Book Review: The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman

I have been a fan of Manager Tools since they released their first podcast years ago. The diligent work produced by Mark and Mike have been my go-to source when it comes managing the people and my career.

I like the book “The Effective Manager” because it does an excellent job of distilling and presenting the key recommendations for performing the managerial work. I also think it is fair to say that mediocre and bad managers disproportionally outnumber the good ones.

If you aspire to be a professional manager and want to be outstanding at your work, this book has all the recommendations you need to put yourself miles ahead of your peers.

Fresh Links Sundae – October 21, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundaeencapsulates 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 something of value.

Personally, delivering high-quality, business-centric IT services is something I am passionate about, and I am glad my training in ITSM has enabled me to do more for my organization and profession. Drawing from her personal experience, Kirstie Magowan describes the various roles within IT service management field and what skills and training one might need in order to succeed in the ITSM career. Your ITSM Career Path (The ITSM Review)

Many IT organizations have difficulty mapping IT spending directly to the business values created. Robert Stroud describes what IT needs to do in order to provide the transparency and the data points necessary for an organization to make the informed decisions about IT investment. Financial Management for Effective Sourcing (CA Technologies)

Because ITSM tools can be a major investment for many organizations, Stephen Mann suggests tips on how to make the ITSM tool selection process more meaningful and productive. 50 Shards Of ITIL – The Bane And Pain Of ITSM Tool Selection (Forrester Blogs)

Maintaining sufficient, relevant information on our complex and intertwined systems is a critical task for any proactive IT organization. Rob England outlines the steps on how to capture and maintain such information in a CMDB. How to improve your service configuration data and what that means for CMDB (The IT Skeptic)

With today’s highly complex and interactive applications, Jonathan Ginter describes what fundamental monitoring capabilities should be in place and why such capabilities should be baked in as part of the application during development. Monitoring 101 – Are You Running a Modern Application? (BMC Communities: DevOps)

Here is a collection of several informative videos on the topic of DevOps from Damon Edwards. Defining and Improving DevOps Culture (Videos) (dev2ops)

As an opportunity to provide better IT service and to achieve cost savings, Jon Reeve suggests the tracking of the metric First Time Fix and what the metric does. Increasing First Time Fix – A Service Improvement Priority (ITSM Portal)

While one-time leadership training can be beneficial, Marshall Goldsmith advocates that the follow-up, support, and encouragement from the organization after the training will likely yield more meaningful changes coming from the organization’s leaders. Fallacy of ‘If They Understand, They Will Do’ (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Writing business blog with a level of consistency can be an effective marketing tool. Patsi Krakoff outlines tips on how to write quality blog posts. 5 Steps to Write a Quality Business Blog Post (Writing On The Web)

While we can all debate about the proper use of social media for drawing conclusion about someone, Mark Horstman talks about the importance of managing one’s image presented via the social media. They’re Coming For The Kids Now (Manager Tools)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 7, 2012 Edition

Fresh 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 something of value.

I started out my career as a systems administrator, and I believe the really good sys admins/DBAs tend to be both paranoid and lazy at the same time. While the laziness aspect has to do with automation, Chris Foot discusses the paranoid aspect of the behaviors with a two-part blog. The Art of Being a Successful DBA – Paranoid DBA Best Practices, Part I (Remote DBA Experts)

Although technical qualification maybe an important consideration when hiring good service desk staff, Kirstie Magowan explains that life skills and personality attributes are just as important to consider as ever. Who is your next hire for the service desk? (Common Sense and Service Management)

If you are working on putting together a Relationship Management process for your organization, Alicia Choo posted a sample operating procedure document and a few other support documents that may help in your endeavor. My take on ITSM and IT Governance: Relationship Management (Choofca’s Brain Dump)

Business and application development teams sometimes blame IT operations for so many frustrations, Martin Perlin outlines why IT operations cannot seem to catch a break and what can be done to reverse the trend. IT Operations Suffers from An Undeserved Bad Reputation (Evolven Blog)

Trying to assess what are some of the causes for failure behind ITSM implementations, Larry Cooper argues that instituting ITSM practice solely for the sake of implementing ITIL is a wrong approach and what to do about it. The problem with ITSM is ITIL (ITSM Portal)

Using an example analysis though a CFO’s perspective, Perry Rotella suggests what CIOs can do to make their contributions more easily understood and relevant to his C-level colleagues. Think Like a CFO to Gain C-Suite Credibility (Forbes)

In this blog entry, Laura Brandenburg explains how business analysts approach requirements specifications, what a hiring manager is looking for, and finally how can a BA determine what her real capabilities in creating requirements specifications. How to Present Yourself as Capable of Doing Requirements Specifications (Bridging the Gap)

Leveraging from a recent training class taught by Marieke McCloskey, Andrew Dlugan outlines Marieke’s tips for designing and delivering training courses. 28 Tips for Designing Training Courses: Case Study (Six Minutes)

Seeing the trading of meaning for money as a toxic trade-off, Umair Haque encourages us to enrich ourselves more with meaning in life rather than purely with simple monetary wealth. Making the Choice Between Money and Meaning (Harvard Business Review)

After watching the most recent broadcast of the Ryder Cup, Mark Horstman discusses his impression of the sportsmanship displayed (or lack of) during the recent golf match. Ryder Cup Disappointment (Manager Tools)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 23, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of 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 something of value.

While the BYOD movement can present some control or security-oriented challenges, Robert Stroud explains that the BYOD movement can be very similar to the earlier PC movement and how organization can adapt and benefit from BYOD. The “Bring Your Own Device” Phenomena! (CA on Service Management)

Many of the newest entrants to the workforce are the first generation of do-it-yourself (DIY) technologists. IT leaders can leverage such DIY support to everyone’s advantage, according to Patrick Gray. How to leverage support for the DIY generation (TechRepublic)

Using a recent air travel experience as an example, Robert Stroud explains why implementing processes without paying attention to customer reactions is really missing the point. Hiding behind ITIL and making customers hate you! (CA on Service Management)

Referring to the information from a recent MetricNet webinar, Martin Grobisen discusses what factors an organization should take into account when projecting and calculating the ROI of the service desk. Doing the Math for Service Desk ROI (ITSM Lens)

Leveraging a recent home building experience, Kirstie Magowan talks about how building ITSM capability in your organization can be very similar to building your own home. Building your ITSM home (Common Sense and Service Management)

Estimating the costs of an IT project can seem like an art form rather than science, Bob Lewis gives suggestions on practicing the art of IT project estimating. The black art of estimating IT project costs (Advice Line)

Being a strong advocate of purpose and how it drives our behaviors, Bret Simmons discusses on why assuming responsibility for yourself is the foundational act of service toward others. The Purpose of Assuming Full Responsibility (Positive Organizational Behavior)

Many factors can turn into risks and weaken a team’s performance over time. Keith Ferrazzi outlines three risks to watch out for and ways to mitigate them. Three Symptoms of a Vulnerable Team (Harvard Business Review)

With a bit of discipline and the help of technology, Seth Godin gives suggestions on how anyone can accumulate and turn small deeds into noticeable results over time. The simple power of one a day (Seth’s Blog)

Anyone who had led a change effort can appreciate the blog post. Mark Horstman explains why implementing changes is hard, largely due to our natural tendency of risk aversion. Change is Hard…For a Reason (Manager Tools)

Fresh Links Sundae – July 1, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of 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 something of value.

Leveraging the results from a recent Forrester report, Stephen Mann explained how the combination of service management and automation can produce amplified benefits for business. IT Service Management AND Automation: Now That’s A Double Whammy Of Business-Enabling Goodness (Forrester Blogs)

Observing the increasing demand for business innovation leveraging technology innovations, Robert Stroud advocated that the need to balance operational excellence with strategic portfolio management is becoming a primary discipline for IT professionals. Evolve From Managing Technology to Delivering Innovative Business (CA on Service Management)

Following up to his earlier tutorial on service catalog, Rob England gave his take on what makes a technical service catalog and how his position differs from the ITIL book authors. What is a Technical Service Catalogue? (The ITSM Review)

Citing two potential causes of compensation practices and 24/7 career demands, Bob Lewis hypothesized why people fall into the trap of thinking other people’s work should be easy. What makes work easy [] (IS Survivor Publishing)

As the use of jargons continues to persist in IT, Jeff Wayman explained how jargons can be obstacles to good communication and collaboration. Help Desk Jargon: The 10 Worst Offenders (ITIL Edition) (ITSM Lens)

Although many of us fail to escape from the Parkinson’s Law, Mark Horstman proposed a different way to look at how we use time. Parkinson Owns Us (Manager Tools)

Using examples from other aspiring business analysts, Laura Brandenburg demonstrated that many techniques used by the blog readers to analyze operations or processes are very closely related and quite transferrable as BA techniques. How to Demonstrate That You Are a Business Analyst: 3 Real Examples of Transferable Skills (Bridging the Gap)

Drawing from her coaching experience, Anna Farmery gave suggestions on what to do to live the life you want, instead of living the life you get. How to Get the Best Out of Yourself (The Engaging Brand)

Leveraging the information from a recent study, Don Tennant discussed why employees who are mentored are more likely to give similar developmental support to others. Employees Who Are Mentored Pay It Forward, Study Finds (ITBusinessEdge)

On the lighter side, Dr. Sutton shared this great piece from another reader. A Different Version of the Creation Myth (Work Matters)

Fresh Links Sundae

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work I admire, and I hope you will find something of value.

 

 

 

Mark Horstman and Mike Auzenne gave guidance on how to obtain the requirements you need when working as an internal support provider. Quite applicable to IT service management in my opinion. Internal Support Roles And Responsibilities – Part 1 (Manager Tools)

Liz Ryan takes a HR situation and discusses why the intangible stuff like “culture” and “talent” more important. I think we struggle at times with the similar situation in IT as well. Managing the intangibles (Liz Ryan)

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss talked about strategies to improve service, and I believe IT in many organizations can do the same. Win on Service in a Tough Economy (HBR Blog Network)

Marshall Goldsmith discussed why knowledge workers’ wealth of knowledge may be worth more to their companies than the paychecks are to them. Show Your Employees You Care (Marshall Goldsmith)

Seth Godin discussed social media made it easier for people to talk about what they are up to and to find out what others are talking about. Spout and Scout [Seth Godin’s Blog]

The good folks at ITSM Lens compiled a list of essential ITIL terms and put some easy to understand definitions to them. Getting Started with ITIL: 35 Terms and Definitions Everyone Must Know (ITSM Lens)

Bret Simmons discussed how simple miscommunication can create a missing business opportunity and the importance of pay attention to small details. The Cycle Of Service Starts At Your Website (Bret L. Simmons)

Tammy Erickson provided insights into the challenges of using collaborative or social software inside business organizations. Why We Use Social Media in Our Personal Lives — But Not for Work (HBR Blog Network)

Aprill Allen provided a list of good tips if you need to get organized and get going with your change management effort in IT. Change Management in 7 Easy Steps (Knowledge Bird)

Credit: Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Fresh Links Sundae

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work I admire, and I hope you will find something of value.

 

 

 

What would the future of Service Desk looks like? James Finister describes his view. Service Desk 2.0 (CORE ITSM)

Another view point on the future of Service Desk from Rob England. User self-help – a skeptical view (The IT Skeptic)

Charles Betz discusses a number of dynamics that impact the future of IT management. Next generation IT management (Integrated IT Management)

Robert Stroud describes what a case of brilliant customer experience he came across when he recently traveled to Europe. Customer Service making a difference and changing the way I travel to Europe (CA Community)

Joshua Simon discusses how ITIL best practices can contribute to improved information security. How ITIL Addresses Security (The ITSM Lens)

Marshall Goldsmith talks about what coaching advice he might give to two coaches, Joe Torre, the former coach of the New York Yankees, and Joe Girardi, the new coach of the Yankees. Torre and Girardi: Coaching the Joes (Marshall Goldsmith)

Mark Horstman and Mike Auzenne talk about why it is important to make sure your priorities are reflected in your calendar. Life is what happens… (Manager Tools)

Seth Godin asks “Who is your customer?” (I think it is also a concept that is vitally important in ITSM and drives how services can and should be provided.) Who is your customer? (Seth Godin’s Blog)

Liz Ryan discusses ways to make your LinkedIn profile work harder for you. 25 Ways to Make LinkedIn Work for You (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Umair Haque suggests that it is time to get “lethally serious” about doing things that actually matters. Create a Meaningful Life Through Meaningful Work (HBR Blog Network)

Credit: Image Courtesy of Wikipedia