Fresh Links Sundae – September 28, 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!

In a 9-part series, William Vorhies discusses the important considerations that can help you determine which NoSQL technology is appropriate for your project. I featured parts one through five last week. We feature parts six through nine here to wrap things up. Lesson 6: Document Oriented Databases  Lesson 7: Column Oriented Databases (aka Big Table or Wide Column)  Lesson 8: Graph Databases  Lesson 9: Making Your Selection – Final Considerations (Data Science Central)

Today’s business leaders need to understand enough about data analytics in order to begin to appreciate the opportunities possible by leveraging data. Alex Jones discusses a variety of different data analytics approaches along with their advantages and limitations from a business leader’s perspective. Data Analytics for Business Leaders Explained and Advanced Data Analytics for Business Leaders Explained (KDnuggets)

Many organizations believe they must hire data scientists from outside who will come with both broad and extensive background in order to succeed. Michael Schrage recommends a different approach in which organizations grow their data science talents from within the enterprise. Stop Searching for That Elusive Data Scientist (Harvard Business Review)

Analytics project is one of the top priorities for many organizations these days. IT is in a unique position to play a pivotal role in managing the full information life cycle. Pearl Zhu explains how CIOs can take on the adventure of analytics projects and deliver the business value from deploying them. CIO as Chief Analytics Officer (Future of CIO)

Data migrations are rarely an attractive of projects to sponsor. On occasions, the migration activities can be seen a difficult, bitter pill to take in and digest. Dylan Jones outlines the areas where the sponsors for data migration projects need to have considerable input and oversight. Are you a data migration sponsor? A reminder of your responsibilities. (The Data Roundtable)

Spreading the good news of business intelligence (BI) technology requires marketing, but good news alone will not be enough to move people to action. Max Russell explains how IT can leverage good marketing practices to improve its effectiveness in implementing and supporting BI in the enterprise. Marketing IT In-House: Good News Is Not Enough (TDWI)

Cloud computing has changed how IT operate and interact with its business constituents. Pierre Moncassin discusses how IT needs to transform itself towards providing services in a software-defined data center environment. A New Angle on the Classic Challenge of Retained IT (VMware CloudOps)

Decision making is the most prominent and critical element of a leader’s responsibility. When it comes to effective decision making, Eric McNulty outlines the four key tests of any critical decision. The Four Rs of High-Stakes Decision Making (Strategy+Business)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 21, 2014 Edition

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!

In a 9-part series, William Vorhies discusses the important considerations that can help you determine which NoSQL technology is appropriate for your project. Parts one through five are listed here to start things out. 9 Lessons: Picking the Right NoSQL Tools  Lesson 2: NoSQL Databases are Good for Everything – Except Maybe this One Thing  Lesson 3: Open Source, Distribution, or Suite  Lesson 4: Features Common to (Most) NoSQL/NewSQL Databases  Lesson 5: Key Value Stores (AKA ‘Tuple’ Stores) (Data Science Central)

Cloud computing is here to stay, and many organizations have begun implementing their private clouds. Thomas Bittman talks about ten reasons why most organization fails to get the most out of their private cloud efforts. Why Are Private Clouds Failing? (Gartner Blogs)

Many organizations hire for skills and aptitude, but are there other elements that play an even more critical role in the organization’s success? Stephen Mann suggests that the attitude of the IT staff can go a long way in shaping and promoting their organization’s chance to succeed. Working In IT: Does Your Attitude Determine You… (ServiceNow)

Effective software asset management (SAM) is a crucial component of any IT operation, but the scope of SAM needs to be well-defined and precise, or it could become unmanageable quickly. Brent Jarnell talks about what to consider when designing your SAM practice. Setting the scope in SAM design (The ITAM Review)

When operating a complex system, it is often difficult to grasp the potential connections between many data sources which are part of the system. Rita McGrath explains how predictive analytics can now help organizations gain more insights into their business by bringing more disparate data stores together. To Make Better Decisions, Combine Datasets (Harvard Business Review)

When adopting a non-waterfall project management practice, some organizations had to face the decision of whether to adopt Scrum or Kanban. Simon Morris discusses the similarities and differences of those two approaches and how to be successful with either. Scrum vs. Kanban (The ITSM Review)

Many IT organizations have a significant portion of their budget goes into maintaining operations and application portfolio. Pearl Zhu gives suggestions on managing a balanced IT portfolio and how to run IT more effectively. IT Portfolio Management (Future of CIO)

Conducting proof-of-concept (POC) projects to test out a new idea is a popular approach, but many POC efforts fall into the traps of wasted valuable time and resources. Bob Lewis talks about how to avoid those traps when conducting POCs. How to prove a proof of concept (IS Survivor Publishing)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 14, 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!

Most IT organizations have a set of IT and ITSM metrics, and those metrics have a direct impact on the organization’s ability to deliver value-add services to the business. Stephen Mann discusses the pitfalls we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement when designing ITSM metrics. 14 Common ITSM Metrics Pitfalls & 13 ITSM Metrics Best Practices (ServiceNow)

Large infrastructure functions have traditionally been organized in “technology domains,” but that model seems to be hitting its limits as businesses become more global and require more agility. A “plan-build-run” organizational model can help to break down silos and facilitate performance-improvement and transformation objectives. Himanshu Agarwal, Nagendra Bommadevara, and Allen Weinberg discuss how leading IT infrastructure organizations are increasingly adopting plan-build-run models. Using a plan-build-run organizational model to drive IT infrastructure objectives (McKinsey & Company)

Many predictive analytics efforts fail to produce expected result because they focus more on the end predictions, rather than grasping the analytic “hows” and “whys.” Michael Schrage explains why humbly learning from your mistakes can quickly and cost-effectively turn predictive failures into analytic successes. Learn from Your Analytics Failures (Harvard Business Review)

With the current focus on big data and analytics, enterprise data strategy is becoming an increasingly critical part of a portfolio planning process. Stephen Lahanas outlines the top seven considerations when crafting an enterprise data strategy. How to Create an Enterprise Data Strategy (Technovation Talks)

While all projects focus on delivering the value for the businesses, many of those projects had a hard time defining what constitutes value for their projects. Glen Alleman discusses that there is another equally critical element with which we must factor into the overall ROI calculation. Focus on Value is Only ½ The Equation (Herding Cats)

An effective IT service costing process can be a solution to the pressing need for tighter technology budget and better business/IT alignment. Khalid Hakim discusses the steps for setting up a better service costing process. How to Create a More Accurate, Useful, and Equitable Service Costing Process (VMware CloudOps)

Organizations deal with a variety of hardware and devices both at the end-user and in the data center environments. Accurate asset tracking is critical for all environments within an enterprise. David Foxen discusses the key approaches and considerations to asset tagging, along with strengths and weaknesses of each methodology. Quick guide to Hardware Asset Tagging (ITAM Review)

Many organizations use proof-of-concept exercise to validate the use of certain technologies or systems. Many of those technologies or systems later failed to produce the expected results or benefits in production. Bob Lewis cautions us to be skeptical when a proof-of-concept is showcased to be an absolute proof of something working. Proofs of concept usually aren’t (IS Survivor Publishing)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 7, 2014 Edition

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!

The quality of the service catalog has a key, direct impact on IT’s ability to deliver value-add services to the organization. Stephen Mann discusses the barriers we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement for Service Catalog Management. 6 Barriers To Service Catalog Success & 13 Service Catalog Best Practices (ServiceNow)

A number of organizations have begun making use of predictive analytics techniques to interpret business results and make better decisions. Tom Davenport discusses the basics about predictive analytics that every manager should know for his/her organization. A Predictive Analytics Primer (Harvard Business Review)

There are many reasons why data governance projects fall short of expectations. In a three-part series, Bryan Finnegan shares his thoughts on achieving persistent data governance and recommendations for avoiding pitfalls in data governance projects. Achieving persistent data governance, pt.1: link your teams  Achieving persistent data governance, pt. 2: focus on trouble areas  Achieving persistent data governance, pt. 3: find a visionary (The Data Roundtable)

Stuart Rance believes it is a good idea to document improvements you want to make in the register and let it evolve as we discover new things we want to record. For those organizations that want to keep formal documentation on improvements, he gives a list of recommendations on how to make a register and populate the information. Managing a continual service improvement register (Optimal Service Management)

Many IT managers understand the importance of the Knowledge Management process but are unsure of how to get started. Simon Morris talks about the key elements of the knowledge management process and ways to use KM to strengthen your incident management practice. The Avocado of Knowledge Management (The ITSM Review)

People have different opinions about shadow IT efforts and how best to deal with them. Rob England gives his recommendations on working with Shadow IT within your organization. How to deal with Shadow IT (The IT Skeptic)

Overwhelming evidence points to a tendency toward cost and effort overruns due to poor estimation for many software projects. Magne Jorgensen summarizes some of the knowledge he believes we have learned about effort estimation over the years. What We Do and Don’t Know about Software Development Effort Estimation (InfoQ)

Bob Lewis believes that you can draw strong parallels between conducting covert operations and managing typical corporate projects. He outlines a list of the factors without which projects are bound to fail. Spycraft, project-craft … what’s the difference? (IS Survivor Publishing)