Fresh Links Sundae – December 7, 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!

Having a functional architecture is a key to deriving IT values for any organization, and architecture calls for sound design principles. Bob Lewis recommends at least five areas to consider when putting together the design principles for your architecture. Ben Franklin, turkeys, and design principles (IS Survivor Publishing)

As we jump from one data analytics problem to another, we often need to get up to speed on a new dataset quickly. A classical and under-utilized approach for becoming familiar with the new data problem is Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA). Jason Brownlee explains the EDA techniques and tactics that you can use. Understand Your Problem and Get Better Results Using Exploratory Data Analysis (Machine Learning Mastery)

Verified inventory is one of the several key elements of IT assets management success. Martin Thompson shares techniques he has used in the past to verify hardware inventory. Verifying Asset Accuracy (The ITAM Review)

As business analysts, there will always be value in getting more done well and in less time. Laura Brandenburg talks about some of the most common time wasters she sees in business analysis. 5 Business Analyst Time-Wasters (Bridging the Gap)

For many organizations, an ITSM initiative often represents a major change, and Organizational Change Management (OCM) is the centerpiece to success. Mike DePolis discusses some of the most important aspects and actions to consider for an OCM effort in your organization. Project success with Organizational Change Management (OCR) (The ITSM Review)

Many organizations still perceive data quality projects to be a technical endeavor, but data quality requires an on-going, consistent change management effort. Such changes can often result in fear and resistance. Dylan Jones discusses ways to combat the fear and resistance to changes. Data quality mastery depends on change management essentials (The Data Roundtable)

Data or information Management within an organization can be at risk when data are in bad shape. Strong governance practices and stewardship can minimize risks and improve productivity. Pearl Zhu outlines the signals we should pay attention to when handling data governance within your organization. How to Capture the Signals of Data Governance Issues (Future of CIO)

Marshall Goldsmith believes how you define yourself will impact how successful you are at your job and even how happy you will be in life. He outlines four sources from which we can define our identity and encourages us to think about the considerations that go into how we define ourselves. Why You Should Get a Handle on Your Identity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – May 11, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_13938429-215x240Fresh 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!

Not many people have mastered the framework of analytical storytelling by combining narrative along with visual analytics. Tom Davenport describes some examples of such framework. 10 Kinds of Stories to Tell with Data (Harvard Business Review)

A cloud strategy that doesn’t include some key elements will never reach its full potential for business transformation. Paul Chapman outlines those key competencies required for a successful cloud effort. To Succeed in the Cloud, CIOs Must Look Beyond Technology (VMware CloudOps)

In the famed Raiders of the Lost Ark series, Dr. Indiana Jones was fairly successful risk manager, who achieved his objectives. Steve Schlarman shows us what can GRC and Security programs learn from the legendary character. GRC and the Temple of Doom (RSA Archer GRC)

Recently Stuart Rance was asked by his customers what key performance indicators (KPIs) should be used to measure IT change management. He shares and explains some KPIs that may be useful to your team or organization. Defining Metrics for Change Management (SysAid Blog)

Enterprise Request Management is a new framework for incremental and evolutionary approach to centralizing and modifying business processes and service requests across the company. John Sundberg discusses five steps involved in implementing ERM. Implement Enterprise Request Management in Five Straightforward Steps (The ITSM Review)

Many projects wait till near the end of the project to ask the question of how much value can be realized, and often it’s too late. Glen Alleman explains how this critical question can be answered by sound project finance processes. Project Finance (Herding Cats)

As more organizations begin to implement Agile, more and more project managers are transitioning to become Scrum Masters. Eventually, the question of who should the Scrum Masters report to in an organizational hierarchy will come up. Len Lagestee has some scenarios and recommendations. Who Should the Scrum Master Report To? (Illustrated Agile)

Laura Brandenburg believes that clarity is one of the most fundamental attributes of writing good requirements. She discusses the steps for producing clear requirements. 5 Ways to Write Clearer Requirements (Bridging the Gap)

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 – March 16, 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!

Bob Lewis believes that initiatives like Cloud, Shadow IT, and the digital enterprise are trends CIOs cannot do much to affect, but still have to respond to. Through a 3-part series, he suggests the actions that IT should consider taking. Storming around (Part 3) More storm warnings (Part 2) An imperfect storm (Part 1) (IS Survivor Publishing)

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 COO through supporting business agility. The CIO & COO Relationship (Enterprise Efficiency) Michael Hugos

Some IT organizations believe that providing quality services has to equate to higher costs. Using a recent personal experience, Stuart Rance explains how quality services can still be provided without needing to cost more. Excellent service doesn’t have to cost more (The ITSM Review)

Automating a process can sometimes create tricky ownership issues. Ryan Ogilvie reminds us that some level of oversight and accountability are still required even after a process had been automated. Process Automation – Enter the Numbers and Push the Button (Service Management Journey)

Many leaders find it difficult transitioning into a new organization due to the pressure to act quickly and deliver rapid results. Lon Zanetta outlines the keys to success in transitioning into a new leadership role. Leadership Transitions: Focus on the Human Touch (CIO Leadership Council)

The Snowden/NSA incident highlighted the reality that no amount of security can truly deter disgruntled personnel or whistle blowers. To strengthen the security in your own environment, Peter Brooks recommends a list of action items which include governance and investment in people and open source technologies. Security after Snowdon – what do I need to do? (The ITSM Review)

Analyzing a business process is a major part of a business analyst’s work. Laura Brandenburg discusses various approaches to analyze a business process effectively. 3 (and only 3) Reasons to Use BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) (Article 1) How to Analyze an “As Is” Business Process (Article 2) How to Analyze a “To Be” Business Process (Article3) (Bridging the Gap)

Some are advocating that estimating is not an essential activity and producing the result is what matters. Glen Alleman explains why estimating is not just nice to have – it is essential for a credit job. Back To The Future (Article 1) Some more answers to the estimating questions (Herding Cats)

Many of us have difficulties in getting an idea or initiative off the ground. Denise Brosseau recommends several easy-to-implement techniques that can help you gain support for your initiatives. 3 Smart Change Agent Techniques to Get Your Business on Track (Salesforce Blog)

Part of leadership practice is to make your supporters feel supported by their leader. Marshall Goldsmith illustrates a single skill that set the great leaders apart from the near great. The Skill That Separates (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 2, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image5686314Fresh 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!

Filipa Preston believes that ITAM can play an essential partnering role to the business. She explains how ITAM can add value by demonstrating the bankable savings the project actually delivered while also showing how we can reduce risks to the business in the long-term. How do you convince the CFO? (The ITAM Review)

IT is well positioned to make positive contributions to many aspects of the business operations. Michael Hugos suggests ways that a CIO can help the VP of Sales in the organization. How the CIO Can Help the VP Sales (Enterprise Efficiency)

In today’s organizations, our job often is not to control change, but rather to control the impact of change on the project. Samuel Brown recommends four approaches when dealing with changes in project management. Four Axioms for Controlling Change (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Many IT organizations are trying to transform themselves from a cost-center role into a value-added role. Pearl Zhu explains what steps IT can take to enhance their value-added approach. How to Run IT as a Better Business Partner (Future of CIO)

To many people, Agile means delivering results with short planning cycles and making adjustments as we go. While speed and schedule are crucial, Mike Cottmeyer reminds us that the ability to plan and to estimate well is critical to all projects. Managing Risk and Uncertainty in Agile (LeadingAgile)

Many Business Continuity Management (BCM) programs need to transform from a reactive, isolated activity to an integrated, solution-driven strategy that adds resiliency for the organization. Patrick Potter explains why the transformation is important and what BCM leaders can do to make more of an impact. Building A Stronger, More Strategic BCM Program (Continuity Insights)

Some product backlogs are unavoidable, but not all backlogs present a negative impact. Len Lagestee outlines eight signs for which the backlogs seem to be ineffective and should be actively managed. 8 Symptoms of an Ineffective Product Backlog (Illustrated Agile)

Business analysts often find themselves given a high-priority project with little time to prepare. Laura Brandenburg explains what a business analyst can do to clarify scope quickly and to put a reasonable timeline estimated in place. How to Create a Business Analyst Timeline (Bridging the Gap)

Many organizations use published corporate values to encourage certain behaviors from their leaders. In reality, Marshall Goldsmith believes that the leaders’ actions often speak much louder than words posted on the office walls. Leaders Make Values Visible (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

For some, public speaking means memorizing the entire speech and delivering it to the audience. Mitch Joel believes that is the wrong way of delivering speech and offer suggestions on how to make your speech add value to your audience’s time. Another Public Speaking Horror Story (Six Pixels of Separation)