Fresh Links Sundae – March 30, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24270014Fresh 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!

The word “Agile” in IT can take on a variety of meanings, depending on the organizational environment and context. Bob Lewis tries to explain and answer the question: What does it mean for an organization to be agile, and what does it take? How does a business become agile? (IS Survivor Publishing)

The future of IT organization is quickly evolving due to technology, so should how we practice ITSM. Courtney Bartlett recommends three news ways of thinking about ITSM in a world with ever-increasing complexity and fast-changing technologies. Revolutionize Your IT Service Management Journey: Focus On Your Customers! (Forrester Blogs)

With the advance in cloud services, more and more IT systems are being migrated into a cloud hosting environment. In a two-part series, Oded Moshe outlines six steps an organization should consider taking when migrating applications and data to cloud. What Are the First 3 Steps You Need to Take to Successfully Migrate Your Organization to Cloud? and 6 Steps to Successfully Migrate Your Organization to Cloud (SysAid Blog)

Morgan Hunter, Laszlo Gonc, Jenny Juliany, Rosanne Delaney, and Jessa Lyders of Intreis are running a blog series on compliance myths.  You can catch the last five posts in the series via the following links. Compliance Myth #6 – “Outsourcing a non-compliant process will make us compliant”  Compliance Myth #7 – “Internal Audit will detect any problems that exist.”  Compliance Myth #8 – “The right technology will make us compliant.”  Compliance Myth #9 – We don’t have enough resources to achieve compliance  Compliance Myth #10 – “Compliance is largely an IT problem” (Intreis)

The traditional website is alive and well, but the proliferation of the mobile devices require us to re-exam how we build mobile friendly websites. Lawrence Howlett walks us through the steps for planning a mobile e-commerce website that delivers productive user experience. How To Plan Your Next Mobile E-Commerce Website (Smashing Mobile)

Almost every organization has various islands of data stores. At the same time, many of them struggle to find productive or insightful ways of using the data. Larry Bonfante reminds us that the use of data is not about technology – it’s much more about using the information wisely to enhance the relationship with our customers. Big Data for Business Decisions (Enterprise Efficiency)

Good data analysis is hard to do, but bad data analysis can hurt more than help. Greg Reda goes over some useful principles to follow when tackling one of those deep-dive analyses. Principles of good data analysis (Greg Reda)

ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 state the importance of having a definition for a major incident. Roman Jouravlev discusses one approach to define what major incidents are and what elements you will need to consider when crafting a process for handling major incidents. Major incidents in the real world (ITSM Portal)

Many organizations handle major incidents poorly because they fail to execute or don’t have a workable communication process in place. Ryan Ogilvie talks about the importance of having a major incident communication plan designed and vetted before a major incident strikes. Incident Management, Executive Gargoyles and Communication (Service Management Journey)

Sometimes the everyday life and work can make things difficult for all of us, but that does not mean we cannot invest some of our energy into something that can have a significant return. Ted Rubin helps us calculate the return on investment of taking the time to smile. What’s the ROI of a Smile? (Ted Rubin)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 23, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24270014Fresh 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 organizations are considering adopting the DevOps approach to help them accelerate the rate and pace of change internally. Robert Stroud explains the steps of starting the transition from a cultural and process perspective. The DevOps Transition Guide (CA Service Management)

Some would argue that Agile is more superior to Waterfall because Waterfall is bureaucratic and lacks flexibility. Bob Lewis points out that no one methodology is more superior to the other – both require discipline and responsible people to make them work as intended. Why Agile is agile (IS Survivor Publishing)

Jessa Lyders, Morgan Hunter, and Margaret Muir of Intreis are running a blog series on compliance myths.  You can catch the first 5 posts in the series via the following links. Compliance Myth #1 – “We don’t store sensitive data”  Compliance Myth #2 – “You don’t get to pick your controls, your auditors do.”  Compliance Myth #3 – “Compliance applies mostly to large size companies (not small companies)”  Compliance Myth #4 – IT GRC is a necessary evil  Compliance Myth #5 – “The ‘right’ policies and procedures will make us compliant” (Intreis)

Many IT organizations experience difficulty in determining what should be reported. Ryan Ogilvie suggests an approach to peel away the complexity and arrive at the potential answers. Peeling Back the #ITSM Reporting Onion (Service Management Journey)

Today’s businesses need to keep pace with the fast-moving technologies, and often consider IT a hindrance in achieving the business goals. Jason Stevenson recommends several approaches for reversing that trend? Top 5 Ways IT Can Stay Relevant in the Cloud Era (VMware CloudOps)

Some organizations put a great deal of faith on technology advances to help them solve complex business problems. Sherri Hammons shows examples where meaningful analysis can begin only after we think about the problems and ask the right questions. Big Data: Humans Required (Sherri Hammons)

Some are advocating that software projects are unique, creative and flexible by nature, and somehow are not subject to the fundamental principle of cost, schedule, and performance constraints. Glen Alleman explains why software is not immune from that fundamental principle. Why Software is Like Construction and Why it is Not (Herding Cats)

Some organizations believe quick, easy solutions are available to solve long-running personal behavioral problems. Marshall Goldsmith points out that there’s no product, no diet, no exercise program, and no executive coach who can make someone better, unless that person also wants to change. Turning Those Flabby Abs Into That Sexy Six-Pack (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

旅行鬧笑話 (Chinese Translation of Manager Tools’ article “Traveling Hilarity” by David Lowe)

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-airport-information-sign-image22033277Note: The following passage is a Chinese translation of the article “Love What You Do” from Manager Tools’ newsletter. You can find the entire newsletter at this link. The author of the article is Ms. Wendii Lord, and Manager Tools has been very generous in granting me the permission to translate and publish the article on my blog. My only intention is to share actionable managerial thinking and tips with a broader, like-minded audience. Please feel free to comment or to suggest ways to improve my translation for future articles. Thank you.

旅行鬧笑話

這個星期飛到加州和回來的路程有點像是這 Keystone Cops 連續劇。我走錯了登機大廳,找錯了兩家航空公司試圖去登機,完全看錯機場內的指標說明,幾乎錯過了我第二班飛機,最後抵達加州只是靠了好運氣。在回程的路上,電腦把我標記下而且不允許我上飛機,直到其他每個人都已經上機,航空公司遺失了我的第三班飛機的機票,其他每個航班都是客滿,最終我晚了四個小時才回到家來。

值得注意的是,我還是蠻心安氣和的。以實際的眼光來看,我並沒有錯過任何航班。我在機場的時間就像在家裡一樣的喝咖啡與閱讀,也沒有任何人在等我替他們做任何事。在一路上,我重複我老闆一直所教的 “吸氣,呼氣,繼續前進”。因為說真的,大部分時間我所緊張的山重水複疑無路,到最後還是柳暗花明又一村。

我敢肯定你的經驗也許是不同。不過如果那一天你的經歷是一片混亂,嘗試 “吸氣,呼氣,繼續前進”。

Fresh Links Sundae – March 16, 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!

Bob Lewis believes that initiatives like Cloud, Shadow IT, and the digital enterprise are trends CIOs cannot do much to affect, but still have to respond to. Through a 3-part series, he suggests the actions that IT should consider taking. Storming around (Part 3) More storm warnings (Part 2) An imperfect storm (Part 1) (IS Survivor Publishing)

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 COO through supporting business agility. The CIO & COO Relationship (Enterprise Efficiency) Michael Hugos

Some IT organizations believe that providing quality services has to equate to higher costs. Using a recent personal experience, Stuart Rance explains how quality services can still be provided without needing to cost more. Excellent service doesn’t have to cost more (The ITSM Review)

Automating a process can sometimes create tricky ownership issues. Ryan Ogilvie reminds us that some level of oversight and accountability are still required even after a process had been automated. Process Automation – Enter the Numbers and Push the Button (Service Management Journey)

Many leaders find it difficult transitioning into a new organization due to the pressure to act quickly and deliver rapid results. Lon Zanetta outlines the keys to success in transitioning into a new leadership role. Leadership Transitions: Focus on the Human Touch (CIO Leadership Council)

The Snowden/NSA incident highlighted the reality that no amount of security can truly deter disgruntled personnel or whistle blowers. To strengthen the security in your own environment, Peter Brooks recommends a list of action items which include governance and investment in people and open source technologies. Security after Snowdon – what do I need to do? (The ITSM Review)

Analyzing a business process is a major part of a business analyst’s work. Laura Brandenburg discusses various approaches to analyze a business process effectively. 3 (and only 3) Reasons to Use BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) (Article 1) How to Analyze an “As Is” Business Process (Article 2) How to Analyze a “To Be” Business Process (Article3) (Bridging the Gap)

Some are advocating that estimating is not an essential activity and producing the result is what matters. Glen Alleman explains why estimating is not just nice to have – it is essential for a credit job. Back To The Future (Article 1) Some more answers to the estimating questions (Herding Cats)

Many of us have difficulties in getting an idea or initiative off the ground. Denise Brosseau recommends several easy-to-implement techniques that can help you gain support for your initiatives. 3 Smart Change Agent Techniques to Get Your Business on Track (Salesforce Blog)

Part of leadership practice is to make your supporters feel supported by their leader. Marshall Goldsmith illustrates a single skill that set the great leaders apart from the near great. The Skill That Separates (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

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)

選擇你的擔子 (Chinese Translation of Manager Tools’ article “Pick Your Bucket” by David Lowe)

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-bucket-image17366516Note: The following passage is a Chinese translation of the article “Love What You Do” from Manager Tools’ newsletter. You can find the entire newsletter at this link. The author of the article is Ms. Dani Martin, and Manager Tools has been very generous in granting me the permission to translate and publish the article on my blog. My only intention is to share actionable managerial thinking and tips with a broader, like-minded audience. Please feel free to comment or to suggest ways to improve my translation for future articles. Thank you.

選擇你的擔子

大約十年前,當我開始我的管理生涯的時候,馬克與我分享一則完全改變了我生活的指導。我那時總是會嘮嘮叨叨跟他說我是如何不想遠離我的丈夫和家庭。當忍受了我的抱怨好幾個月之後,馬克給我解釋了這兩個擔子的概念。

我們每個人都有兩個擔子:一個工作上的擔子和一個家庭上的擔子。幾乎隨時隨地總是有一個擔子是特別沉重的或有帶來煩惱的。而且要由我們自己來選擇哪一個擔子去承擔。這是他一種潛移默化的方式來告訴我,基本上我需要長大,停止抱怨,並開始採取對我自己的決定來負責。

我需要做一個抉擇:繼續抱怨我遠離家鄉,或是盡力去改變這情況。沒有任何一個選擇是完全沒風險的。如果我停止參加那些工作上需要我離家的會議,我在工作上會有冒險或是麻煩。如果我沒有停止參加那些工作上的會議,我冒著會有一個不快樂的家庭生活的危險。最後我選擇了前者。

當面對困難的決定,我常常會想到用這兩個擔子去幫我整理出頭緒。我時常問我自己,什麼對我是最重要的?我願意承擔那一個擔子上的煩惱?我有什麼是不願意犧牲的?我已經了解到,當我提早先回答這些問題之後,會使我更容易做出決定!

Fresh Links Sundae – March 2, 2014 Edition

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

Filipa Preston believes that ITAM can play an essential partnering role to the business. She explains how ITAM can add value by demonstrating the bankable savings the project actually delivered while also showing how we can reduce risks to the business in the long-term. How do you convince the CFO? (The ITAM Review)

IT is well positioned to make positive contributions to many aspects of the business operations. Michael Hugos suggests ways that a CIO can help the VP of Sales in the organization. How the CIO Can Help the VP Sales (Enterprise Efficiency)

In today’s organizations, our job often is not to control change, but rather to control the impact of change on the project. Samuel Brown recommends four approaches when dealing with changes in project management. Four Axioms for Controlling Change (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Many IT organizations are trying to transform themselves from a cost-center role into a value-added role. Pearl Zhu explains what steps IT can take to enhance their value-added approach. How to Run IT as a Better Business Partner (Future of CIO)

To many people, Agile means delivering results with short planning cycles and making adjustments as we go. While speed and schedule are crucial, Mike Cottmeyer reminds us that the ability to plan and to estimate well is critical to all projects. Managing Risk and Uncertainty in Agile (LeadingAgile)

Many Business Continuity Management (BCM) programs need to transform from a reactive, isolated activity to an integrated, solution-driven strategy that adds resiliency for the organization. Patrick Potter explains why the transformation is important and what BCM leaders can do to make more of an impact. Building A Stronger, More Strategic BCM Program (Continuity Insights)

Some product backlogs are unavoidable, but not all backlogs present a negative impact. Len Lagestee outlines eight signs for which the backlogs seem to be ineffective and should be actively managed. 8 Symptoms of an Ineffective Product Backlog (Illustrated Agile)

Business analysts often find themselves given a high-priority project with little time to prepare. Laura Brandenburg explains what a business analyst can do to clarify scope quickly and to put a reasonable timeline estimated in place. How to Create a Business Analyst Timeline (Bridging the Gap)

Many organizations use published corporate values to encourage certain behaviors from their leaders. In reality, Marshall Goldsmith believes that the leaders’ actions often speak much louder than words posted on the office walls. Leaders Make Values Visible (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

For some, public speaking means memorizing the entire speech and delivering it to the audience. Mitch Joel believes that is the wrong way of delivering speech and offer suggestions on how to make your speech add value to your audience’s time. Another Public Speaking Horror Story (Six Pixels of Separation)