Fresh Links Sundae – January 11, 2015 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!

Data preparation and curation is the task that often consumes the majority portion of the data mining effort. Ben Lorica outlines some of the data preparation lessons discussed in the recent Strata + Hadoop World at New York. Lessons from next-generation data wrangling tools (O’Reilly Radar)

Many organizations have high awareness of the need to build analytics capability but understand very little on the how-to. Lana Klein discusses five approaches for getting through the analytics maze. Analytics: Five Rules to Cut Through the Hype (KDnuggets)

While IT may be a prominent service provider within an organization, there are other functions that also provide services to the enterprise. Darroll Buytenhuys talks about how organizations can leverage IT’s service management experience to benefit other shared services teams. Enterprise Service Management – Enabling Value Delivery Outside IT (The ITSM Review)

According to Dennis Drogseth, ITSM will become a critical, enabling element as the role of IT transforming to become a more front-office and customer focus. He discusses the trends he saw in 2014 that will grow in importance in 2015. The Changing Game of IT Service Management (EMA Blogs)

While data mining receives a great deal of attention today, many businesses still operate with rudimentary decision capability that is very apparent through their interactions with the customers. Michael Maoz suggests that, until IT and lines of business are working together, data mining’s impact will continue to be limited. Why data mining resembles handing a child a scalpel (Gartner Blogs)

Some people believe that, because project requirements are often too fluid, formal project planning may not be as critical as actually doing project work. Glen Alleman reminds us what capabilities-based planning is and what it is intended to do. Capabilities Based Planning (Herding Cats)

Many organizations set goals for process improvement at the beginning of the year. However, many of those resolutions fail to follow through as the months go by. Ryan Ogilvie makes suggestions on how to stay motivated and achieve the results you were hoping for. Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions – 6 of one Half Dozen of the other (Service Management Journey)

Today’s organizations face attack in the cyberspace by highly organized groups with deep pockets and high levels of know-how. Eddie Schwartz outlines four steps where organizations must take immediately to defend their information assets in today’s landscape. Lessons from the Sony breach: Four things that need to happen now (ISACA Now)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 2, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14628852Fresh 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!

Thomas Redman believes that managers should rarely take an important analysis at face value. He explains how data can be interpreted to tell one story but still fail to present the whole picture. When It Comes to Data, Skepticism Matters (Harvard Business Review)

Like all technology implementation efforts, cost benefits analysis should be part of a NoSQL implementation. William Vorhie explains what the two categories of benefit in NoSQL are and how to quantify them. Quantifying the Value of a NoSQL Project (Data Science Central)

Most of us think of taking meeting notes as merely a mundane transcription exercise. Bob Lewis would argue that taking and publishing the meeting notes is one of the most important jobs in a meeting. Notes about notes (IS Survivor Publishing)

Glen Alleman would advocate that, in order to make good decisions, we require good estimates. He explains five decision-making processes and how to incorporate sound estimating effort into those processes. Decision Making Without Estimates? (Herding Cats)

Understand the algorithm is a critical element of leveraging machine learning techniques effectively. Jason Brownlee outlines five ways to study and learn about machine learning algorithms. How to Study Machine Learning Algorithms (Machine Learning Mastery)

Many organizations do not have an organized approach to handling major IT incidents, and, as a result, they compromise their abilities to capture valuable lessons. Ryan Ogilvie discusses the four stages of a major incident handling and what challenges we need to overcome. Not Doing Proper Post Incident Reviews Could Haunt You (Service Management Journey)

Many organizations spend a great deal of effort on IT benchmarking but often get back the results that have little impact. Pearl Zhu discusses how to do benchmarking effectively in order to get the most impactful results from the effort. Is IT Benchmarking valuable or a Waste? (Future of CIO)

With the current and future landscape of tools, technologies, and processes, the IT environment has been changing in a fast and dramatic pace. Chris Riley discusses the challenges IT and Operations will face now and into 2015 and how to address those challenges. 6 Challenges Facing DevOps and Operations Teams in 2015 (logentries)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 19, 2014 Edition from #SMFUSION14

FUSION14Header

NOTE: This is an abbreviated post from FUSION 14 in Washington. DC. If you are there this week, I appreciate you coming out to support the Chapter and the Conference #SMFUSION14.

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!

Roll over Dogbert’s Tech Support, the application economy is here by Robert Stroud (CA Technologies)

Your Relationship with Metrics by Mark Dalton (HDIConnect)

Problem Management – The value in not knowing by Ryan Ogilvie (Service Management Journey)

Where Art Thou Hadoop? by Svetlana Sicular (Gartner Blogs)

16 Options To Get Started and Make Progress in Machine Learning and Data Science by Jason Brownlee (Machine Learning Mastery)

How to re-balance a data migration project plan by Dylan Jones (The Data Roundtable)

Project Risk Management, PMBOK, DoD PMBOK and Edmund Conrow’s Book by Glen Alleman (Herding Cats)

What Peter Drucker Knew About 2020 by Rick Wartzman (Harvard Business Review)

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 – July 13, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_25479412-240x180Fresh 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 firms talks about the necessity of transforming themselves and moving towards becoming a “digital enterprise.” Bob Lewis recommends a three-step program to achieve the digital transformation. Is the “digital revolution” revolutionary? (IS Survivor Publishing)

The increasing use of cloud computing has led to IT losing control of some of its enterprise resources. David Linthicum explains how IT can reassert itself and bring oversight back on top of those cloud-based resources. How cloud computing can strengthen IT’s control (InfoWorld)

Often, a process’ deficiency requires us to perform deep analysis in order to discover the linkage. Ryan Ogilvie gives an example of how analyzing the appropriate change and incident metrics can lead to a productive examination of IT service issues. What percentage of ‘suckage’ does your #ITSM processes have? (Service Management Journey)

Business and IT both need to change quickly in order to meet business demand but still keep the risk at a manageable level. Martin Grobisen suggests ways we can use the change management process to improve operations and create an environment that fosters innovation. 8 Quick Tips About Change Management (ITSM Lens)

IT managers often face the unpleasant task of directing computing resources for a business application at the expense of another. Steve Brasen suggests two simple tips of leveraging ITIL to assist with the decision making. Prioritizing Workloads – Deciding What’s Hot and What’s Not (EMA Blog Community)

Working with many complex projects, we have to monitor and manage closely many aspects of the cost, schedule, and quality. Glen Alleman reminds us why maintaining a statistical mindset is crucial for managing today’s projects. Why is Statistical Thinking Hard? (Herding Cats)

Introducing the concept of DevOps to an organization is never easy because DevOps often bring an assortment of cultural changes. Ho Ming Li discuss five potential difficulty areas for this cultural-changing endeavor. 5 Common Barriers When Introducing DevOps (ActiveState)

As the World Cup games wind down, many of us have cheered on the US men national team, especially for goalie Tim Howard. Patrick Potter discusses what parallels we can draw from watching Howard’s solid performance during the tournament. What Does Internal Audit and Team USA goalie Tim Howard Have in Common? (RSA Archer GRC)

Fresh Links Sundae – July 6, 2014 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!

Vaughan Merlyn is running a five-part series on business relationship management on his blog. He discusses the common failure modes he comes across and what the IT organizations can do to implement an effective BRM practice. Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 1  Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 2  Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 3  Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 4 & Key IT Roles for Driving Business Value (IT Organization Circa 2017)

Although IT and business ultimately have the same goal in serving the enterprise, they often do not communicate effectively with one another in many organizations. Establishing a business relationship management function can improve the IT-business interactions. Ryan Ogilvie discusses that IT can do to get started. Translating IT and Business Speak (Service Management Journey)

IT organizations continue to face aggressive cost saving mandates, and IT service management practice could be leveraged to contribute positive results. Reginald Lo presents his perspectives on how does Service Management directly save costs and how do we reduce the cost of Service Management. Streamlining Service Management to Achieve Cost Savings Targets (VMware Accelerate)

A number of organizations have implemented IT practices around the DevOps concept with varying degree levels of success. Mike Loukides discusses what the DevOps trend is today and what organizations need to do in order to be effective. Revisiting What is DevOps (O’Reilly Radar)

A recent Forrester study found that many organizations experience low first change success rate for and long lead time on changes for IT infrastructure and applications. Matthew Selheimer discusses the problems he sees as the impediments to organization changes and how to improve the first change success rate. The secret to change success – understanding multiple perspectives (The ITSM Review)

Companies often assign leaders to affect changes (culture, behaviors, or climate) within the organization. People have different opinions on whether a leader should change a culture and, if so, how to change a culture. Rob England helps us answer the question of “Should you try to change culture?” and what a leader should do to promote changes. Don’t try to change culture (The IT Skeptic)

Putting out fires can be a common problem for the Program Management Office while struggling to manage a portfolio. Glen Alleman outlines five recommendations we should keep in mind, so we do not lose sight of the big-picture view of the project management process. Don’t be an Accidental Project Manager (Herding Cats)

In his new e-book Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, 2nd Edition, James Taggart discusses four major forces that are exerting major impacts in our lives. He outlines ten leadership lessons each one of us should leverage to adapt to the on-going change. 10 Leadership Lessons to Succeed During Turbulent Change (ChangingWinds)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 29, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_34568759-240x170Fresh 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!

Cloud computing is becoming widely adopted, and yet, many organizations still do not fully understand the advantages and challenges that come with cloud computing. Tom Bittman discusses three perceptions of “cloud computing” and how organizations can evaluate cloud computing from all angles to get the most value out of it. How to Create a Cloud Strategy That Fails Big! (Gartner Blogs)

Public cloud offering might be economically attractive, but the lack of customization and other security considerations can present challenges of their own. Brent Bensten explains why not all applications, services, and frameworks are built for cloud computing and how to deploy the right tool for the job. How to choose between custom and commodity clouds (InfoWorld)

Many people define KPIs for their IT service management processes by looking in books or by copying what others do; however, that is rarely going to give good results. Stuart Rance outlines a list of critical success factors (CSFs) and KPIs that organizations can leverage to design a set of problem management measurements. The critical test is to ensure those measurements will derive metrics about the things your organization cares about. Defining Metrics for Problem Management (SysAid)

The DevOps concept is being experimented or adopted in many organizations. For many IT operational teams, implementing a DevOps model within their own organizations still presents many challenges. Alex Honor discusses those challenges and make recommendations on how the development and the operational teams can work together to overcome those challenges while minimizing risks. Common Objections to DevOps from Enterprise Operations (dev2ops)

While there are many cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) offerings that present excellent value, it’s also true that many data protection vendors do not leverage the same definitions when classify their products as cloud-based “DR” or “BC” solutions. Lynn LeBlanc explains what are the four essential DR/BC capabilities when evaluating a potential cloud-based DR/BC offering. Evaluation Criteria for Your Cloud-based Data Protection Solutions (Data Center Knowledge)

Many organizations have their own change management process, but often the process is rigidly applied and not leveraged correctly for its true value to aid the business. Jon Morley illustrates how we can build on our existing change processes and bring them together to help develop an end-to-end change management solution that works for your organization. Advice for Building Your House of Change Management (The ITSM Review)

Cost, schedule, and performance are the most critical aspects we try to manage for every project. We can think of them as three biggest random variables we need to measure and control in order to succeed in a project. Glen Alleman shows how we can measure and estimate these random numbers with a reasonable level of confidence and margin for errors. All Project Numbers are Random Numbers — Act Accordingly (Herding Cats)

A critical component of a capable IT service management practice is the establishment of a Continual Service Improvement process. Building or changing organizational culture, however, is not so easily done because traditions are closely held as norms, values, and beliefs. Pearl Zhu recommends a four-step approach for shaping a continuous-improvement culture in your organization. A Continuous-Improvement Culture (Future of CIO)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 15, 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!

Brady Orand and Global Knowledge are running a blog series “11 Common Mistakes of ITIL Foundation Newbies.” Here are the first five installments of the series. ITIL Newbie Mistake #1: Too Much Focus on the Processes ITIL Newbie Mistake #2: Certified and Done ITIL Newbie Mistake #3: Focusing on Processes First ITIL Newbie Mistake #4: Attempting a Project in Isolation ITIL Newbie Mistake #5: Developing a Service Catalog without Considering Business Needs (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Using Forrester’s research data, Kate Leggett illustrates what is the most important factor in good customer service and recommends approaches for organizations to offer excellent service. Surprise! Customer Service Doesn’t Need To Be Delightful – Just Effective (Forrester Blogs)

These days, picking an appropriate public cloud provider can be a daunting task due to the large number of provider choices. Sarah Chapman and Leonard Whitten outline the factors you should consider when evaluating your public cloud provider options. Pick Your Public Cloud Providers Like You Would Pick Your Hotel (SUNGARD AVAILABILITY SERVICES BLOG)

Many IT organizations believe they provide adequate services but rarely take the necessary effort to assess themselves. Ryan Ogilvie believes that on-going dialogues with the customer are essential for IT to validate its own performance. Performing ITSM Self Assessments – Don’t Wait too Long (Service Management Journey)

Some people would advocate that estimating is a waste, and project decisions can be made without estimating. Glen Alleman argues that executing projects without estimating is like driving in the dark with the lights off, not a prudent business move under any circumstance. An Agile Estimating Story (Herding Cats)

Pearl Zhu believes that a well-designed dashboard can serve as an effective management tool to enable business leaders to make better decision. She recommends a list of measurements and KPIs within which a comprehensive CIO Dashboard should include. CIO Dashboard (Future of CIO)

Martin Grobisen believes that advanced IT service management tools need not only apply to IT functions. The automation and management tools also can be applied to line-of-business processes to drive innovation across departments. He suggests some potential business cases which can be supported with IT service management tools. 7 Quick Ways to Take Advantage of Process Automation for Line-of-Business (ITSM Lens)

For many organizations, the deficiency in trust causes a great deal of tension between IT and the lines of business. Kevin Lees discusses how IT can overcome such deficiency to gain true business alignment. How IT Can Transform “Trust Debt” into True Business Alignment (VMware CloudOps)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 8, 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!

Many companies are struggling to add piecemeal elements to their existing IT operations in order to compete in the digital era. Some experts have suggested that reinventing the IT function may be another way to deliver the digital capability the companies need to compete. Henrik Andersson and Philip Tuddenham have identified seven elements that are critical to achieving the IT performance improvements required for the new digital world. Reinventing IT to support digitization (McKinsey & Company)

When moving towards a more “digital” enterprise, many organizations are adopting what Dion Hinchcliffe called the ‘bolt-on’ strategy, which typically means adding a few new digital channels to existing touch point. He explains why companies should consider another more transformative approach when going digital. Going Beyond ‘Bolt-On’ Digital Transformation (Enterprise Irregulars)

Today’s website and web applications contain many distributive technical components. Maintaining and diagnosing performance issues can be complex. In a five-part series, Clare Kirlin discusses the considerations and decisions required to ensure the performance of your websites and web application meets your business needs. New Blog Series: #OptimizeDigital (Part 1) 3 Miles and 14 Bottlenecks: Know Your Performance Enemies (Part 2) Optimize Measurements to Optimize Web Performance (Part 3) Real Users: A Common Web Performance Blind Spot (Part 4) The Quick and Easy Audit that Every IT Manager Should Perform (Part 5) (In the Limelight)

The technologies used in software development have changed radically in the last two decades. Mike Loukides reflects on the technology stacks in use today and describes the essential components everyone in the software development or operations team should know. Beyond the stack (O’Reilly Radar)

Leveraging his recent system migration experience, Andreas Grabner explains why by monitoring all your system components and correlating the results with deployment tasks will you be able to deploy with more confidence without disrupting your business. Web Service Monitoring 101: Identifying Bad Deployments (About: Performance)

With today’s complex projects, some are convinced that the current project management processes are obsolete for dealing with complexity on projects.  Glen Alleman believes that the notion is untested and recommends ways to deal with project complexity. How to Deal With Complexity in Software Projects? (Herding Cats)

In light of what we may have read about the discovery of mismanagement at the US Veterans Administration, Bob Lewis reminds us the importance of collecting and reporting on the right metrics that truly matter to the business. Your own personal VA scandal (IS Survivor Publishing)

We all want to stand out in some way, but we also want to fit in. Reflecting from a personal experience, Jeff Haden outlines the approach for working towards fitting into a larger community. The Best Way to Fit In and Truly Become Part of…Anything (Inc.com)

Food for Thoughts…

Many schools hold graduation commencement during the month of June.  Michael Schrage gives us a playful, but not implausible, look at a future commencement speech. The First Robot Commencement Address (Harvard Business Review)

Fresh Links Sundae – May 25, 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!

For organizations that want to run IT as a business, how should IT price its services and charge its internal customers? Bob Lewis discusses the three broad cost categories for invoicing. Chargebacks – tips and techniques (IS Survivor Publishing)

The value of data in business is a popular discussion these days. For managers who want to learn more about how information is being captured, quantified, and used to make business decisions, Walter Frick has a reading list to get those managers started. An Introduction to Data-Driven Decisions for Managers Who Don’t Like Math (Harvard Business Review)

IT has a critical mission of helping business drive success; therefore, the business needs to share responsibility for IT investments and projects as well. Pearl Zhu recommends how CIOs and CFOs can build a strong relationship for IT governance effectiveness and efficiency. CIO-CFO Collaboration for IT Governance (Future of CIO)

With Agile, many organizations have a heavy focus on value generation. While value generation is important, Glen Alleman cautions that focusing on value in the absence of focusing on cost of that value can be a going-out-of-business strategy. To Stay In Business You Need to Know Both Value and Cost (Herding Cats)

Many organizations experience a common pitfall in implementing ITSM – they were investing effort in creating and maintaining configuration information but getting little or no value from their investment. Stuart Rance suggests a list of improvements that every organization should consider. What’s the Point of Configuration Management? (SysAid Blog)

Dan Kane has found that usually the most overlooked part of organizational change is that of consequences and rewards. He believes that every successful process/organizational change does three things thoroughly and well. The Big 3 Questions of Consequence (Hazy ITSM)

Courtney Nash believes that we might have reached a point in software development where we can no longer understand, see, or control all the parts because they are increasingly complex and distributed. She also has some recommendations on what we can do to develop and manage systems with an enormous degree of sophistication and complexity. Everything is distributed (O’Reilly Radar)

Many of us take on the challenge of making changes and find the changes can be both time-consuming and hard to do. Marshall Goldsmith recommends that having the courage to face the truth up front when setting goals can help us stick to the plan. The Five Reasons We Give Up (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)