Fresh Links Sundae – March 9, 2014 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. 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!

Many think of operational checklists as the script or work instructions, but they actually are not. Rob England explains how checklist should be leveraged to increase the effectiveness of any IT organization. The one top tip for IT operations and support: Checklists (The IT Skeptic)

While IT continues to be recognized as the expert for applying technologies to support business processes, a trend is becoming clear that many non-IT groups or individuals are also becoming proficient at leveraging technologies to improve their own productivity. Jon Hall believes that the trend should be leveraged to better connect with its user end and to improve its own effectiveness. The myth of trust: why consumer feedback is making us rethink IT (ServiceDesk360)

IT is well positioned to make positive contributions to many aspects of the business operations. Michael Hugos suggests how a CIO can collaborate effective with the CFO in the organization through risk management. The CIO Relationship With the CFO Is Based on Managing Risk (Enterprise Efficiency) Michael Hugos

Many organizations are evaluating how the DevOps practice can be integrated its own IT departments. Gene Kim describes the concepts behind the DevOps thinking and how the DevOps and ITSM practices are decidedly complementary to each other. Trust me: The DevOps Movement fits perfectly with ITSM (The ITSM Review)

Most business leaders still perceive IT as an operational, tactical role. Pearl Zhu suggests approaches that IT leaders can leverage to turn around the reputation and to transform into a strategic partner. CIO as Respected Business Leader (Future of CIO)

Many organizations spend training dollars to build individual knowledge and performance. Julie Montgomery and Gordon Brown recommend ways to spending training resources not just add individual knowledge but also to improve organizational capability. Quit Spending Money on ITIL Training (Plexent Blog)

After attending the recent annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Michael Schrage shares his thinking and observations on why leaders need to pay attention to how we identify and blend individual talents to perform measurably greater than simply the sum of their individual results. Team Chemistry Is the New Holy Grail of Performance Analytics (Harvard Business Review)

Many organizations use internal audits to assess potential deficiencies and improvement areas. Laszlo Gonc outlines six ways for internal audits to improve organizational effectiveness and to deliver value. 6 Success Factors for Better Internal Audits (Intreis)

Many of us have dreams of becoming someone who is much more of whom we are today. While all opportunities involves risks, Marshall Goldsmith recommends that making a decision to do something will be a much better option than simply wasting time debating contemplating about a future that will never come. Who Are You Arguing With? (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Based on the findings of their own and other reputable researchers, Bob Sutton talks about what is considered the appropriate team size for most tasks and explains the dynamics of a team. Why Big Teams Suck: Seven (Plus or Minus Two) Is the Magical Number Once Again (Work Matters)

Fresh Links Sundae – July 7, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image5686314Fresh 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.

On his blog post a week ago, Bob Lewis advocates that many businesses can benefit from problem solving with an engineering mindset and approach. However, he also explains why the answer is not as simple as hiring more engineers. Ready to hire a refrigeration engineer as your next manager? Not so fast. (IS Survivor Publishing)

Performance and talent management practices are not what they used to be. Susan Cramm breaks down the employee’s social needs into five aspects and suggests what today’s progressive companies should do for their employees. Are You Leading Like It’s 1980? (Strategy+Business)

Drawing from a recent personal experience, Robert Stroud describes a failed service situation. He also explains why service management is more valuable than ever in this world where service automation is everywhere. “Your Call is Important to Us, but…..” (CA Technologies)

Mitch Joel believes that many marketers, who talk about the high potential of big data, actually have very little clues on what big data is or what it can do. He goes on to explain what big data can look like and should do. The Problem With Big Data (It’s Not Me, It’s You) (Six Pixels of Separation)

A number of ITSM initiatives implements processes and tools first and work on reporting only much later after-the-fact. Jon Hall explains why pushing reporting back is not a productive move and suggests ways to give reporting the deserved attention. Why does reporting get forgotten in ITSM projects? (Evolving ITSM)

In many IT organizations, it’s common to refer people outside of IT as “The Business.” Patrick Gray suggests that such us-vs.-them mindset is not productive for the organization. He also offers three approaches for working with colleagues from outside IT more effectively. Three tools for talking to ‘The Business’ (TechRepublic)

All of us have observed various leadership acts and behaviors from others. Jim Taggart talks about different types of leadership behaviors and what makes one leader more authentic than another. Are You an Authentic Leader? (ChangingWinds)

While measuring is necessary, Jeff Haden advocates that measuring what you need to measure and measuring it the right way is even more critical. Best Way to Measure Performance (Inc.com)

Sometimes successful leaders engage in unproductive behaviors because they confuse the “because of” and “in spite of” behaviors for their success. Marshall Goldsmith explains what changes a leader can make in order to avoid the “superstition trap.” Avoiding the Superstition Trap (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Personal branding has captured many people’s attention in our socially active and connected environment. While what people think of us does matter, Nilofer Merchant suggests that what matters even more is what we do and deliver. Your Brand Is the Exhaust Fume of the Engine of Your Life (Harvard Business Review)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 30, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24270014Fresh 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 – June 16, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-happy-father-s-day-vector-image22114752Fresh 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.

Most people probably would agree with the notion that PC opened the door for distributed systems where mainframes used to rule. Bob Lewis contemplates whether the mobile devices are also having the same door-opening effect for cloud computing. Three riffs on the cloud (IS Survivor Publishing)

With feedback being a large part of a consumer’s experience, Amazon, eBay, and Yelp are just a few trusted sources where people turn to when acquiring goods or services. Jon Hall suggests that IT organizations should take the feedback trend into consideration as they compete more and more with external IT service providers. How customer feedback will transform ITSM (Evolving ITSM)

Reflecting from a recent discussion on IT’s role within an organization, Dan Kane believes that IT should be the technology investment advisor/planner and explains why. What is IT’s role in the business? (Hazy ITSM)

A recent CEB study on The Future of Corporate IT, 2013-2017 found that 97% of IT roles will undergo change in the next four years. Andrew Horne outlines what an effective strategic workforce plans should include. The Five Steps to Effective IT Workforce Planning (CEB’s IT Blog)

Laura Brandenburg believes capturing requirements is much more than simply filling out blanks on a template. She shares her experience on how to make requirement capturing a meaningful exercise for all. How to Put Some Spunk Into Your Requirements (Bridging the Gap)

Len Lagestee defines “organizational scar tissue” as something that forms over time when  workforce becomes numbed from negative experiences with leaders and co-workers. He outlines the symptoms of the scar and what leaders can do to improve the situation. Releasing Organizational Scar Tissue (Illustrated Agile)

Life is full of situations where negotiation determines the outcomes. Heidi Grant Halvorson suggests some approaches on how to negotiate well. The 1 Minute Trick to Negotiating Like a Boss (The Science of Success)

Decreasing costs and increasing productivity have been two key organizational objectives driving many operations during the industrial age. For the post-industrial age, Seth Godin believes the objects are decidedly different. Memo to the modern COO (Seth’s Blog)

Referencing to John Oliver hosting the Daily Show while Jon Stewart is away, Wendii Lord suggests that everything that is good has a process. Even Comedy News (Manager Tools)

As the leader, your mere statements may mean more than you think to your directs. Marshall Goldsmith advises that it is important for leaders to have an accurate sense on the impact of their statements. It’s Not a Fair Fight If You’re the CEO (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 9, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-chinese-dragon-boat-festival-image25355311Fresh 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.

In order to manage IT services even more effectively, Jon Hall advocates that asset management must integrate more effectively with each other. He suggests ways where asset management can contribute to ITSM. How ITAM can influence the CIO (The ITAM Review)

There are many discussions surrounding how IT should be designed to support its user base. Melanie Karunaratne explains why it’s also crucial to understand that different users have different user requirements. User Oriented IT: It’s about Diversity, Context, and Interactions (LANDesk Blog)

Drawing from the discussion with Aaron McDaniel, Don Tennant outlines some approaches that younger managers can use to work with their older directs. Tips for Millennials on Overcoming the Awkwardness of Managing Baby Boomers (From Under the Rug)

With the recent news from the White House, Patrick Gray outlines what leadership lessons IT can learn from the recent events. Leadership lessons for IT from the White House (TechRepublic)

Drawing parallels using a movie analogy, Adrian Reed explains why the solutions can come only after the requirements are explored by the business analysts. The Set Comes After the Script and the Solution Comes After the Business Need (Bridging the Gap)

When people rely on each other without thoroughly knowing each other, sometimes an information vacuum can create with invalid assumptions or misperceptions. James Eblin explains what some effective leaders do to minimize those information vacuums. Three Steps for Leaders Who Want to Work Better with Their Peers (Eblin Group)

In today’s competitive landscape, changes are constant and can be daunting to face. Tom Asacker suggests that there is a way to confront the changes you need to face. One way out. (Tom Asacker)

Some leaders manage their people the way they would want to be managed. Marshall Goldsmith points out that such approach is not always effective. When the Golden Rule Doesn’t Work (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Most of us understand the importance of picking the right measurements. Seth Godin gives some examples of measuring the wrong things which lead to unintended results. Measuring without measuring (Seth’s Blog)

Here is one last post for your inspiration from Ted Rubin. “Your Value Doesn’t Decrease Based On Someone’s Inability To See Your Worth”… (Ted Rubin)

Fresh Links Sundae – May 19, 2013 Edition

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

Solid leadership has limited effectiveness when supported by less than capable employees. Bob Lewis explains why nothing is more important as attracting, hiring, retaining, and promoting the best talent you can find. Three more IT critical success factors, and they’re all about leadership (IS Survivor Publishing)

Unsuccessfully CMDB initiatives can be not only time-consuming but also costly, in terms of both finance and resource. Jon Hall lays out some fundamentals that should be followed in any CMDB initiative. How to avoid the most common CMDB mistake (Evolving ITSM)

Obtaining compliance for policies, processes and procedures can be difficult given the changes involved. After reading a blog post from Robert England, Dan Kane outlines additional suggestions for coaching people to adopt the changes. Process and Culture Change (Hazy ITSM)

It’s widely recognized that properly executed IT automation can bring many positive results such as cost and efficiency improvements. Terry Walby identified six elements that organizations should consider when trying to derive the greatest value from their automation efforts. Six Steps for Improving Automation ROI (Slashdot)

While technical challenges are often interesting and compelling, people issues must be considered early in a project. Patrick Gray illustrates his point with US Mint’s dollar coin initiative. Dollar coins and enterprise change management (TechRepublic)

Sometimes we spend a considerable amount of effort focusing on the minute details and the tasks at hand. Melanie Karunaratne tells a story of brick-laying and not losing the big picture. The Parable of the Bricklayer (LANDesk Blog)

Wireframe, Mock-Up, and Prototype are some excellent tools that can be used to design and build great IT systems. Laura Brandenburg describes those tools and gives some examples of their uses. What’s the Difference Between a Wireframe, Mock-Up, and Prototype? (Bridging the Gap)

Some project teams struggle to deliver one of those zombie projects where no one understands why the projects are still on-going. Jason Little describes a visualization method for collecting data and reaching the necessary decisions. Perspective Mapping (Lean Change)

Staffing is the most crucial part of a manager’s job. Jeff Haden outlines his suggestions on how to interview and hire the best candidate possible for your team. How to Conduct the Perfect Job Interview (Inc.com)

Too often, we think our lack of success may be related to others who are not leading or supporting us as well as they should be doing. Seth Godin talks about what “Lead up” means and how to do it. Lead up (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 24, 2013 Edition

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

With ideas that come from years of executive experience in managing technology, Bob Lewis outlines the principles any IT professional looking to lead in the years ahead should consider. 19 principles every IT leader should heed | It management (InfoWorld)

IT services and resources are not infinite, and congestion can result from the demand placed on the IT services. Jon Hall suggests several approaches for managing the demand and making the services more assessable for an organization. Congestion charging… in IT? (Evolving ITSM)

With many technology solutions being procured outside IT’s involvement, Robert Stroud believes IT will need to change its ways if it hopes to stay relevant. Changing Role of the Service Manager in the Hybrid World (CA Technologies)

Using Kubler Ross’ Model of Grief, Michiel Croon discusses several different types of IT organization and explains why adapting processes and tools should always respect and reflect the nature of the IT organization. A service-type dependency adopting process and tooling (ITSM Portal)

For many things we do in IT, projects and processes seem to go hand-in-hand and often used interchangeably. Jan van Bon explains why projects are, by definition, independent from processes. Project or process – why is it so hard to use both? (ITSM Portal)

As the nature of work changes in organizations, Andrew Horne suggests that there are three competency areas for employees to master in order to be productive and how IT can help. It’s Time to Rethink IT Training and Support (CEB’s IT Practice)

In order to move an organization forward, Michael Schrage believes it is important to ask the right questions, or to have the right kind of important arguments within the organization. The Arguments Your Company Needs (Harvard Business Review)

Ted Rubin believes that assumptions have the tendency to limit ourselves to a narrow view of things. He advocates why it is necessary to challenge your assumptions if you want to be successful. The Problem with Assumptions (Ted Rubin)

All organizations periodically take on activities that add unnecessary costs and complexity. Ron Ashkenas explains why organizations take on those excessive activities and offers suggestions to minimize them. Why Organizations Are So Afraid to Simplify (Harvard Business Review)

Our positive beliefs about ourselves often help us become successful, and sometimes these same beliefs can make it tough for us to change. Marshall Goldsmith suggests ways we can overcome the success delusion and position ourselves to undertake the needed changes. The Success Delusion (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – February 10, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image27791389Fresh 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.

Blindly following the best practices can have unintended consequences. Stephen Mann advocates that metrics must be fully understood by both IT and the business before IT can be effective. “We Do A Great Job In IT, Our Metrics Dashboard Is A Sea Of Green.” Really? (Forrester Blogs)

Using a railroad operation example, Rob England explains the differences between problem management and risk management as well how changes can contribute to improvement. Service Improvement (The ITSM Review)

For an organization, there can be a number of reasons or objectives when implementing ITSM. David Ratcliffe points out that there is always a main reason or a chief objective we should identify and get it right before all others become relevant. What’s The First “Thing” You Have To Get Right In ITSM? (Pink President’s Blog)

Referring to the recent news about the batteries used on Boeing’s 787s, Glenn O’Donnell discusses why   we should build our IT service like how Boeing engineers its planes. Use Boeing As A Metaphor For Service Excellence (Forrester Blogs)

With the complexity built into many of today’s IT services, Jon Hall reminds us why it is critical to fully understand your IT services so you can analyze and spot the potential risks. When critical IT suppliers fail, the impact can be severe (Evolving ITSM)

Thinking back to an earlier experience of wanting to become a ski instructor, Gianpiero Petriglieri explains what makes us who we are is often what we do with life’s surprises. Getting Stuck Can Help You Grow (INSEAD Blog)

Using a daily-questions process, Marshall Goldsmith explains how a better understanding of our own values and how we live them on a daily basis can be a powerful way to improve ourselves. Questions That Make a Difference Every Day (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Referring to Joseph Callaway’s book, “Clients First: The Two Word Miracle, “ Don Tennant discusses seven reasons from the book why practicing honesty and straight talk can enhance what we do as IT professionals. Let’s Stop Paying Lip-Service to ‘Honesty Is the Best Policy’ (From Under the Rug)

Solid leadership is often amplified by examples and actions. Jeff Haden talks about nice actions that good bosses should practice. 9 Hidden Qualities of Stellar Bosses (Inc.com)

Advocating that listener has nearly as big a responsibility as the speaker, Seth Godin explains why listening better matters and how it can also create a better speaker/listener exchange. How to listen (Seth’s Blog)