Fresh Links Sundae – May 4, 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!

To save costs and prepare for adoption of next-generation infrastructure technology, leading organizations are adopting commercial-style demand and service management. Himanshu Agarwal, Leandro Santos, and Irina Starikova describe the attributes of effective demand and service management for an IT organization. Managing the demand for IT infrastructure In a related article, Chandra Gnanasambandam, Michael Huskins, and Kara Sprague talk about overcoming several challenges of implementing the next generation of IT infrastructure. Next-generation IT infrastructure (McKinsey & Company)

In IT, we spend a great deal of time discussing the value of adopting ITSM. Earl Begley outlines the things we have to do in ITSM to help drive adoption, but are not covered in the typical ITIL courses. Things I didn’t learn in ITIL school (ITSM Review)

Configuration management supports the management of cloud services by providing information crucial to the other service management processes. Kai Holthaus discusses three common cloud-based models and the configuration management aspects to keep in mind for each model. Configuration Management in the Cloud (VMware Blogs)

Many IT organizations respond to calls, emails and chat session requests quickly, but those requests were then sent elsewhere for action. As a result, things slowed down significantly and IT customers still are not happy with the interaction with IT. Robert Stroud explains why today’s support centers cannot just “log and flog.” Close the Loop on “Log and Flog” Service Management (CA Service Management)

With the technology becomes more accessible, more business executives are willing to lead technology initiatives. Business-led IT initiatives are here to stay, but many business teams still struggle. Raf Gelders discusses ways IT can help the business teams extract value from their technology investments. Why Not All Business-Led IT Takes Off (CIO Leadership Council)

Although data analysis is at top priority of many businesses these days, the ROI and success rate of such projects are still very low. Pearl Zhu explains what the challenges are and how to overcome them. The Brutal Truth about Data Analysis (Future of CIO)

It can be difficult to get it right when estimating software development projects in an agile paradigm. Glen Alleman tackles three common estimating situations and recommends approaches for those situations. How To Fix Martin Fowler’s Estimating Problem in 3 Easy Steps (Herding Cats)

When asked about what changes that can be made to manage more effectively, many C-level executives believe they should delegate more. Marshall Goldsmith argues that, when it comes to delegation, quality still trumps quantity. Don’t Delegate More – Delegate More Effectively (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – January 26, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_34969337 (150x240)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!

Some people don’t like culture change because it is slow and can be ugly. Bob Lewis suggests that you do not choose both aspects when implementing culture change, but you will need to pick one. Quick culture change (IS Survivor Publishing)

To some, big data holds the promise of producing output of unique insight on the information that would be almost unimaginable for a human being to uncover and develop. Mitch Joel believes the trick is to leverage all of this data, analytics and performance in a way that machines can’t. What’s Bigger Than Big Data? (Six Pixels of Separation)

Cloud computing has fundamentally changed how we provide and consume computing services. Hank Marquis talks about how cloud technologies are changing the roles within IT organizations. How Cloud is Redefining IT Job Roles (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Configuration management (CM) process exists in many IT organization, but many organizations struggle with it. Earl Begley explains why the CM can be difficult to practice well and offers tips to improve the odds for success. Why is configuration management so tough? [] (ITSM Review)

Like many aspects of IT, some organizations have chosen to outsource some or all of their software asset management (SAM) practice to a third-party partner. Kylie Fowler gives three suggestions on how to get the most out of your SAM service experience. Implementing a successful 3rd party SAM Service (ITAM Review)

Many enterprise project/program management offices (PMO) get stuck at a lower level of management maturity and struggle to deliver IT projects that meet customers’ expectation. Pearl Zhu discusses the ways a PMO can use to solidify itself and improve project success rate. IT Transformation: How to Build a Solid PMO Roadmap (Future of CIO)

When asked by his students in his ITIL classes, Michael Scarborough believes that he sees more organizations having difficulty with ITIL is the overall governance. He explains why more organizations struggle with that aspect of ITIL more than others. What’s the Most Challenging Aspect of Adopting ITIL Best Practices? (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Occasionally we are requested to join a team having difficulties and turn things around. Len Lagestee suggests we first assess the situation and identify the gaps that may exist within the team. So, You’ve Just Joined a Struggling Team (Illustrated Agile)

Leaders are expected to create change, but inconsistency between their talk and their walk can create creditability gap. Susan Cramm discusses the crucial leadership lessons we can all learn from the Pope. Leadership Gone Viral (strategy+business)

We can increase our effectiveness by changing elements of our behavior. Marshall Goldsmith outlines six steps you can follow to achieve a positive, measurable, long-term change in your behavior. From Good to Great (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 – October 6, 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. 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!

When IT groups and their business counterparts do not collaborate, Thomas Redman and Bill Sweeney believe that the failure to derive the full advantage of information technologies does enormous disservice to organizations. While there is no “silver bullet” solution, they have outlined three approaches for IT and business leaders to consider. Bridging the Gap Between IT and Your Business (Harvard Business Review)

With the technologies available to consumers these days, many end users have become knowledgeable on the technologies they are using in their work environment. However, a number of IT organizations still have outdated processes and lack of tools to support their increasingly knowledgeable end users. Eric Feldman gives examples of how IT can better engage and improve their interaction with the end users. Are Your Consumers Treated as Consumers? (CA Service Management)

As part of an ITSM initiative team, Earl Begley was tasked by his CIO to ensure quality execution. He shares with us the lessons learned and the takeaways from his experience as the project’s Total Quality Manager. Is Darth Vadar in your ITSM project? (The ITSM Review)

Dan Kane points out that the “traditional” approach to IT metric reporting can be ineffective, due to the use of the siloed numbers that do not help the readers make the necessary connections between the numbers and the big picture. As a result, the metrics often fail at driving action or decisions. He recommends an approach that can help transform the focus of ITSM metrics into information that tells a compelling story. Do your metrics tell a story?  What makes for a compelling metrics story? (Hazy ITSM)

Reflecting from her recent trip to Nepal as a volunteer for a humanitarian effort, Susan Cramm describes how our 21st-century leadership skills can have a powerful and positive impact on those living in extreme circumstances throughout the world. Using Your 21st Century Skills in a 19th Century World (Strategy+Business)

On a recent mountain climbing trip, Bob Lewis experienced the negative consequence when you push your body too far. He cautions that management today can sometimes create a harsh environment where the employees are pushed too hard and too far. Pushing through the pain hurts (IS Survivor Publishing)

Many organizations go a considerable length to build fault-tolerance capability into their technology environment. Occasionally, due to poor design decisions, the fault-tolerance capability does not fully come through when the need arises. Jonathan Hassell explains why regular testing, robust communication, and occasional mock failover are necessary to ensure your disaster recovery practice will work when you need it. 4 Ways CIOs Can to Respond to a Service Outage (CIO)

Organizations seem to have different levels of success when deploying the same technology solutions to its business environment. Patrick Gray believes that, once you develop a strength at gathering and managing use cases, your IT projects are more likely to meet their objectives, satisfy the key stakeholders, and make your company more effective. Approach IT from the perspective of use cases and not features (TechRepublic)

Seth Godin believes that art is the work of a human – an individual seeking to make a statement, to cause a reaction and to connect. He also advocates “art” creation is not just for the artists in the traditional sense – all of us are capable of producing our best craft and “art.” Decoding “art” (Seth’s Blog)

Many people seem to know that encouraging upward challenge is a key to maintaining organizational integrity; however, it can be hard to do in practice. Marshall Goldsmith recommends that business leaders should focus on encouraging their followers on learning how to recognize potential integrity issues and effectively communicating these in a way that can prevent problems. Challenge Up: A Key to Organizational Integrity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

With data being recognized as a key asset for a number of business processes, trusting the data too much or too little can often lead to unintentional, negative consequences. Cathy O’Neil has published a free e-book that urges its readers to cultivate their inner skeptic when it comes to leveraging data for decision making. New Essay, On Being a Data Skeptic, now out (mathbabe)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 8, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-fruit-sundae-image15278271Fresh 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!

With IT being essential to the execution of nearly every job, Brad Power believes that business executives will need to continue to build their comfort level with managing IT more directly. Yes, Managing IT Is Your Job (Harvard Business Review)

Drawing from his own dieting experience, Earl Begley explains how building and following a plan are a must for an ITSM initiative to work. The ITSM Diet (The ITSM Review)

With the constant changes in business, many organizations are using IT in a much more sophisticated manner than they are used to be. Stewart Buchanan explains how organizations need better IT asset management controls to prevent unexpected costs from outweighing the benefits of new ways of using IT. Improve Your IT Asset Management Controls or Face Unbudgeted Costs (The ITAM Review)

Motivated by the interest in social-enablement and self-service, many organizations are looking at how best to manage and make knowledge accessible to their people. Barclay Rae gives some planning tips for your knowledge management effort . Knowledge Management Is More Than Just Buying A Tool (The ITSM Review)

Many IT organizations use popular metrics such as first contact resolution (FCR) or mean time to repair/resolve (MTTR) as a primary input into measuring service excellence. Dan Kane argues that well intended metrics don’t necessarily tell the whole story, and we can do better. First Contact Resolution is the last refuge of a scoundrel (Hazy ITSM)

In an effort to maximize his/her own productivity, some developers produce more extra code than the organization can test or make use of them. Dennis Stevens suggests six things that developers can work on that are better economic investments than writing the extra, untested code. Stop Writing Code You Can’t Yet Test (LeadingAgile)

With machines getting more proficient at doing many of the things people traditionally do on the job, this means people need to become smarter at things machines are not quite yet ready to take over. Michael Schrage suggests six different skills that can be useful in today’s workplace and should be taught in school. Six Classes Your Employer Wishes You Could Take (Harvard Business Review)

We live in a world where we want things to happen fast, faster and fastest. Mitch Joel suggests  we focus on spending the time you need to get better at your craft. 10,000 Hours And 20% Of Your Work Time (Six Pixels of Separation)

When it comes to finding and leading like-minded people to make real and powerful change that matters, Seth Godin explains why it is vital to build the tribe around the experience that the tribe members already want to have. Q&A: Tribes and the reality of worldview (Seth’s Blog)

Our flaws at work usually don’t vanish when we go home. Marshall Goldsmith advises us on whom we can approach to learn more about ourselves. How to Learn the Truth About Yourself (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)