Fresh Links Sundae – October 5, 2014 Edition

business analytics word cloudFresh 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!

Predictive analytics can never offer any ironclad guarantees around prediction, so how do you evaluate a new tool or a new model? Theos Evgeniou offers some basic questions in evaluating new predictive models to help you get the most out of your predictive analytics. How to Tell If You Should Trust Your Statistical Models (Harvard Business Review)

Some organizations implement ITSM with a number of sophisticated processes that end up too bureaucratic to be effective. Stuart Rance suggests how you can simplify things but stay effective at the same time. Do you really need all those cumbersome processes? (Optimal Service Management)

Jason Brownlee believes that, in order to get good at applying machine learning algorithms, you need to build up an intuition of how an algorithm behaves on real data. He describes the process we should follow when studying machines learning algorithms. How to Build an Intuition for Machine Learning Algorithms (Machine Learning Mastery)

Some organizations’ metrics programs fail while others are successful. Phyllis Drucker outlines the steps for organizing your metric framework and how you can kick your metrics game up a notch. A five-step framework for business oriented metrics (The ITSM Review)

As a product manager for cloud services, Alex Bordei’s mission is to make sure his team gets the highest performance possible out of the technologies used in their services. He discusses how NoSQL databases can scale vertically and horizontally, and what you should consider when building a cluster. Scaling NoSQL databases: 5 tips for increasing performance (O’Reilly Radar)

When we train and deploy machine learning models for big data analytics, we run several risks when we strive for perfection and over-train the model. Kirk Borne advocates that we can reap great benefits from data analytics by having fast, simple, slightly imperfect machine learning. Machine Unlearning: The Value of Imperfect Models (MapR)

A number of IT organizations have transformed themselves from a technology-oriented to a services-oriented organization with the practice of IT service management. John Worthington discusses the various approaches and the continual cycle of service definition. What Does It Mean for IT to Be Customer-Focused? (VMware CloudOps)

Some people feel the traditional IT enterprise architecture (EA) can be too rigid or not flexible enough for today’s fast-changing environment. Charles Betz shares his ideas of what an Agile EA approach might look like. Agile and Enterprise Architecture (lean4it)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 1, 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!

Companies across industries are experiencing a looming issue of finding the senior-leadership capacity to manage the huge program of data analytics. The issue stems from the reality that many top-team members are fully engaged with their existing responsibilities. Janaki Akella, Sam Marwaha, and Johnson Sikes believe that CIOs can help by mastering four critical roles. How CIOs can lead their company’s information business (McKinsey & Company)

With today’s fast delivery cycles, Charles Betz argues that the traditional “Plan/Build/Run” model is no longer sufficient. He explains how a “Demand/Supply/Execute” model may help to counteract the tendency to form functional silos and to promote effectiveness. The challenges of “Plan, Build, Run” and Towards “Demand, Supply, Execute” (lean4it)

In business, process maturity and stability are good things to have, but too much is not necessarily better. Bob Lewis advocates that the job of leadership often is defined by the need to maintain an organization in its most unstable state, because in many areas that is where the best results happen. The unstable optimum (IS Survivor Publishing)

In many IT organizations, setting high operating standards and what gets recognized (ad-hoc fire-fighting) can have opposite effects. Dan Kane believes that performance against the standards you set on an individual basis is a key leading indicator of overall organizational performance. Keeping Employees Engaged with ITSM (Hazy ITSM)

Reporting from IT can be challenging when trying to deliver reports that are accurately reflecting the customer experience. Ryan Ogilvie suggests four principals to keep in mind when planning and making service improvements. Service Management Reporting is all about Perspective (Service Management Journey)

Bill Kleyman advocates that one of the best ways to prep your organization for a potential cloud move is to utilize a cloud readiness assessment. Before you migrate a workload into a cloud provider space, he recommends some key infrastructure aspects to consider. Creating a Cloud Readiness Assessment (Data Center Knowledge)

Denise Brosseau had just returned from her summer vacation to Sweden, after a visit to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. She shares the lessons we can all learn from this remarkable, failed warship. What I Learned About Failure on My Summer Vacation (Thought Leadership Lab)

Just about any animal will tend to repeat behavior that is followed by positive reinforcement. As a result, the more successful we become, with more positive reinforcement we get, we become less able to recognize the need to change. Marshall Goldsmith cautions us not to let over-confidence overshadow our humility and the ability to change. The Success Delusion (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

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 – June 2, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not quite. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Responding to the assertion that robotics may soon replace people on the IT support function, Rob England believes that such assertion is decidedly premature. Let’s not underestimate the resilience of people and societies (The IT Skeptic)

When facing the dilemma of serving IT constituents and maintaining sound technology architecture at the same time, Gregory Tucker reminds us the risks of over-responding to user requests that compromise a designed service. Managing to Design (Tracted IT Management)

A key driver behind the DevOps movement is to balance between the need for changes and the need for stability. Using a causal loop diagram, Charles Betz offers a model to illustrate how changes, IT availability, and business value affect one another. Part 1 and DevOps CLD part 2 (lean4it)

With a four-part series, Niek Bartholomeus discusses the drivers and suggests the approaches for introducing DevOps in a traditional enterprise. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Implementing a release management solution in a traditional enterprise (BMC Communities Blog)

Most organizations practice the chain-of-command like structure for handling support requests. Stuart Facey believes that bringing the necessary people and experts together in a collaborative manner is a better approach and will go a long way to improve the support experience for customers. The service desk shuffle: Collaboration trumps hot potatoes (The ITSM Review)

Some IT organizations adopt the “trial by fire” approach to weed out the new comers. Sometimes those organizations tolerate more of the rude behaviors from the senior team members towards the junior ones. Patrick Gray suggests that perhaps it is effective to do it differently. Does IT eat its young? (TechRepublic)

With an abundance of “free” security tools available, many organizations have asked whether the free solutions can be as effective as the ones that require an up-front financial investment. Sorin Mustaca suggests that most “For Free” analysis of the costs stops at the acquisition and ignores others like the installation and maintenance costs. Security “for free”? ((ISC)2 Blog)

Good blogs are like good restaurants – one goes there for a delicious meal and leave pleasantly satisfied. Melissa Hathaway suggests ways to populate a blog with more timely and relevant content for its targeted readers. Engage Your Blog Readers with Meaty Content (Writing On The Web)

While use cases might not always be the most appropriate choice for every project; however, there can be misconceptions about exactly when and how the use cases should be used. Laura Brandenburg outlines three scenarios when it’s appropriate to apply use cases. When Would You Write a Use Case? (Bridging the Gap)

Many leaders all too often believe that their organizations operate with efficient, free-flowing communication and found themselves surprised by the lack of understanding from the staff at the lower levels of the organization. Marshall Goldsmith suggests that proactively practicing follow-up will cure many miscommunication situations. Don’t Just Check the Box (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 10, 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.

Jeff Wayman talked about some common observations that could signal a personnel issue at the service desk. The 10 Common Traits That Signal Help Desk Burnout [http://blog.sunviewsoftware.com/2012/06/10-common-traits-that-signal-help-desk.html] (ITSM Lens)

Rob England gave the reasons why IT is not here just to serve its customers’ needs, but also to protect the organization’s interests. IT: to protect and serve [http://www.itskeptic.org/content/it-protect-and-serve] (The IT Skeptic)

A report from McKinsey Quarterly gave suggestions on how companies can develop, retain, and recruit talent by leveraging both internal resources and external means. Winning the battle for technology talent [https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Business_Technology/BT_Organization/Winning_the_battle_for_technology_talent_2972] (McKinsey Quarterly)

Susan Cramm presented her case why the movement of combining the CFO and the CIO roles is a wrong move. Why We Need More IT Leadership, Not Less [http://www.valuedance.com/blog/article/-why-we-need-more-it-leadership-not-less] (Valuedance)

Arun Gupta argued that an IT department by any other name does not change what the department needs to do in order to succeed. A change in attitude, delivery, partnership, and innovation will have more impact than a simple name change. BT, IT, whatever, does it matter ? [http://www.cioleadershipcenter.com/community/center_blogs/blog/2012/06/04/bt-it-whatever-does-it-matter] (Center for CIO Leadership Blogs)

Charles Betz advocated that IT organizations should shift from the traditional plan/build/run model into a demand/supply/execute model to increase its effectiveness. From “plan/build/run” to “demand/supply/execute” [http://blogs.enterprisemanagement.com/charlesbetz/2012/06/04/planbuildrun-demandsupplyexecute/] (Charles Betz)

Rob England made some suggestions on how ITSM and Agile can work together and need not create roadblocks for each other. Six Tactics for ITSM to Deal with Agile [http://www.itskeptic.org/content/six-tactics-itsm-deal-agile] (The IT Skeptic)

Bob Lewis discussed the six factors that affect IT recruiting and how focusing on the wrong priorities has made recruiting IT talent much more difficult than it needs to be. Recruiting enters the sixth dimension [http://www.weblog.keepthejointrunning.com/?p=4705] (IS Survivor Publishing)

Robert Stroud talked about how the use of technologies by the younger generations can have a significant effect at how organization delivers its technology services. Consumer Driven IT [http://community.ca.com/blogs/itil/archive/2012/05/30/consumer-driven-it-the-generational-change-and-the-changing-face-of-service-management.aspx] (CA on Service Management)

Drawing from various perspectives, Charles Betz dissected and derived new definition for IT Value. What is IT Value? [http://www.lean4it.com/2012/06/what-is-it-value.html] (erp4it)