Fresh Links Sundae – March 9, 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!

Many think of operational checklists as the script or work instructions, but they actually are not. Rob England explains how checklist should be leveraged to increase the effectiveness of any IT organization. The one top tip for IT operations and support: Checklists (The IT Skeptic)

While IT continues to be recognized as the expert for applying technologies to support business processes, a trend is becoming clear that many non-IT groups or individuals are also becoming proficient at leveraging technologies to improve their own productivity. Jon Hall believes that the trend should be leveraged to better connect with its user end and to improve its own effectiveness. The myth of trust: why consumer feedback is making us rethink IT (ServiceDesk360)

IT is well positioned to make positive contributions to many aspects of the business operations. Michael Hugos suggests how a CIO can collaborate effective with the CFO in the organization through risk management. The CIO Relationship With the CFO Is Based on Managing Risk (Enterprise Efficiency) Michael Hugos

Many organizations are evaluating how the DevOps practice can be integrated its own IT departments. Gene Kim describes the concepts behind the DevOps thinking and how the DevOps and ITSM practices are decidedly complementary to each other. Trust me: The DevOps Movement fits perfectly with ITSM (The ITSM Review)

Most business leaders still perceive IT as an operational, tactical role. Pearl Zhu suggests approaches that IT leaders can leverage to turn around the reputation and to transform into a strategic partner. CIO as Respected Business Leader (Future of CIO)

Many organizations spend training dollars to build individual knowledge and performance. Julie Montgomery and Gordon Brown recommend ways to spending training resources not just add individual knowledge but also to improve organizational capability. Quit Spending Money on ITIL Training (Plexent Blog)

After attending the recent annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Michael Schrage shares his thinking and observations on why leaders need to pay attention to how we identify and blend individual talents to perform measurably greater than simply the sum of their individual results. Team Chemistry Is the New Holy Grail of Performance Analytics (Harvard Business Review)

Many organizations use internal audits to assess potential deficiencies and improvement areas. Laszlo Gonc outlines six ways for internal audits to improve organizational effectiveness and to deliver value. 6 Success Factors for Better Internal Audits (Intreis)

Many of us have dreams of becoming someone who is much more of whom we are today. While all opportunities involves risks, Marshall Goldsmith recommends that making a decision to do something will be a much better option than simply wasting time debating contemplating about a future that will never come. Who Are You Arguing With? (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Based on the findings of their own and other reputable researchers, Bob Sutton talks about what is considered the appropriate team size for most tasks and explains the dynamics of a team. Why Big Teams Suck: Seven (Plus or Minus Two) Is the Magical Number Once Again (Work Matters)

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 – September 1, 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. 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 the NASDAQ outage on August 22nd, a number of people have been analyzing and discussing the incident and the lessons learned. Brian Barnier explains what risk management lessons we could have learned from this incident. Have the right lessons been learned from the NASDAQ outage? (ISACA Now)

Some people advocate that the gap between ITSM and Agile are wide enough where the two frameworks really cannot leverage each other’s principles. Simon Morris outlines his thoughts on why ITSM practitioners should care about Agile principles and the positive effects Agile can bring to an ITSM organization. Applying Agile principals to Service Management (The ITSM Review)

Getting IT service management initiative off the ground can sometimes seem like a long journey without highly visible progress. Julie Montgomery suggests things we can do to maintain our focus. The 8 Step Cycle to Grow Your ITSM Impact (Plexent Blog)

Taking the lessons learned from her recent training for marathon, Melanie Karunaratne articulates how the lessons can be applied to improving customer satisfaction in IT. Learning to Run (LANDesk Blog)

People like to compare methodologies and debate why one framework is more superior than the other. Dennis Stevens gives us a run-down between Agile and Waterfall and explains what matters more is about the problem you are trying to solve. Agile vs. Waterfall [] (LeadingAgile)

In business analysis, elicitation describes the set of techniques used to discover the requirements. Laura Brandenburg outlines a number of concrete steps a business analyst can take to make sure no requirements are overlooked. 53 Tips For Discovering All the Requirements (Bridging the Gap)

Jeff Haden believes that working for a start-up is different from working for an established company. He outlines the qualities that make a excellent employee for start-up or a brand new business. 7 Qualities Every Start-up Employee Needs (Inc.com)

James Altucher lists some hard-hitting advices for running your business. Whether you agree with the entire list, I think many advices listed are actionable and applicable to many aspects of life as well. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Starting and Running Your Own Business (Altucher Confidential)

Drawing from his personal experience, Hank Blank talks about one thing that can derail a consulting endeavor. I think Hank’s advice and James Altucher’s RULE #infinity resonate with each other. The Kryptonite of Consulting. (Thoughts on Networking, New Business & Agency Searches)

We often have the tendency to dismiss  poor behavior as if we have permanent genetic flaws that can never be corrected. Marshall Goldsmith gives a personal example and advises how we can change and overcome the self-imposed limitation. Give Yourself A Chance (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

A bonus download…

David Ratcliffe used this presentation to support his talk at the recent “2nd Annual IT Service Management Leadership Forum.” It’s thought-provoking, and I highly recommend it. The 5 Most Important Leadership Qualities For ITSM (Pink Elephant)

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 – July 28, 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 whose ideas resonate with me. I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

We live in an environment where consumers can display their loyalty for a product or service by switching without much effort. Robert Plant uses a recent personal example to advocates why companies should not squander the hard earned customers by letting customers slip away due to service failures. We Appreciate Your Business. Please Stay on the Line. (Harvard Business Review)

Author Robert Fulghum has inspired us with his famous book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Julie Montgomery reminds us what general IT management lessons we also can take away from implementing ITSM. All I Really Need To Know I Learned From In My Service Management Office (Plexent Blog)

Most of us are familiar with the concept and principles behind Project Management Office. The Service Management Office or SMO concept is also getting attention in the ITSM world. Rob England discusses why he believes the SMO concept is a good idea and what are some potential deliverables from a SMO. The Service Management Office (The IT Skeptic)

There is a saying that we are our own worst enemy. Part of personal growth is to expose our own blind spots, so we can at least be aware of them and adjust our behaviors if needed. Bob Lewis outlines his WPAM (Ways People Annoy Me) personality indicators and what they can do for us. What Myers-Briggs is good for … and what it isn’t (IS Survivor Publishing)

A number of organizations have implemented service catalogs solely for the purpose of speedy provisioning of IT services and equipment; however, we must also pay attention to the IT backend process. Melanie Karunaratne reminds us why planning a Service Catalogue project require holistic thinking. Service Catalogues: Don’t Build a Vending Machine (LANDesk Blog)

According to a CEB research, network performance is a valuable behavior that CIOs should encourage in their teams. Andrew Horne explains what network performance is and approaches for improving employee’s network performance. Network Performance – The Most Important Behavior in IT? (CEB’s IT Blog)

The Fast Track blog recently posted an article about overcoming resistance to change. Jason Little added his practical suggestions on how to handle change resistance effectively. Practical Advice for Managing Change Resistance (Jason Little)

The recent financial crisis and the following sluggish economy may have left a less-than-favorable impression on large corporations and capitalism. Jim Taggart believes that responsible capitalism is still doable and explains how it can be achieved via the Triple Bottom Line principle. Are You Minding Yours Triple Es and Ps? (ChangingWinds)

Although resume is still an important vehicle for job search, social media also has given us additional opportunities to present ourselves. Mitch Joel challenges us to take the time to craft and share our perspectives and extend ourselves beyond a piece of paper. The New Resume (Six Pixels of Separation)

Many leaders practice openness and inclusiveness, but overdoing them can also create staff dependency. Marshall Goldsmith explains how leaders can improve their effectiveness by minimizing the dependency and letting go. Get-Out-of-My-Face Time (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)