Fresh Links Sundae – October 28, 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 take an avid interest in computer gaming and actively play a few myself. It was cool for me to read Keith Ferrazzi’s article on ways where virtual teams can successfully collaborate using a gaming analogy. How Successful Virtual Teams Collaborate (Harvard Business Review)

Although the nature of innovation and changes can seem conflicting to IT’s fundamental goal of keeping things running with great stability, Robert Stroud talks about why IT Operations must balance the need to facilitate innovation while still keeping the existing business solutions working and operational. IT Operations must accept risk and innovate (CA Service Management)

JavaScript Injection is an approach that can be used to monitor application performance from the end-user experience perspective. Jonathan Ginter explains why such method is not without risks and the implications for deploying such method in your application environment. Monitoring 101 Myth – JavaScript Injection is Safe (BMC Communities: DevOps)

Merger and acquisition activities can put up some very formidable challenges for IT to integrate various business operations. Sasha Gilenson describes what those challenges are and what can organizations do to integrate more effectively. Mergers & Acquisitions Road is Bumpy for IT Operations (Evolven Blog)

Advocating for solid documentation that support the process effectively and with minimum waste, Simon Morris talks about how to factor in user personas when writing productive and useful process documentation. ITSM User Personas (The ITSM Review)

Using the term “cul de sacs” as a reference from Seth Godin, Laura Brandenburg outlines the harder things to work on that will propel you much more towards your BA goal. Why You’re Not Achieving Your BA Career Goal (Bridging the Gap)

Citing information compulsion as a source of annoying habits and interpersonal flaws, Marshall Goldsmith explains why inappropriate sharing of information and emotions from leaders can be counter-productive and outlines four ways to change and to create a win-win exchange. Change for the Better (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Many organizations (IT or others) set up customer service function to accomplish objectives. Seth Godin sums up what customer service is all about and what good customer service should subsequently lead to. The only purpose of ‘customer service’… (Seth’s Blog)

Career Planning Model

One endeavor I took on earlier this month and glad I did was being a mentor for the Ascend USC Student Chapter. Each mentor gets grouped up with three undergraduate students along with another junior student mentor. Together all five of us meet as a group three times during the 10-week mentoring period, along with opportunities to have one-on-one between the students and the mentors during the same period.

One question that gets asked frequently by the students and probably being one of the main reasons why students seek out mentorship is the age old “What should I do after I graduate?” Or asked the other way around, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

As a parent, I have hope and aspiration for my own children, but I also recognize this is a question that only the individually can truly answer. I, like the students when I was young, asked the same question multiple times while growing up, and still ask the same question from time to time. Personally, I have adopted a career planning model to help with this particular decision making process. I had talked about this model before with my children, so I presented the same model to the student mentees as well. It is a simplistic model of triangle with three basic considerations as the end points. (see the page 1 illustration in the PDF file)

The principle goes like this. I believe a viable career choice is a something that balances the “pull” or “reach” by the following three considerations. The basic considerations are:

  1. Talent: What are you good at doing? This is where your education, training, skills, and experience acquired all come into the consideration.
  2. Passion: What do you like to do? Your interests, aspirations, dreams, etc. What stuff motivates you? What r would you rather do when you have the time?
  3. MarketWho might pay you to do what you would like to do? Is there a market for the stuff you would like to or want to do? Is it financially rewarding or even viable enough?

I believe the job or career choices for most people will end up somewhere within the triangle due to those three basic considerations. Having a job or career that covers just one single consideration without addressing the other two is not practical for most of us. Having just two out of three considerations covered is doable but I think it usually results in a less than satisfactory job/career experience. For example,

• Situation One: Having just #1 and #2: Not economically viable unless you are financially independent enough. For most people I know, hobbies usually fall into this category.

• Situation Two: Having just #1 and #3: If your skill level is not there to maintain a certain base level of performance, you may not last very long on a particular job or in a career.

• Situation Three: Having just #2 and #3: If you don’t have some, minimum level of passion for what you do, the work itself is still worth doing but you may not be as aspired. Then again, it does the pay the bills.

When I explained this model to my children, one of them asked… What happens when people change jobs? Is it because of one of these three situations. Probably, but people also change jobs for a number of other reasons such as problems with the work environment, with the co-workers, or with the boss. This model cannot address those external factors just yet.

Another question came up was… Is this the only triangle where I will be confined to work with? How would I do something bigger and better down the road? Well, I think you will always need to work with these three constraints, but you will have more choices to work with as you become more experienced. As we grow older and acquire more experience, our own triangle expands as well (see page 2 of the PDF file). We will have more “room” to work with or have more job/career options as we expand the triangle.

Of course this is not the only or the best model of its kind. It is my own view of the reality. However, it is nice to know someone else also talks about a similar model – pretty cool.

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 14, 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.

In a two-part post, Bob Lewis talks about how the combination of Release Management, scrum, Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints can be leveraged to manage IT work and achieve more consistent results. The best way to manage IT projects is to eliminate them (Advice Line)

Using New Zealand’s healthcare experience as a reference, Kirstie Magowan talks about the difference between IT users and IT customers, as well as the implications to providing IT services. This user vs. customer differentiation is tough! (Common Sense and Service Management)

If you are working on engineering a service management solution 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: Service Engineering Management (Choofca’s Brain Dump)

Rather than simply “managing” knowledge, Aprill Allen advocates that Knowledge Management is more about “enabling.” It’s not really about knowledge management (Knowledge Bird)

Reflecting from recent experience with a successful client project, Barclay Rae outlines some lessons learned from developing and implementing SLM and a service catalog. Service Catalog – real life secrets of success (BarclayRae Website)

When it comes to standard CMM methodology, the typical flow is to define, control, manage, and improve. Rob England argues that improvement should come first, then manage and measure, and finally standardize and make it repeatable. Improve first (The IT Skeptic)

Although switching from one industry to another can be daunting, Adrian Reed suggests five ways a business analyst can use to get up to speed when joining a new industry. Starting in a new domain? Don’t Panic! (Bridging the Gap)

Using an analogy from the movie Moneyball, Michael Mauboussin describes what qualities that useful statistics should have and the sequence of choosing the right statistics. Four Steps to Measuring What Matters (Harvard Business Review)

While many organizations place great emphasis on leaders to develop their employees, Michael Schrage suggests that perhaps those same organizations should also pay attention to how their best people and performers can improve the managers whom those employees report to. Do Your Employees Make You a Better Manager? (Harvard Business Review)

When it comes to dealing with iterations of problem, Seth Godin suggests how to overcome them by doing something different, or in his words, initiating a new “up cycle.” Cycle worse, cycle better (Seth’s Blog)

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)