Fresh Links Sundae – September 14, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sundae-image13526471Fresh 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!

Most IT organizations have a set of IT and ITSM metrics, and those metrics have a direct impact on the organization’s ability to deliver value-add services to the business. Stephen Mann discusses the pitfalls we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement when designing ITSM metrics. 14 Common ITSM Metrics Pitfalls & 13 ITSM Metrics Best Practices (ServiceNow)

Large infrastructure functions have traditionally been organized in “technology domains,” but that model seems to be hitting its limits as businesses become more global and require more agility. A “plan-build-run” organizational model can help to break down silos and facilitate performance-improvement and transformation objectives. Himanshu Agarwal, Nagendra Bommadevara, and Allen Weinberg discuss how leading IT infrastructure organizations are increasingly adopting plan-build-run models. Using a plan-build-run organizational model to drive IT infrastructure objectives (McKinsey & Company)

Many predictive analytics efforts fail to produce expected result because they focus more on the end predictions, rather than grasping the analytic “hows” and “whys.” Michael Schrage explains why humbly learning from your mistakes can quickly and cost-effectively turn predictive failures into analytic successes. Learn from Your Analytics Failures (Harvard Business Review)

With the current focus on big data and analytics, enterprise data strategy is becoming an increasingly critical part of a portfolio planning process. Stephen Lahanas outlines the top seven considerations when crafting an enterprise data strategy. How to Create an Enterprise Data Strategy (Technovation Talks)

While all projects focus on delivering the value for the businesses, many of those projects had a hard time defining what constitutes value for their projects. Glen Alleman discusses that there is another equally critical element with which we must factor into the overall ROI calculation. Focus on Value is Only ½ The Equation (Herding Cats)

An effective IT service costing process can be a solution to the pressing need for tighter technology budget and better business/IT alignment. Khalid Hakim discusses the steps for setting up a better service costing process. How to Create a More Accurate, Useful, and Equitable Service Costing Process (VMware CloudOps)

Organizations deal with a variety of hardware and devices both at the end-user and in the data center environments. Accurate asset tracking is critical for all environments within an enterprise. David Foxen discusses the key approaches and considerations to asset tagging, along with strengths and weaknesses of each methodology. Quick guide to Hardware Asset Tagging (ITAM Review)

Many organizations use proof-of-concept exercise to validate the use of certain technologies or systems. Many of those technologies or systems later failed to produce the expected results or benefits in production. Bob Lewis cautions us to be skeptical when a proof-of-concept is showcased to be an absolute proof of something working. Proofs of concept usually aren’t (IS Survivor Publishing)

Fresh Links Sundae – February 2, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_12962601 (240x225)Fresh 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!

IT infrastructure managers need to meet a number of challenges in 2014. Björn Münstermann, Brent Smolinski, Kara Sprague describes 11 practices that will help infrastructure managers navigate a challenging, and sometimes conflicting, set of demands. The enterprise IT infrastructure agenda for 2014 (McKinsey & Company)

IT organizations should periodically exam and evaluate the key metrics they measure. For 2014, Andrew Horne suggests seven measurement priorities recently highlighted in a CEB’s research. 7 New Metrics for 2014 (CEB’s IT Blog)

Many non-IT end users probably are not aware of the  software asset management (SAM) practice in the organization and what it means to them. David Foxen explains why SAM is important to an organization and how IT can collaborate with its end users and effectively communicate its SAM practice to them. Introducing Software Asset Management to end users (The ITAM Review)

Often people will ignore ineffective governance or unenforceable policies. Michael Scarborough suggests that IT organizations can improve their effectiveness by regularly evaluating whether the existing policies and procedures in place are still making sense.  Governance That Makes Sense (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Big Data, when practiced correctly, can yield a good amount of insights that might not have been possible with human analysis before. Michael Schrage believes those insights can also lead to dilemmas and unwarranted discrimination when improperly used. He further cautions that all Big Data champions and practitioners need to have a better understanding of how they intend to use the insights for making decisions. Big Data’s Dangerous New Era of Discrimination (Harvard Business Review)

With a strong dependence on IT for many businesses, IT organizations have many challenges on their hands to deliver a stable operation while continue to leverage technologies and innovate. Robert Stroud believes IT service delivery managers have many opportunities to add even greater value to the organization in 2014. Long Live Service Delivery! (CA Service Management)

While resolving incidents and putting fires are commendable things to do, Ryan Ogilvie recommends that understanding and addressing the root cause to an incident will be a much more value-added activity. Score a Service Management Touchdown through Incidents (Service Management Journey)

While use cases are an extremely useful requirements tool and one tool that every BA should have handy, Laura Brandenburg suggests that there are situations in which writing use cases would be a big mistake. 3 Signs You Shouldn’t Be Writing a Use Case (Bridging the Gap)

Fostering a successful culture entails hiring employees who buy into the corporate culture, and it also means getting the wrong employees off the organization. Joel Greenwald believes that the best companies use culture as both a sword and a shield, to improve performance and reduce risk. How to Get the Wrong People Off the Bus (strategy+business)

Today’s connected world means many leaders have access to a global mind that represents both opportunities and challenges. Marshall Goldsmith explains the process of e-coaching and how leaders can leverage the process to manage the opportunities and challenges. E-Coaching Roles (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – December 1, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh 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!

Most would agree that it takes six months or more for knowledge workers to become sufficiently productive to produce value. In order to enable the productivity of the new workers, many organizations need to utilize efficient knowledge transfer approaches. Greg Sanker believes that a standardized service delivery approach modeled by IT Service Management frameworks like ITIL and COBIT can help. The Coming Workforce: A Case for IT Service Management (The ITSM Review)

Although the term “Shadow IT” has only appeared in the press and media in recent years, the practice has been around for a much longer period of time. David Cappuccio explains how the latest iteration of Shadow IT has grown in significance and scope to where the C-suite should start to pay attention. Shine Some Light on Shadow IT (Gartner Blogs)

Lather, Rinse and Repeat (LRR) is a well-known process with a strong tie to the shampoo products since 1990’s. To Earl Begley, LRR is a reminder to design processes that can be easily executed and deliver desired results. With that in mind, He suggests several tips that ITSM can learn from the shampoo process. Lather, rinse and repeat your process (The ITSM Review)

Many organizations conduct self-audits on software to ensure a sound assets management practice or to get prepared for third-party audits. David Foxen explains the importance of the self-audit and how to perform one in your organization. The importance of Internal Software Audits (The ITAM Review)

Even today, Michael Schrage believes that most organizations struggle to answer even the simplest 80/20 analytics questions. He also suggests that the Big Data tools and techniques will help shape the 80/20 analytics when the organization can leverage both approaches at the same time. How is Big Data Transforming Your 80/20 Analytics? (Harvard Business Review)

For many organizations or industries, conducting effective data analysis is becoming an essential activity for many managers. Thomas Redman recommends an exercise that can help managers to become more data literate and more adept at data analysis. How to Start Thinking Like a Data Scientist (Harvard Business Review)

Many BAs use diagrams to express ideas or to create simple and effective visual models, but they don’t always know what tools are available for their work. Laura Brandenburg outlines 5 diagramming tools that a BA can consider adding to his/her requirement gathering and analysis toolkit. 5 Effective Diagramming Tools You Can Afford (Bridging the Gap)

We all deal with stress and anxiety in a number of ways. Mitch Joel recommends five tools that you can deploy to manage the times when things get a little too stressed or anxious. Keep Calm And Carry On – 5 Steps To Getting Rid Of Stress And Anxiety (Six Pixels of Separation)

According to Marshall Goldsmith, part of being an effective leader is setting up systems to measure everything that matters. At the same time, he advocates that measuring the “soft” values is just as essential as tracking the hard numbers. Account for Soft-Side Values (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

The performance review process in many companies carries risks and downside. The reviews often don’t produce the intended results, either. Bob Sutton believes there are three things that an excellent performance review always should have. Three Hallmarks of Good Performance Evaluations (Work Matters)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 18, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image9076544Fresh 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. More importantly, I picked these articles to help my fellow IT professionals be more successful. 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!

As the business continues to demand agility and delivery of changes and innovation, focusing on the existing processes alone probably won’t suffice.  Robert Stroud recommends that service managers must also focus on automation and proactivity in order to fulfill a critical part of their service delivery to the business. Delivering Innovation—And Doing it Quickly (CA Technologies)

When working with an effective team, the chances are that the team members are also happy working with each other. Wendii Lord tells us what seems to make her team tick at Manager Tools. 3 Secrets of a Happy Team (Manager Tools)

Computer applications are not built to last forever due to the changes in business processes or environment. Ryan Ogilvie gives us an example where application changes are rarely isolated, and the changes usually involve considerations that can impact the tools, processes, architecture, and organizational knowledge. Workarounds and Implementations – Like Ripping off a Bandage (Service Management Journey)

As IT tools become more sophisticated and complex, controversy arises on how much IT should get involved in employee training and development. Andrew Horne believes that this is a problem the c-suite as a whole has to solve and that the solution must include the IT organization’s involvement.  How CIOs Can Avoid the Other IT Skills Crunch (CEB’s IT Blog)

In IT, we provide measurements, but some of those measurements often do not connect with the business goals and metrics. Julie Montgomery suggests several IT related measurements that just might be useful to your organization’s senior leaders. 3 IT Metrics Your CEO May Actually Care About (Plexent Blog)

As more business activities become digitized, a number of organizations are looking to be more “data-driven” in their decision-making processes. Thomas Redman summarizes six harmful habits that can stymie managers and companies from taking full advantage of their data. Become More Data-Driven by Breaking These Bad Habits (Harvard Business Review)

If you are interested in managing your software asset more effectively, David Foxen has some suggestions on what the next generation of SAM professionals should be proficient at doing. Tips for the next generation of SAM professionals (The ITAM Review)

The ability to perform multiple activities at once has been regarded by many as an asset, but Patrick Gray explains why that belief can be counter-productive. He also suggests a few ways of managing multiple tasks and using the human mind to its most effective capacity. The lie of multitasking (TechRepublic)

Reflecting from reading Dennis Perkins’ book, Into the Storm, Jim Taggart explains what useful insights organizations can draw to adapt to a relentlessly changing world. Into the Storm: A Real-World Lesson on Leadership and Teamwork (ChangingWinds)

Seth Godin believes that what we’re looking for in a leader is formidability. He also explains what two critical elements make a leader formidable. Choosing to be formidable (Seth’s Blog)