM Overlaps With the PMO (Plexent Blog)

IT is one field where the gender gap issue is often discussed. Aprill Allen suggests ways where we can work together to address the imbalance. Redressing the balance: women in IT(Service Management) (Knowledge Bird)

Many experts have opinions and suggestions for supervising, managing, and leading female employees. Jeff Haden would suggest that the first thing a leader should do is to look past the gender differences and focus on the individual employees. Groundbreaking New Way to Lead Female Employees (

Leaders in large companies face a number of side-effects that can come up as a result of the complex structure. Julian Birkinshaw explains what forces are shaping these complex organizations and recommends approaches leaders can take to keep their organizations on track. Managing Complexity Is the Epic Battle Between Emergence and Entropy (Harvard Business Review)

When individuals become exceedingly rigid with their thinking or positions, it can create communication obstacles for the organization. Len Lagestee offers his suggestions on how to overcome the obstacle. Defending Your Position (Illustrated Agile)

When an organization leverages the Agile framework, the product owner plays a crucial role in the successful execution of the development effort. Peter Saddington provides a list answers to the commonly asked questions about the product owner role. FAQ on Most Common Product Owner Questions for Management (Agile ScoutAgile Scout)

Anna Farmery believes happiness and meaning do matter and are crucial to success in life and in business. She offers her tips on creating more of both. An Ocean Rower’s Top Tips for Happiness and Meaning (The Engaging Brand)

Fresh Links Sundae – July 14, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not quite. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Business can be dynamic, and it is not possible to define rules that will cover all situations. Robert Stroud tells us a story about striking a balance between following processes and keeping the business needs in mind. Ask For Permission First or Forgiveness Later? (CA Technologies)

Based on a recent survey, the current maturity levels of some critical ITSM processes continue to lag behind the others, even after two decades since ITIL was first published. Tim Sheedy believes that the trend is changing, and the emergence of business technology is going to benefit ITSM. Does ITSM Still Have Relevance In The Empowered BT Era? (Forrester Blogs)

Many organizations use new technologies to help drive changes or to move the business forward. Once the technologies become ingrained into the business, what do you do if your business needs to move in a new direction, but the technologies already invested will not support the new business model? Bob Lewis makes a suggestion on what to do in those situations. Technology. It drives everyone forward. While it holds everyone back. (IS Survivor Publishing)

Even though social media may appear to be something new or revolutionary, Rob England explains that being social is nothing new, perhaps how we conduct social activities differs. Similarly, the need for ITSM has always been around, but how we conduct ITSM before, now, and in the future might look different. Progress (The IT Skeptic)

A number of new businesses have sprung up from the opportunities created by technological innovation. Anna Farmery explains why curiosity can be a prerequisite for seeing and excelling with technological innovation. How Curious Brands Gain Through New Technology (The Engaging Brand)

Customer retention is a critically important for any business. Jeff Haden gives his perspective of how to assess a business’ effectiveness in retaining its customers. Best Way to Calculate Customer Retention Rate (

Leadership can have a productive or distracting influence on the team. Stephen Lahanas outlines his suggestions of the productive leadership qualities. The Top 10 Tips for Team Leadership (Technovation Talks)

Thought leadership may seem to be a straight-forward concept, but how does one practice and become a thought leader? Mitch Joel explains what makes a thought leader and how to become one. How To Become A Thought Leader (Six Pixels of Separation)

The behavior of obsessing over a particular goal sometimes can cause us to miss the larger picture or mission. Marshall Goldsmith explains what changes each of us can make in order to avoid being overly goal obsessive. Goal 1, Mission 0 (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Umair Haque does not believe that being an expert at winning the games is leadership. He outlines six qualities that real leaders should practice. How and Why to Be a Leader (Not a Wannabe) (Harvard Business Review)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 30, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not quite. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Faced with declining profits, too many businesses try cutting the costs instead of fixing the real, underlying problems. Bob Lewis believes the solution is for the business decision makers to take on more of an “engineer” mentality by investigating, analyzing, and fixing the problems rather than just the symptoms. Why refrigeration is key to successful management (IS Survivor Publishing)

Responding to a recent Forrester’s prediction of IT’s diminished role within an organization, Rob England argues why Forrester’s projection misses the mark. News of IT’s death is greatly exaggerated (The IT Skeptic)

Some have long predicted that IT will turn into an utility function, rendering itself less strategic or relevant to the business. Jon Hall explains why that might not be the case. Why the CIO won’t go the same way as the VP of Electricity (The ITSM Review)

With a number of organizations adopting cloud-based technologies services, Robert Stroud believes that effective cloud computing implementation requires effective and efficient service operations. He also suggests some starting points to consider. To the Cloud and Beyond! (CA Technologies)

The shadow IT organizations are usually seen as a source of risk and inefficiency, and a barrier to integration. Andrew Horne explains that there are two categories of shadow IT organizations – one category is helpful while the other is not. But Do You Have Enough Shadow IT? (CEB’s IT Blog)

Virtual teams have become a fact of business life. Michael Watkins outlines ten suggestions for making the virtual teams more productive and effective for everyone involved. Making Virtual Teams Work: Ten Basic Principles (Harvard Business Review)

Ted Rubin believes that blogging should be a key component of your social presence. He suggests four areas to focus on when using blogs for building relationships and enhancing engagement. Blogging Strategy as it Relates to Building Relationships (Ted Rubin)

In a world full of information and ideas, Anna Farmery suggests that the “listening” skill is just as vital as writing/speaking, if not more. Secret Skill of How to Make Money From Ideas (The Engaging Brand)

The conventional wisdom about leadership may suggest that success of an organization often has more to do with the leaders, rather than the followers. Marshall Goldsmith thinks it is often the opposite. It’s Not About the Coach (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Many organizations say the customer interactions are important to them, but their actions demonstrate something quite different. Seth Godin suggests some approaches of treating customers with respect. Your call is very important to us Because I opened the post with a refrigeration analogy, I will close with another. The thermostat and the frying pan (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – May 12, 2013 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not quite. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Note: After a successful planning and go-live of ISACA LA Spring Conference 2013, I am ready to get back into blogging and sharing excellent contents. I cannot say enough fabulous things about the people I have collaborated with during the spring conference. It was truly a labor of love – the love for our ISACA LA Chapter members and supporters. Until next year…

As part of his 18 IT Critical Success Factors analysis, Bob Lewis explains that it’s essential to have a competent service desk and a culture of architecture and why they matter. IT critical success factors #11 and #12: What’s needed for architecture, and why the service desk matters so much. (IS Survivor Publishing)

A recent Forrester report discusses a perceptions gap where IT professionals believe that they do a better job than their business colleagues think they do. Stephen Mann elaborated further on the report findings and suggests why IT needs to measure its success at the point of IT consumption, not at the point of IT creation. People In IT Love Stats But They Probably Won’t Love These (Forrester Blogs)

Based on a recent study of the corporate IT function, it states that business leaders want a 20% increase in employee productivity to meet their goals, but 61% of employees believe that IT does not fully enable them to be productive. Andrew Horne suggests two approaches for solving the problem. IT’s Biggest Blindspot (CEB’s IT Blog)

One of the 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “Build projects around motivated individuals.” Matt Block suggests ways to find motivated individuals and avoid demotivating them once they are on-board of your project. Build Projects around Motivated Individuals (Development Block)

Use case is a common business analysis technique that captures requirements for a software application. Laura Brandenburg gives an introduction on the “Use Case” concept and how it works. What is a Use Case? (Bridging the Gap)

Employees usually don’t leave jobs; they leave bosses who the employees feel are not helpful or supportive. Jeff Haden outlines qualities a terrific boss should practice. 8 Ways to Be a Truly Memorable Boss (

When organizations or individuals achieve success, it can be more difficult to innovate, with a loss of sense of urgency. Seth Godin argues that the loss of urgency can be generally a desire to avoid accountability. Urgency and accountability are two sides of the innovation coin (Seth’s Blog)

When it comes to career or personal growth, great starts are delightful to have but we don’t always have them when we begin the journey. Anna Farmery talks about ways you can still have a different, great outcome, even without a great start. How to Make a Mistake …and Still Win (The Engaging Brand)

Sometimes we cling to a false sense of self-identity and resist changes. Marshall Goldsmith gives an example of such resistance to changes and what we can do to lead to a better outcome. An Excessive Need To Be Me (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

For some time, many managers have come to believe and adopt empowering management practices that can be counter-productive. Bruce Tulgan discusses some of those practices, why they can be counter-productive, and what a manager can do to empower his or her directs. It’s Okay to Be the Boss: Be a Great One! (JobDig)

Fresh Links Sundae – April 7, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Referencing to a recent survey, Stephen Mann discusses some key data on software asset management (SAM) tools and outlines several tactics for addressing SAM initiative challenges. Software Asset Management in 2013: State Of SAM Survey Results (Forrester Blogs)

Because not every responsibility can be assigned to just one single manager, governance within an organization is needed to tackle complex decisions that span across departmental boundaries. Bob Lewis explains what in IT needs governance and the two critical success factors for governance. IT’s next two critical success factors are about governance (IS Survivor Publishing)

Following up on a previous article [] on service improvement, Rob England outlines six premises for performing improvement as part of business-as-usual (BAU) and how they can help organizations on just about any service improvement initiatives. BAU improvements (The ITSM Review)

With the fast changing employee needs and technologies, having one monolithic application to address many diverse needs may not always be feasible. Andrew Horne suggests three potential approaches for addressing the application usability challenges. Three Tips to Solve IT’s Usability Problem (CEB’s IT Blog)

In an four-part series, Torsten Volk talks about the basics (Part 1) of Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), its core components (Part 2), challenges and controversies (Part 3), as well as the current state of technologies in making SDDC a reality. The Software Defined Datacenter: Part 4 of 4 – Where We Are Today (EMA Blog Community)

Business processes are everywhere, and most organization’s processes are largely unmapped. Laura Brandenburg outlines five processes that are always worth documenting. 5 Processes Worth Mapping (Bridging the Gap)

Although new technology can sometimes minimize or eliminate the mundane or the repetitive tasks that don’t add value, Anna Farmery believes that we should not fear and instead should focus on fulfilling the human element of our business role even more. Dealing with Fear of Unemployment From New Technology (The Engaging Brand)

While everyone has their own definition of success, real success is rarely possible without building great relationships. Jeff Haden lists nine actionable approaches for building mutually beneficial relationships with others. 9 Habits of People Who Build Extraordinary Relationships (

Although many dislike meetings, they are still an important aspect of an organization’s operations and decision-making process. Seth Godin provides suggestions on minimizing some unproductive meeting behaviors. A field guide to the Meeting Troll (Seth’s Blog)

Reflecting from the working sessions with a number of accomplished leaders and professionals, Marshall Goldsmith explains why now is a great time to plan the rest of your life and how you can bring more contribution, more meaning and more happiness into it. Creating a Great Rest of Your Life (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 31, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

The most critical of IT success factors is relationship management. Bob Lewis describes the approaches IT leaders need to take in order to get the business/IT relationship right. In IT, relationships come first (IS Survivor Publishing)

Surveys can be an excellent source of valuable feedback for IT. Jeanette Smith suggests several ways of making the surveys better-designed for getting the results. How to Craft the Right Questions for Your Next ITSM Survey (Plexent Blog)

Responding to talk about users spontaneously creating their own communities for mutual technical support, Rob England believes it will take a lot more than talk and projection for the self-support notion to take hold. Service desks and spontaneous user combustion (The IT Skeptic)

As technology makes it easier to form competent teams, Scott Adams believes the need for management won’t go away but will continue to decline. The Management-free Organization (Scott Adams Blog)

Many organizations achieve operational excellence, but they spend less effort understanding customer needs. Brad Power suggests that marrying these two competencies is quickly becoming a competitive necessity. Operational Excellence, Meet Customer Intimacy (Harvard Business Review)

For many of us, the way we were raised was to look after others first and to put ourselves last. Steve Knight advocates that it is also essential that we also take care of ourselves, so we can better assist others. Why you need First Aid to be a great communicator and leader (INSEAD Blog)

Believing that the best business analysts are appreciated by stakeholders and have a wide variety of career options, Laura Brandenburg outlines her observations of what separating a mediocre business analyst from a good one. The 7 Secrets of Good Business Analysts (Bridging the Gap)

Although change is something that many of us find uncomfortable, Anna Farmery suggests three things business leaders can do to lead changes and evolve the organization. Why Change is a Culture Not a Project (The Engaging Brand)

We use our own ideas of who we are to rationalize all sorts of our own behavior. Marshall Goldsmith advocates that letting go of those limiting definitions will enable us to do better work. An Excessive Need To Be Me (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

As the industrial age gradually being replaced by the connection economy, Seth Godin describes the six assets that can lead to successful work in the connection economy. Toward zero unemployment (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 3, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Collaboration between organizations requires an understanding of each organization’s operating style and values. Bob Lewis outlines an approach that can help assessing an organization’s style and achieving a better understanding of it. A matter of organizational style A follow-up post explains what happens when the operating modes don’t line up between organizations. (IS Survivor Publishing)

Reflecting from a recent experience on a cruise, Robert Stroud describes how the service management and program management concepts should also be used outside of IT. Service Management is Valuable Outside of IT as Well! (CA Technologies)

Using information collected from a recent webinar on leveraging ITSM to increase business satisfaction and the perception of IT, Stephen Mann shares the poll results and his thoughts. Is Customer Experience Important To Internal IT Organizations? With Free Statistics! (Forrester Blogs)

Complexity often gets in the way of providing workable solutions to the business. Alex Honor explains how the complexity was built and what we can do to avoid or limit it. The key to simplicity isn’t “Know How” it’s “Know Why” (dev2ops)

Traditionally, Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is often thought of as the last set of processes we put in place when formalizing ITSM. Rob England advocates perhaps we need to start with CSI first. Everything is improvement (The ITSM Review)

Looking back at the 2013 Oscars, Martin Grobisen recounts some of the winner speeches and shows how the excellent work from the Service Desk can also enhance an organization’s IT performance. ITIL goes to the Oscars (ITSM Lens)

A well done ITSM effort can sometimes bring unexpected benefits to an organization. Jennifer Simpson describes a recent audit experience where practicing ITSM actually helped her IT organization during the audit process. IT Service Management and Audits (ITSM Portal)

Marketing is about changing people’s actions, and successful marketing effort is often a targeted one. Seth Godin advocates that you need to know who your audience is and how the change will affect them before a marketing effort can be truly successful. You can’t change everything or everyone, but you can change the people who matter (Seth’s Blog)

When it comes to personal career growth, incremental improvement is good but sometimes a major change in the mindset is needed. Anna Farmery outlines her suggestions on what questions to ask when striving for a better career. How to Have a 10 Times Better Career (The Engaging Brand)

We often hear advice from successful people that follow our passion can lead to personal success. Scott Adams explains that success is much more than simply following one’s passion. Follow your Passion? (Scott Adams Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – January 27, 2013 Edition Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Big data was a hot technology topic in 2012. Bob Lewis discusses the trend and its suitability to organization in terms of the organizational players involved, the degree of affordability, and the disruption to the enterprise. Don’t expect big-time results from big data (InfoWorld)

Although IT Asset Management can be an under-appreciated function with many organizations, Jon Hall suggests four tactics that IT Asset Manager can use to make their value to the organization more visible and impactful. ITAM 2015: The evolving role of the IT Asset Manager (Evolving ITSM)

In a two-part post, Andrew Horne looks at seven common pitfalls that cause scorecards to fail and outlines some metrics currently used by the most progressive organizations. The Seven Pitfalls of IT Scorecards and Five Metrics for Your 2013 IT Scorecard (CEB IT Blog)

A popular ITSM metric is the measurement of incidents and how quickly we were able to help our customers recover from them. Dan Kane advocates that simply measuring incident resolution rate is not sufficient – focusing on the overall customer experience is. Rethinking the Role of Incidents in Service Management (Hazy ITSM)

With the general technology competency level rising amongst the end users, the notion of self-supported user population may result in the eventual phasing-out of the service desk. Patrick Gray explains why general users’ familiarity with technology doesn’t necessarily translate into troubleshooting capability. Don’t be premature in closing your help desk (TechRepublic)

In an era where companies accumulate a great deal of information about us, Anna Farmery talks about big data as a business opportunity for companies that embrace the concept of trust, transparency, and responsibility. Big Data – Being Open Can Bring Success (The Engaging Brand)

An effective speaker is often an audience-centric speaker. In a three-part post, Andrew Dlugan describes what audience analysis is and the types of questions a speaker should be asking about his audience. Part 1: How to Conduct Audience Analysis Part 2: Audience Analysis: A Guide for Speakers Part 3: How to Improve Your Speeches Through Audience Analysis Part 4: Worksheet Download (Six Minutes)

In comparing “I don’t” vs. “I can’t,” Heidi Halvorson talks about why one mindset is much more empowering than the other. The Amazing Power of I Don’t (rather than I Can’t) (Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson)

In every discipline, there are stars recognized for their extraordinary results or contribution. Adriana Beal discusses three traits that star business analysts have in common. 3 Characteristics of Star BAs (Bridging the Gap)

Although the terms “purpose” and “goal” may appear to be similar in definition, Marshall Goldsmith explains what makes those two terms different. Mission Control: Putting Our Purpose Above Our Goals (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)