Fresh Links Sundae – December 8, 2013 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!

In spite of its negative connotations, politics can be viewed as the art of finding a way forward when people disagree about the best path forward. Bob Lewis explains how a manager can manage his/her political capital and work with the system effectively. Political Capital Management (IS Survivor Publishing)

For 2014, itSMF UK has decided to focus on four key topics that will drive its agenda, and those four key topics (referred to as the “ITSM Big 4”) were chosen based on the input from the ITSM community. Sophie Danby interviewed four ITSM Review regular contributors and practitioners to obtain their views on the ITSM Big 4. ITSM Big 4 – the practitioner view (The ITSM Review)

Maintaining a Supported Software Catalogue can immensely benefit the audit and reconciliation of Software Asset Management (SAM) data and facilitate activities at the Service Desk. Rory Canavan recommends a process for maintaining a Supported Software Catalogue. Process of the Month – Maintain a Supported Software Catalogue Process (The ITAM Review)

With the influx of mobile devices into the workplace, it will have a visible impact on what service desks have to do to provide support to the end-users. Stuart Facey recommends several planning approaches that service desk managers and ITSM professionals should consider. Service management for a more mobile world – is anything different? (The ITSM Review)

A number of organizations are struggling to find the balance between productivity and security when supporting IT initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Rob Enderle cautions that IT needs to scrutinize its BYOD approach and not put organizations and employees at risk by trying to be overly accommodating. IT’s BYOD Approach Is Wrongheaded (Unfiltered Opinion)

More and more IT support centers are paying close attention to customer satisfaction. Roy Atkinson explains what support managers can do to gain additional insight into their customers’ perceptions. Customer Conversations: One Thing (HDIConnect)

Diagrams and matrices can help to communicate complex ideas. Laura Brandenburg shows us how visual models can make business analysis work more productive with plenty of examples. How to Make the Requirements Process Faster With Visual Models 22 Visual Models Used by Business Analysts (Bridging the Gap)

Reflecting from the book “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty,” Jim Taggart talks about how an organization can meet today’s challenges by sharing power and enrolling its people to help find solutions. The Payoff from Sharing Power (ChangingWinds)

On those occasions when we are about to do something incredibly vital, we can get incredibly nervous. Jeff Haden suggests five things we can do to prepare ourselves mentally with a quick shot of confidence. 5 Ways to Get a Confidence Boost (Inc.com)

Most of us don’t like or fear public speaking because we believe the audience is focusing on us and constantly judging our presence. Seth Godin explains why those fears are simply misplaced. Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear (Seth’s Blog)

IT Agenda for the Workforce of the Future

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-career-word-scheme-pen-image30486102Jim Taggart has published an updated version of his May 2011 e-book “Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability.” The e-book begins with a brief overview of the global context within which organizations will operate in the years ahead. He also highlights the following trends that will have noticeable impacts. Drawing from his own experience, he has concluded that the workforce of the future will be significantly influenced and shaped by following elements: Competencies, Continuous Learning, Knowledge, Collaboration, Project Work, Diversity, Leadership, Social Media, Work Structure, and Organization Structure.

After reading his article, several thoughts of mine emerged. Here are my takeaways from Jim’s article on how the workforce of the future will impact the field of IT, and vice-versa:

People

From the people perspective, I think the continual effort of aligning and integrating IT with the business is given. More than ever, it is the relationship and trust that will ensure the alignment and integration will happen as intended. Successful IT initiatives require collaboration. Effective collaboration is only possible with trust. Successful IT initiatives also require information sharing from the business. Getting the proper perspectives via business analysis is feasible only when trust and relationships exist between business and IT.

Many business initiatives are also change management efforts. One hang-up often discussed has to do with resistance from the employees. I believe people resist changes not because they don’t understand the changes can be beneficial, but because they feel the changes have more negative impacts on them than anyone else. I think IT has a valuable opportunity here to help employees and organizations overcome resistance by leveraging technology to make changes more productive and beneficial to the employees. Change management efforts also can be looked at as the “programming” exercises of an organization. By understanding how the organization works, IT can serve as the “programming language” which further enhances the organization’s effectiveness in Collaboration, Project Work, Diversity, and Leadership.

Technology

From the technology perspective, IT will need to continue to support a fluid workforce. We, the IT professionals, need to make technologies even easier and productive for the end users to work with, to serve the organization’s business needs while protecting the organization’s best interests. IT can empower end-users to be innovators for the business by opening up new technological doors for them. Jim has mentioned the elements of Competencies, Continuous Learning, Knowledge, Collaboration, and Social Media, and technologies have made large strides in all those areas. In IT, we have been taught to put a great deal of emphasis using the business perspective. While I can certainly understand people’s position when they advocate that IT has to be about the business and not about technology, I am also fully in the camp of “IT is all about the business, by way of technology.”

Process

From the process perspective, I believe that IT must continue to think standardization and integration. By being the steward of the company’s information resources, IT is also uniquely qualified to bring the resources together, to do something with them, and to make the resources even more useful for the entire organization. Standardization and integration are not just for linking systems. They also can help in the business decision-making process. The Master Data Management practice, or single view of customer/product, is just one example of such standardization and integration effort. Furthermore, IT’s ability to foster standardization and integration give companies an even better capability and flexibility to structure the work and the organization to meet the demands from the workplace of the future.

In conclusion, I am in agreement with Jim on his proposed agenda for the workplace of the future. Based on my personal experience working in IT for the last 25 years, it was not difficult for me to draw the similar conclusions. The advancement in technology has accelerated the globalization trend and continued to introduce changes to our workplace non-stop. I think that, more than ever, the workers of today and the future will have to leverage those workplace elements to their own advantage and develop career resilience, rather than expecting the organizations to look after the workers.

Fresh Links Sundae – September 15, 2013 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. 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!

With so many data sources available to us, it is easy to analyze the data but still not getting the required results. That can happen when we analyze data without truly understand the business questions behind the analysis. Brian Barnier outlines four potential collaboration opportunities where IT and business can work together. Dangers of big lazy data / opportunities for IT leaders (ISACA Now)

When it comes to initiating an IT service improvement plan, a number of considerations should go into the planning. Over a three-part series, Michelle Major-Goldsmith presents a list of suggested starting points for your service improvement planning effort. A Trilogy – The One-Hour Service Improvement Plan (Part 2) (Part 3) (SHIFT)

With excellent customer service being one of the key goals of IT Service Management, Ryan Ogilvie reminds us that the ability to measure the quality provided is just as essential as the ability to provide services faster and cheaply. Request Fulfillment – How Good Are You? (Service Management Journey)

With today’s quick business pace, businesses are asking their IT organization to be more efficient and agile in providing the technology services the businesses require. Robert Stroud advocates that delivering business values, maybe on a smaller scale but quickly and efficiently, is the way to go. Can DevOps Get You Out of “Technical Debt”? (HDIConnect)

IT organizations manage a number of third party and off-the-shelf software assets on the regular basis. Rory Canavan presents a detailed asset management process model for managing changes to the software owned by an organization. Process of the Month – Software Change Management Process (The ITAM Review)

While teams bring many positive contributions to collaboration, they also can be a significant source of indecision. Patrick Gray makes recommendations on how we can do to stop this reactive behavior from taking hold in our organization. Eradicate a culture of indecision (TechRepublic)

In our lives, we probably know someone who seems to have a solid future ahead but somehow screws up life on a major scale. Susan Cramm explains how we can continually reflect and keep the worst in us from getting the best of us. Keeping the Stupid Out of Your Life (strategy+business)

With today’s globally distributed teams, having clear, timely communication amongst the teams is more crucial than ever. Over a three-part series, Peter Saddington presents his suggestions for managing a distributed Agile-based team. Ideas on Managing Distributed Teams Using Agile [1/3] – Introduction and Ceremonies (Part 2 – The Retrospective) (Part 3 – Review and Conclusion) (Agile Scout)

Some leaders try hard to win all the time, and they inadvertently try to add value to everything his team comes across. The behavior often adds incremental value while substantially diminishes employment involvement and commitment. Marshall Goldsmith advises us on what we can do stop this ineffective behavior. Adding Value — But at What Cost? (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Successes in career are rarely achieved without struggle and rejections along the way. When you have one of those dip/valley moments, Mitch Joel reminds us how we can confront those negative experiences on our own. If You Have Ever Been Rejected… Be Like Bono (Six Pixels of Separation)

Something else you might be interested in…

Jim Taggart has released an updated version of his May 2011 e-book. The e-book begins with a brief overview of the global context within which organizations will operate in the years ahead. He also highlights the key trends that will have noticeable impacts follow. Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, 2nd Edition – NEW E-BOOK! (ChangingWinds)

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)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 4, 2013 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 whose ideas resonate with me. I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

For a number of IT organizations, outstanding customer service has been touted as the key to organizational success. Rob England points out that it is necessary to have the proper perspectives before investing resources purely for the sake of exceptional customer service. Customers are not your top priority (The ITSM Review)

Organizations accumulate a vast amount of information and knowledge over time, and losing some of the critical knowledge can hurt productivity significantly. Ryan Ogilvie discusses why knowledge management (KM) deserves our attention and how can organizations get started in putting a workable KM process in place. WORN – Write Once Read Never? – The Importance of Knowledge Management (Service Management Journey)

The methodologies such as Agile, Lean, and DevOps can present some promising ideas for continual process improvement. Simon Morris suggests two starting steps for those organizations who want to start integrating Agile, Lean, and DevOps into their ITSM effort. Simple steps towards Agility and Service Management improvement (The ITSM Review)

To do IT Asset Management (ITAM) effectively, inventory along is not going to be enough. Filipa Preston suggests that a close collaboration between HR, IT, and procurement can go a long way to improve and to ensure the organization’s ITAM effectiveness. How many machines, really? (The ITAM Review)

When initiating or executing changes, plans and tools are critical components to have. With a three-part series, Jason Little explains why models, tools and plans still cannot replace the soul change agent must have to bring change that matters. The Soul of a Change Agent – Part 1, The Soul of a Change Agent – Part 2, The Soul of a Change Agent – Part 3 (Jason Little)

Business Process Model (BPM) can be a useful tool to describe how a process works, even if one knows little about the technology or business systems involved. Laura Brandenburg explains what is BPM and how to create one. How to Analyze a Business Process (Bridging the Gap)

As an experienced business professional, Jim Taggart believes that a country’s greatest competitive asset is its human capital and how it develops it. He explains why social capital is necessary for building the human capital and how organizations can build social capital for accomplishing their objectives. Build Your Organization’s Social Capital by Keeping Good Company (ChangingWinds)

While many organizations continue to be skeptical of how best to leverage the available social media tools, people are using the readily accessible tools to help them get their work done. Michael Schrage outlines several examples of how social media technologies have empowered people to accomplish their tasks. The Real Power of Enterprise Social Media Platforms (Harvard Business Review)

Instead of emphasizing on feedback or rehashing something that had already happened and cannot be changed, Marshall Goldsmith would like to encourage leaders spending more time creating a positive future. Leave It at the Stream (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Websites have evolved over the last 15 years and have become more valuable to more organizations. Seth Godin tells us what is one crucial question to ask when building a website and why the question matters. Q&A: What works for websites today? (Seth’s Blog)