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 – March 2, 2014 Edition 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)

Fresh Links Sundae – January 26, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_34969337 (150x240)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!

Some people don’t like culture change because it is slow and can be ugly. Bob Lewis suggests that you do not choose both aspects when implementing culture change, but you will need to pick one. Quick culture change (IS Survivor Publishing)

To some, big data holds the promise of producing output of unique insight on the information that would be almost unimaginable for a human being to uncover and develop. Mitch Joel believes the trick is to leverage all of this data, analytics and performance in a way that machines can’t. What’s Bigger Than Big Data? (Six Pixels of Separation)

Cloud computing has fundamentally changed how we provide and consume computing services. Hank Marquis talks about how cloud technologies are changing the roles within IT organizations. How Cloud is Redefining IT Job Roles (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Configuration management (CM) process exists in many IT organization, but many organizations struggle with it. Earl Begley explains why the CM can be difficult to practice well and offers tips to improve the odds for success. Why is configuration management so tough? [] (ITSM Review)

Like many aspects of IT, some organizations have chosen to outsource some or all of their software asset management (SAM) practice to a third-party partner. Kylie Fowler gives three suggestions on how to get the most out of your SAM service experience. Implementing a successful 3rd party SAM Service (ITAM Review)

Many enterprise project/program management offices (PMO) get stuck at a lower level of management maturity and struggle to deliver IT projects that meet customers’ expectation. Pearl Zhu discusses the ways a PMO can use to solidify itself and improve project success rate. IT Transformation: How to Build a Solid PMO Roadmap (Future of CIO)

When asked by his students in his ITIL classes, Michael Scarborough believes that he sees more organizations having difficulty with ITIL is the overall governance. He explains why more organizations struggle with that aspect of ITIL more than others. What’s the Most Challenging Aspect of Adopting ITIL Best Practices? (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Occasionally we are requested to join a team having difficulties and turn things around. Len Lagestee suggests we first assess the situation and identify the gaps that may exist within the team. So, You’ve Just Joined a Struggling Team (Illustrated Agile)

Leaders are expected to create change, but inconsistency between their talk and their walk can create creditability gap. Susan Cramm discusses the crucial leadership lessons we can all learn from the Pope. Leadership Gone Viral (strategy+business)

We can increase our effectiveness by changing elements of our behavior. Marshall Goldsmith outlines six steps you can follow to achieve a positive, measurable, long-term change in your behavior. From Good to Great (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – January 12, 2014 Edition 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!

With business’ dependence on technology, Robert Stroud recommends that today’s CIOs need to make more focused choices that are aligned with the business. Speed to Execution is Critical for the Modern CIO (CA Service Management)

Bob Lewis believes that trying to fix a problem with an organization is a lot like going on diet and trying to lose weight. Neither one works, but he recommends a better goal is to live the weight you want. A diet of lasting change (IS Survivor Publishing)

In collaboration with 3Gamma’s CEO, Peter Wahlgren, Aprill Allen and Mr. Wahlgren discuss the knowledge management approaches in a multisourcing environment. Service integration and knowledge management Service Integration in a Multisourcing Environment Document (Knowledge Bird)

In a two-part blog, Vawns Murphy recommends ten tips for a sound SAM practice. Software Asset Management – Tips From The Trenches (Part 1) Software Asset Management – Tips From The Trenches (Part 2) (The ITAM Review)

In a four-part blog, Jenny Juliany discusses an approach for managing the lifecycle of corporate data. The Four Seasons of Data Management – ‘Spring’ Inception The Four Seasons of Data Management – ‘Summer’ Primetime The Four Seasons of Data Management – ‘Fall’ Retirement The Four Seasons of Data Management – ‘Winter’ Removal (Intreis)

If you are a manager with direct reports on an Agile team, Len Lagestee believes that a set of expected behaviors should apply to you. He outlines what would make the interactions productive when managers attend Agile team events. A Managers Guide to Attending Agile Team Events (Illustrated Agile)

Stakeholders play a critical role in a business analyst’s success. Laura Brandenburg explains how to turn every meeting and every deliverable into an opportunity to invest in your stakeholder relationships. How to Build Better Stakeholder Relationships in 2014 (Bridging the Gap)

When working with customers, Marshall Goldsmith talks about the importance of being authentic and genuine. Dear Yet to be Born Grandchildren (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

While it’s debatable how much self-esteem contributes to one’s success, Scott Adams believes that having a clear sense of one’s own self-esteem has helped him. The Glorious Advantages of Low Self-Esteem (Scott Adams Blog)

When dealing with the uncertainty of future, all of us take different approaches. Seth Godin talks about three general approaches and the mistakes people often make. Accuracy, resilience and denial (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 17, 2013 Edition 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!

When tackling a very large initiative, most of us will attempt to divide up the effort into multiple smaller projects to reduce complexity. When large projects get divided into chunks, it’s possible to lose coherence. Bob Lewis suggests ways to keep the projects coherent and focused. When organizing large programs, don’t be incoherent (IS Survivor Publishing)

Deploying and managing IT in the developing countries can be decidedly different from managing technologies in the western world. Bright Simons describes his experience deploying enterprise IT in Africa and the lessons that IT organizations should consider. What’s Different About Enterprise IT in Africa (Harvard Business Review)

Many IT organizations work hard to improve their working relationships with the business. Peter Lijnse outlines four Business Relationship Management activities that IT can leverage to improve its effectiveness when working with business. The Business and IT Love Requires Lubrication (The ITSM Review)

When organizations execute major IT initiatives, conflict or duplication of effort can arise if the PMO and the IT service management team are not in sync. David Cole recommends ways for both organizational functions to work together. A Loving Co-Existence: When ITSM Overlaps With the PMO (Plexent Blog)

IT is one field where the gender gap issue is often discussed. Aprill Allen suggests ways where we can work together to address the imbalance. Redressing the balance: women in IT(Service Management) (Knowledge Bird)

Many experts have opinions and suggestions for supervising, managing, and leading female employees. Jeff Haden would suggest that the first thing a leader should do is to look past the gender differences and focus on the individual employees. Groundbreaking New Way to Lead Female Employees (

Leaders in large companies face a number of side-effects that can come up as a result of the complex structure. Julian Birkinshaw explains what forces are shaping these complex organizations and recommends approaches leaders can take to keep their organizations on track. Managing Complexity Is the Epic Battle Between Emergence and Entropy (Harvard Business Review)

When individuals become exceedingly rigid with their thinking or positions, it can create communication obstacles for the organization. Len Lagestee offers his suggestions on how to overcome the obstacle. Defending Your Position (Illustrated Agile)

When an organization leverages the Agile framework, the product owner plays a crucial role in the successful execution of the development effort. Peter Saddington provides a list answers to the commonly asked questions about the product owner role. FAQ on Most Common Product Owner Questions for Management (Agile ScoutAgile Scout)

Anna Farmery believes happiness and meaning do matter and are crucial to success in life and in business. She offers her tips on creating more of both. An Ocean Rower’s Top Tips for Happiness and Meaning (The Engaging Brand)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 20, 2013 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. 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!

Some experts have predicted that the CIO role has become less and less relevant over the years and maybe going away soon. Bob Lewis disagrees and explains why the CIO role is necessary to coordinate the integration between applications and systems. Is the CIO dead? Maybe. Should it be? Nah. (IS Survivor Publishing)

As the power of data and analytics profoundly affects the business landscape, companies once again need more top-management talent who can understand and leverage the technologies. Brad Brown, David Court, and Paul Willmott outline six areas that will require more senior leadership’s participation. Can Your C-Suite Handle Big Data? (Harvard Business Review)

Many of us are accustomed to having access to highly capable consumer technologies that offer convenience and commodity pricing. Over time, we have grown dependent on those technologies. Sharon Taylor reminds us the importance of balancing the level of support response, redundancy, cost, and reality when offering those same technologies and services to our organizations. Rocket fuel, cake and customers. (SHIFT)

Many IT organizations are looking for ways to improve their services by making themselves more assessable to the business. Robert Stroud suggests that perhaps a “walk-up service center” can help to improve your organization’s service management effort. Service Management From the Back Room to the “Drop-in Center” (CA Service Management)

Most IT departments are in a struggle to meet the demands from a customer base and from a massive volume of IT project and firefighting work at the same time. Offering a more personalized support from IT appears to be a low priority item considering the resource and staff constraints. Ian Aitchison thinks that offering a more personalized IT support to enterprise users can be doable. You don’t need to be a Genius or a Guru to offer a Personal Service Desk (The ITSM Review)

Many CIOs feel innovation can only come after establishing a culture for innovation within the organization. CEB believes that, instead instilling a culture, a “climate of innovation” will be more malleable and can be influenced by processes, practices, and signals from leaders. Laura Wilson explains what is a “climate of innovation” and recommends four actions to create such climate within your organization. Want to Make IT More Innovative? Don’t Set Up a Skunkworks Team, Examine Your Behaviors (CEB’s IT Blog)

Some leaders try hard to help their teams by handing out advice on every aspect of the team’s work. Susan Cramm explains what the negative consequences can be and what corrective actions a leader should take. Are You Disabling Your Organization with Advice? (Strategy+Business)

Today’s leaders face a set of very different environments and leadership challenges. Len Lagestee believes that, by changing the way we think, speak, and act, we will begin to design how we will be remembered as a leader. Shaping Your Leadership Legacy (Illustrated Agile)

A challenge around strategic core competencies today is that too many of them appear to be enterprise-centric rather than from the customer’s point of view.  Michael Schrage discusses how companies can re-think and re-architect how they can empower customers to add value to their core competencies. Do Customers Even Care about Your Core Competence? (Harvard Business Review)

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that leading an organization that provides integrated multi-product solutions is remarkably different from leading an organization that sells a single line of products. He recommends approaches leaders should take to navigate in today’s interconnected world. On a Consumer Watershed (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

Microsoft has made a free Windows 8.1 ebook by Ed Bott available for download. Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals (MSDN Blogs)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 29, 2013 Edition 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 changes in how businesses utilize technologies, IT is being expected to build and deliver complex services, with external services and partners involved. Robert Stroud believes that the new focus of the IT Service Management function should be on design and execution as well as going from reactive to proactive. Service management must be proactive to retain relevance (CA Service Management)

According to Ryan Ogilvie, nothing is more frustrating than publishing metrics only to find that there are some inconsistencies in the data you have reported on. He explains what some potential causes for the reporting discrepancies are and how to improve the metrics. Service Management Reporting Accuracy – Greater Than or Less Than (Service Management Journey)

When IT projects languish, many of them don’t fail outright. Often they get “re-baselined”, and many ended up cancelled at the end. Stephen Lahanas gives his perspectives on why IT projects fail and what we can do to improve our chance of succeeding. Top 5 Reasons IT Projects Fail (Technovation Talks)

According to Patrick Gray, cloud applications could forcibly introduce unplanned and non-integrated tools into the IT application portfolio, just as spreadsheets and databases had done when those technologies first became available to the end users. He discusses what IT leaders can do to have productive conversations with the business on cloud applications. Avoid “Bring Your Own Cloud” syndrome (TechRepublic)

With the promise and the hype of Big Data, a number of organizations believe they have valuable data on hand and just need to find ways to monetize them. Sunand Menon explains what some of the misconceptions about data are and what steps an organization can take in order to understand the value of its data. Stop Assuming Your Data Will Bring You Riches (Harvard Business Review)

One of the most difficult challenges involved in software development is the near-total inability of developers to predict how long a project will take. Dan Milstein talks about how you can both give yours IT customers something they can work with and still manage the risks for the organization. No Deadlines For You! Software Dev Without Estimates, Specs or Other Lies (Hut 8 Labs)

Sprint Review session provides an excellent opportunity for the team to reflect on their work, to discuss lessons learned, and to plan the next steps.  Len Lagestee suggests how to make the session productive for everyone. How to Make Sprint Reviews More Meaningful (Illustrated Agile)

Many of us are delivering more than 100% on the current demands of our job but devoting little time to developing ourselves further for future opportunities. Herminia Ibarra suggests six approaches for developing new skills when you have limited opportunities for exploration and growth. Six Ways to Grow Your Job (Harvard Business Review)

Disappointment is a fact of life, and it can hit you when you are least expecting. While disappointment can be demoralizing, Scott Eblin recommends ways for picking our spirit back up. Disappointment Sucks. So, Now What? (Eblin Group)

People often ask Scott Adams for advice on how to get started writing a book. Scott outlines his recommended steps. How to Write a Book (Scott Adams Blog)

And lastly, for your amusement…

From Stephen Lahanas, You Know You’ve been in IT too Long When… (Technovation Talks)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 11, 2013 Edition 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. With these ideas, I hope they can help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass! I hope you will find them thought-provoking or something of value.

After completing a recent web application project, Bob Lewis shares with us the lessons he learned and how those best practices can also be applicable when it comes managing data and application architecture projects. Lessons learned from code diving (IS Survivor Publishing)

Together with CSI, Paul Wilkinson believes that problem management is one of the core capabilities that IT organizations needs to develop. He explains why problem management is also an excellent risk management capability. Problem management: Especially Now! (ITSM Portal)

As the workplace becomes more collaborative and knowledge-intensive, Andrew Horne believes that IT should interact more directly with individual employees to identify their needs and to generate innovations. He outlines five questions to ask in order to determine whether your IT organization is on the right track. Do You Have A C-Suite Problem? (CEB’s IT Blog)

Based on a recently published report from HDI and Robert Half Technology, many technology leaders believe that user demand for anytime, anywhere IT service/support is one of three major trends driving how IT provides services. Stephen Mann adds his observation that how IT services are perceived and consumed by business users/consumers/customers is just as essential as how IT delivers the services. The Future of the IT Service Desk…or whatever it becomes (HDIConnect)

When it comes to the concept of DevOps, there are a number of definitions of what DevOps is or should be. Phil Whelan interviewed John Arundel for his thoughts on DevOps, and I thought John’s candid perspective was very educational. John Arundel on DevOps (ActiveBlog)

Leveraging the findings from the recently published 2013 State of DevOps survey, Aliza Earnshaw gives us five measurements to consider if you are just starting to implement DevOps. 5 KPIs that Make the Case for DevOps (DevOps Blog)

While there are foundational characteristics that every mentor possesses, Len Lagestee recalls four outstanding traits from the mentors who have made a difference in his life. Four Characteristics of Memorable Mentors (Illustrated Agile)

Inspired by George Saunders’ recent graduation remarks to a group of students at Syracuse University, Mitch Joel believes that, in business, we can still be kind. Random Acts Of Business Kindness (Six Pixels of Separation)

While good bosses care about getting important things done, Jeff Haden also believes that exceptional bosses care about their people. 10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees (

How do great leaders encourage leadership development within his/her own team? Marshall Goldsmith recommends that the best ways top executives can get their leaders to improve is to work on improving themselves. To Help Others Develop, Start With Yourself (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

A bonus download…

Len Lagestee has combined 9 blog posts walking through an Agile Leadership Engagement Model by making them available in one convenient document. Enjoy the reading. Introducing the Agile Leadership Engagement Model E-Book (Illustrated Agile)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 16, 2013 Edition 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.

Most people probably would agree with the notion that PC opened the door for distributed systems where mainframes used to rule. Bob Lewis contemplates whether the mobile devices are also having the same door-opening effect for cloud computing. Three riffs on the cloud (IS Survivor Publishing)

With feedback being a large part of a consumer’s experience, Amazon, eBay, and Yelp are just a few trusted sources where people turn to when acquiring goods or services. Jon Hall suggests that IT organizations should take the feedback trend into consideration as they compete more and more with external IT service providers. How customer feedback will transform ITSM (Evolving ITSM)

Reflecting from a recent discussion on IT’s role within an organization, Dan Kane believes that IT should be the technology investment advisor/planner and explains why. What is IT’s role in the business? (Hazy ITSM)

A recent CEB study on The Future of Corporate IT, 2013-2017 found that 97% of IT roles will undergo change in the next four years. Andrew Horne outlines what an effective strategic workforce plans should include. The Five Steps to Effective IT Workforce Planning (CEB’s IT Blog)

Laura Brandenburg believes capturing requirements is much more than simply filling out blanks on a template. She shares her experience on how to make requirement capturing a meaningful exercise for all. How to Put Some Spunk Into Your Requirements (Bridging the Gap)

Len Lagestee defines “organizational scar tissue” as something that forms over time when  workforce becomes numbed from negative experiences with leaders and co-workers. He outlines the symptoms of the scar and what leaders can do to improve the situation. Releasing Organizational Scar Tissue (Illustrated Agile)

Life is full of situations where negotiation determines the outcomes. Heidi Grant Halvorson suggests some approaches on how to negotiate well. The 1 Minute Trick to Negotiating Like a Boss (The Science of Success)

Decreasing costs and increasing productivity have been two key organizational objectives driving many operations during the industrial age. For the post-industrial age, Seth Godin believes the objects are decidedly different. Memo to the modern COO (Seth’s Blog)

Referencing to John Oliver hosting the Daily Show while Jon Stewart is away, Wendii Lord suggests that everything that is good has a process. Even Comedy News (Manager Tools)

As the leader, your mere statements may mean more than you think to your directs. Marshall Goldsmith advises that it is important for leaders to have an accurate sense on the impact of their statements. It’s Not a Fair Fight If You’re the CEO (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)