Fresh Links Sundae – April 27, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh 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 IT organizations are transforming themselves to be a service provider to the enterprise, and there are quite a few different ways for the service provider model to work. Bob Lewis outlines the potential business models in case you’re serious about pursuing the plan of running IT like a business. More business models for ITaaS  Yet more ITaaS business models (IS Survivor Publishing)

When making your data analysis case persuasive, assembling and interpreting data alone is fine but probably not sufficient. Scott Anthony believes you need to take a step further by generating your own data and experiment with them. Why You Have to Generate Your Own Data (Harvard Business Review)

Data Architecture and Data Governance, when done effectively, can support each other in a variety of ways. Kelle O’Neal explains how DA and DG help by increasing operational efficiency, decreasing costs and mitigating risk. What Is the Relationship between Data Architecture and Data Governance? (Blog: Kelle O’Neal – BeyeNETWORK)

Creating a continuous improvement mindset is about creating the conditions for all IT stakeholders to improve their work, processes and services. Dave van Herpen gives an example of how explains how agile and lean elements can work with ITSM and help the IT function deliver great services. Agile CSI: continual service improvement done right (ITSM Review)

To effectively influence the IT employee mindsets, leaders must send messages that powerfully communicate IT’s objectives and priorities. Andrew Horne suggests how IT leader can decide what metrics to pick and to emphasize. When Designing an IT Scorecard, Don’t Forget the Message Behind the Metric (CIO Leadership Council)

Processes underpin organizational capability, which in turn support the strategy execution. Pearl Zhu outlines the criteria to consider when mapping and evaluating processes to support business capability. How to Evaluate Processes (Future of CIO)

Robert Stroud believes that the transition of the IT Service Management department to a Service Broker model has only just begun. He explains the rationale behind the movement of IT organizations to embracing the IT Service Broker model. From Service Manager to Service Broker (CA Service Management)

When starting out on a career, it’s important to build credibility with new people, learn about your organization, and make a solid contribution. Through a four-part series, Laura Brandenburg gives a detailed run-down of what a new Business Analyst can do to be effective on the job from day one. Starting a New Business Analyst Job (Part 1): What To Expect on Your First Day  Starting a New Business Analyst Job (Part 2): How to Prepare for Your First Day  Starting a New Business Analyst Job (Part 3): How to Make the Most of Your First Week  Starting a New Business Analyst Job (Part 4): Your First 60 Days (Bridging the Gap)

Why is asking so important for leaders in today’s Information Age with the knowledge workers? Marshall Goldsmith explains why leaders need to do more asking, listening and learning from everyone around us. Why Don’t We Ask? (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – February 2, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_12962601 (240x225)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!

IT infrastructure managers need to meet a number of challenges in 2014. Björn Münstermann, Brent Smolinski, Kara Sprague describes 11 practices that will help infrastructure managers navigate a challenging, and sometimes conflicting, set of demands. The enterprise IT infrastructure agenda for 2014 (McKinsey & Company)

IT organizations should periodically exam and evaluate the key metrics they measure. For 2014, Andrew Horne suggests seven measurement priorities recently highlighted in a CEB’s research. 7 New Metrics for 2014 (CEB’s IT Blog)

Many non-IT end users probably are not aware of the  software asset management (SAM) practice in the organization and what it means to them. David Foxen explains why SAM is important to an organization and how IT can collaborate with its end users and effectively communicate its SAM practice to them. Introducing Software Asset Management to end users (The ITAM Review)

Often people will ignore ineffective governance or unenforceable policies. Michael Scarborough suggests that IT organizations can improve their effectiveness by regularly evaluating whether the existing policies and procedures in place are still making sense.  Governance That Makes Sense (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Big Data, when practiced correctly, can yield a good amount of insights that might not have been possible with human analysis before. Michael Schrage believes those insights can also lead to dilemmas and unwarranted discrimination when improperly used. He further cautions that all Big Data champions and practitioners need to have a better understanding of how they intend to use the insights for making decisions. Big Data’s Dangerous New Era of Discrimination (Harvard Business Review)

With a strong dependence on IT for many businesses, IT organizations have many challenges on their hands to deliver a stable operation while continue to leverage technologies and innovate. Robert Stroud believes IT service delivery managers have many opportunities to add even greater value to the organization in 2014. Long Live Service Delivery! (CA Service Management)

While resolving incidents and putting fires are commendable things to do, Ryan Ogilvie recommends that understanding and addressing the root cause to an incident will be a much more value-added activity. Score a Service Management Touchdown through Incidents (Service Management Journey)

While use cases are an extremely useful requirements tool and one tool that every BA should have handy, Laura Brandenburg suggests that there are situations in which writing use cases would be a big mistake. 3 Signs You Shouldn’t Be Writing a Use Case (Bridging the Gap)

Fostering a successful culture entails hiring employees who buy into the corporate culture, and it also means getting the wrong employees off the organization. Joel Greenwald believes that the best companies use culture as both a sword and a shield, to improve performance and reduce risk. How to Get the Wrong People Off the Bus (strategy+business)

Today’s connected world means many leaders have access to a global mind that represents both opportunities and challenges. Marshall Goldsmith explains the process of e-coaching and how leaders can leverage the process to manage the opportunities and challenges. E-Coaching Roles (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – December 22, 2013 Edition

dreamstime_xs_21045039 (175x240)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!

On the surface the two IT management approaches, DevOps and IT Service Management (ITSM), may seem dualistic in nature. In a recorded podcast, Troy DuMoulin and Chris Dancy discuss how DevOps and ITSM are undoubtedly co-dependent to each other and indivisible. PR 52 – Dev&Ops: Defining Value From Two Sides Of The Same Coin (Troy’s Blog)

Many organizations have global operations these days, and some of them deploy IT service desks with multi-language and multi-geography capability. Stephen Mann discusses some of the technology and process challenges of those global IT service desk operations, as well as good practices to consider. Multi-Geography or Multi-lingual (IT) Service Desk Good Practice – Part 1  Multi-geography or Multi-lingual (IT) Service Desk Good Practice – Part 2 (HDIConnect)

There are a number of ways to implement IT Service Management within your organization. Ryan Ogilvie shows us the approach of taking a closer look at where you are now and determining what gaps you may need to fill to move ahead. Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 1 – Your IT Teams  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 2 – Increased Number of Incidents with No Driver  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 3 – No Failed Changes, Incidents You Say?  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 4 – Critical Incidents vs Number of Emergency Changes  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Conclusion – Wrapping it Together (Service Management Journey)

Many IT organizations have developed an extensive set of metrics to track and to measure performance. While measurements are necessary, Michael Scarborough reminds us the importance of structuring the measurements for overall effectiveness. CSFs and KPIs: How Many Does Your Organization Manage? (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Statistics have shown that the large projects requiring years of implementation or millions of budget fail significantly more often than the regular, smaller projects. Pearl Zhu explains why big project can be more fragile and how to improve overall IT project success rate from the enterprise architecture perspective. Why is Big Project more Fragile (Future of CIO)

As 2013 draws to its conclusion, Andrew Horne summarizes five of CEB’s most popular topics from this year and highlight what they mean for the IT organizations in 2014. Five Lessons from 2013 (And What They Mean for 2014) (CEB’s IT Blog)

As organizations scale up the use of Agile, it can become difficult for teams to establish a shared understanding because everyone can work on multiple products or be geographically disparate. Dennis Stevens believes that you don’t have to sacrifice shared understanding for growth, and he explains how organization can still effectively scale up Agile. How to Achieve Shared Understanding When Scaling Agile (LeadingAgile)

Today’s work reality, with the perceived decline in job security and the erosion of corporate loyalty, can make it difficult for organizations to manage its talent pool. Marshall Goldsmith talks about the trends that have shaped the workplace and suggests seven approaches for an organization to retain its high performers in turbulent times. Retain Your Top Performers (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

We have learned from experience that being present and active engagements are essential in building relationships. When interacting with others in the digital space, the required “presence” can be difficult to achieve. Ted Rubin outlines the techniques we should consider when trying to build an effective relationship without being physically present. How to Look People in the Eye Digitally (Ted Rubin Straight Talk)

Taking a big idea from inception all the way to execution can be a complex process that requires much hard work of planning, adjusting, and, sometimes, retreating and starting over. Nilofer Merchant shares her experience and perspectives on how to strategize approaches for launching a new endeavor. How to Tackle The New Thing (Nilofer Merchant, LLC)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 10, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-fruit-sundae-image15278271Fresh 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 interactions between customers and brands used to be relatively simple, but today many customers move through multiple channels when interacting with the same company. To put data analytics to work in improving the customer experience, Harald Fanderl, Dorian Stone, Alfonso Pulido recommends three things for companies to consider. Don’t Let Data Paralysis Stand Between You and Your Customers (Harvard Business Review)

Bob Lewis explains why the on-going healthcare.gov problems are nothing new to large-scale IT projects, and the integration and project sponsorship mistakes are entirely preventable. The scandal that wasn’t, but is (IS Survivor Publishing)

Although few organizations have projects as large as healthcare.gov, CEB has found that most organizations regularly run into troubled projects on a more modest scale. Andrew Horne recommends three approaches IT leaders can use to spot troubled projects earlier. How to Spot a Troubled Project (CEB’s IT Blog)

With many organizations assigning people with both project and service request work in a shared services model, ensuring that the resources are optimally allocated for value can be difficult.  Charles Betz suggests having a robust demand management mechanism is crucial to make things work. Is the shared services model dead? (lean4it)

Drawing from personal experience, Julie Montgomery shares her thoughts on customer service and how organization can leverage it to help promote its brand. [Rant] What is Customer “Delightion” And Why IT Should Give a Crap (Plexent Blog)

With the growing adoption of cloud services, some believe that software asset management (SAM) is becoming less relevant. Martin Thompson explains why the core SAM principles remain the same for cloud and why SAM is more crucial than ever. Navigating the cloud: Why SAM is more important than ever (The ITAM Review)

While many organizations believe they need to have always-on-with-no-downtime IT environment, few truly understand what it takes to achieve such high availability. Ryan Ogilvie suggests questions to ask in order to optimize availability while keeping the cost in check. Determining the Value of Bulletproof Availability (Service Management Journey)

While many organizations are becoming familiar with the Enterprise Architecture concepts, relatively few realize the significant value proposition provided by architecture assessments. Stephen Lahanas suggests the skillsets and activities needed for doing such assessment. The Value of Architecture Assessments (Technovation Talks)

From a recent study, Marshall Goldsmith was able to draw the conclusion that today’s ideal leader is a person who builds internal and external partnerships. He explains how successful leaders can do to take on this leadership requirement. Building Partnerships (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

The business case for using stakeholder management in a business or project can be difficult to justify for many organizations. Still, Lynda Bourne believes there is an excellent business case to be made and articulates the reasons why investing in effective stakeholder analytics is likely to deliver a valuable return on investment. The value of stakeholder management (Mosaicproject’s Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

Microsoft has made a free Windows Server 2012 R2 e-book by Mitch Tulloch available for download. Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview (MSDN Blogs)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 18, 2013 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. More importantly, I picked these articles to help my fellow IT professionals be more successful. 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!

As the business continues to demand agility and delivery of changes and innovation, focusing on the existing processes alone probably won’t suffice.  Robert Stroud recommends that service managers must also focus on automation and proactivity in order to fulfill a critical part of their service delivery to the business. Delivering Innovation—And Doing it Quickly (CA Technologies)

When working with an effective team, the chances are that the team members are also happy working with each other. Wendii Lord tells us what seems to make her team tick at Manager Tools. 3 Secrets of a Happy Team (Manager Tools)

Computer applications are not built to last forever due to the changes in business processes or environment. Ryan Ogilvie gives us an example where application changes are rarely isolated, and the changes usually involve considerations that can impact the tools, processes, architecture, and organizational knowledge. Workarounds and Implementations – Like Ripping off a Bandage (Service Management Journey)

As IT tools become more sophisticated and complex, controversy arises on how much IT should get involved in employee training and development. Andrew Horne believes that this is a problem the c-suite as a whole has to solve and that the solution must include the IT organization’s involvement.  How CIOs Can Avoid the Other IT Skills Crunch (CEB’s IT Blog)

In IT, we provide measurements, but some of those measurements often do not connect with the business goals and metrics. Julie Montgomery suggests several IT related measurements that just might be useful to your organization’s senior leaders. 3 IT Metrics Your CEO May Actually Care About (Plexent Blog)

As more business activities become digitized, a number of organizations are looking to be more “data-driven” in their decision-making processes. Thomas Redman summarizes six harmful habits that can stymie managers and companies from taking full advantage of their data. Become More Data-Driven by Breaking These Bad Habits (Harvard Business Review)

If you are interested in managing your software asset more effectively, David Foxen has some suggestions on what the next generation of SAM professionals should be proficient at doing. Tips for the next generation of SAM professionals (The ITAM Review)

The ability to perform multiple activities at once has been regarded by many as an asset, but Patrick Gray explains why that belief can be counter-productive. He also suggests a few ways of managing multiple tasks and using the human mind to its most effective capacity. The lie of multitasking (TechRepublic)

Reflecting from reading Dennis Perkins’ book, Into the Storm, Jim Taggart explains what useful insights organizations can draw to adapt to a relentlessly changing world. Into the Storm: A Real-World Lesson on Leadership and Teamwork (ChangingWinds)

Seth Godin believes that what we’re looking for in a leader is formidability. He also explains what two critical elements make a leader formidable. Choosing to be formidable (Seth’s Blog)