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 – November 23, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image17149277Fresh 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!

A baseline is necessary to gauge and to validate the results produced by machine learning algorithms. Jason Brownlee describes why we create a baseline prediction result and how to create a baseline in general and for specific problem types. How To Get Baseline Results And Why They Matter (Machine Learning Mastery)

From KDNuggets, Burtch Works details the top 9 data science skills that potential data scientists must have to be competitive in this growing marketplace from the perspective of a recruiter. 9 Must-Have Skills You Need to Become a Data Scientist (KDNuggets)

Accurate asset tracking and management can be an enormous task for any IT organization. In a four-part series, Marcel Shaw describes a three-tiered approach to assets management. IT Asset Management, a three-tiered approach  IT Asset Management, a Three-Tiered Approach (Part 2 of 4)  IT Asset Management, a Three Tiered Approach (Part 3 of 4)  IT Asset Management, a Three-Tiered Approach (Part 4 of 4) (LANDESK Blog)

Bob Lewis points out many enterprise technical architecture management (ETAM) efforts suffer from the pitfall where it cannot keep up with the changes within the organization. He further suggests that perhaps an agile approach to ETAM will be necessary. Technical architecture’s irreducible core (IS Survivor Publishing)

A well-known problem troubleshooting and root-cause analysis technique has been the Five Why’s. John Allspaw argues that, for maximum learning effectiveness, we also need to ask more questions about the How’s. The infinite hows (O’Reilly Radar)

Every organization needs to assess its information security readiness from time to time and implement improvements or remediation when necessary. Chris Sell walks through the four steps that are critical for every information security gap analysis. How To Conduct An Information Security Gap Analysis (SunGard)

Although analytics projects are often at the top agenda for organizations these days, many of those organizations are still struggling to identify the business problems where analytics could generate measurable ROI. Pearl Zhu suggests the ways organizations can use to improve their analytics ROI. How can Organizations Improve their Analytics ROI (Future of CIO)

For most of us, it is easier to see our behavioral challenges in others than to see them in ourselves. From his own experience, Marshall Goldsmith discusses two important life lessons he had learned about addressing those challenges from within. 2 Life-Changing Lessons No One Ever Taught You (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 16, 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!

Predictive analytics is a well-understood subject area within the data management field. Recently a new subject of prescriptive analytics is getting a great deal of attention and discussion. William Vorhies examines both approaches to analytics and discusses their similarities and differences. Prescriptive versus Predictive Analytics – A Distinction without a Difference? (Data Science Central)

A number of organizations are pondering the question of whether to commercialize the data they have for those who might find the data useful. Jennifer Belissent suggests ways to take your data to market and avoid some common pitfalls. Exploring The Data Economy Opportunity: Some Do’s and Don’ts (Forrester Blogs)

Most of today’s senior executives built their careers in the pre-digital age, and many of them struggle to meet the demand imposed by the changes created by the digital business. Kate Smaje and Chris Wigley discuss a few practical tips that can help senior executives make the transition to digital. Five habits for executives to become more digital (McKinsey & Company)

With the availability of personal technologies, almost everyone has become a technologist in their daily lives. However, implementing technologies for an enterprise still require a CIO to balance operational requirements, security, and compliance with agility, transparency, and modernization. Dion Hinchcliffe discusses a set of strategies that CIOs can leverage in designing the enterprise of the future. A CIO’s guide to the future of work (Enterprise Irregulars)

As more business users get more involved in working with their IT counterpart, they also demand that enterprise data management technology keeps pace with a new view of their data that is accessible and easy to consume. Donald Farmer outlines the ways we can use to avoid three barriers to providing a multifaceted view of enterprise data. Overcoming Data Obstacles for Integrated BI (The Data Warehousing Institute)

The emphasis of security used to focus on detection and protection. These days, response (especially Incident Response IR) increasingly becomes a key element of an overall security strategy. Bruce Schneier describes the OODA loops and why it is a way of thinking about IR in the real-time adversarial situations. The Future of Incident Response (Schneier on Security)

Some would argue for the position that most systems are safe, and people are a hazard. As a result, all human involvement should be minimized in order to minimize human errors. Steven Shorrock believes that people will still be the key to making the system as a whole work, and he suggests some approaches for blending and balancing the humanistic and systems thinking. If it weren’t for the people… (O’Reilly Radar)

Peter Drucker had pointed out that most of us are too pre-occupied with efforts rather than results. We became ineffectual as we worry over what the decision authorities and powers we do not have but should have. Marshall Goldsmith gives guidelines that can help us do a better job of influencing the decision-makers in our lives. What I Learned About Influence from Peter Drucker (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 22, 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!

For many firms, the importance of getting pricing right cannot be overstated. Walter Baker, Dieter Kiewell, and Georg Winkler believe that the flood of data now available provides companies with an opportunity to make significantly better pricing decisions. They suggest four things companies need to do. Using big data to make better pricing decisions (McKinsey & Company)

When documenting a business process or anything with a significant level of complexity, it’s easy to fall into the trap of documenting the process but not necessarily understand it. Bob Lewis explains how good documentation is a balancing act between providing the necessary details and explaining the insights that truly matter. With documentation, accuracy isn’t what matters (IS Survivor Publishing)

BYOD is a trend that is here to stay with a number of enterprises, so the management and governance of the BYOD is crucial. Karen Ferris discusses how ITIL Service Strategy processes can help to govern the BYOD practice more effectively. BYOD concerns? It’s time to dust off the ITIL service strategy book! (The ITSM Review)

In many organizations, the IT departments struggle to effectively market its capabilities and communicate the value the IT organizations bring to the table. Alex Salicrup recommends a list of steps and actions which the IT department can use to improve its effectiveness in managing consumer perceptions. Managing Your Brand: Communications and Marketing for Today’s IT (VMware Accelerate)

A well-planned and a well-run change management process can help build a better, stronger IT organization. In a two-part series, Vawns Murphy discusses how to get started in implementing a change management process and how to effectively manage the process on an on-going basis. Part 1 – Change Management – Surviving Implementation Part 2 – Running Your Change Management Process (The ITSM Review)

During the recent quarterly chapter meeting of the Information Security Forum, Steve Schlarman surveyed the audience noting the different personalities that have risen to the tops of the security food chain.  He discusses how the CISO role in many organizations has evolved and the personality attributes, he believes, tend to contribute to a CISO’s success these days. Leadership Qualities for Today’s CISOs (RSA Archer GRC)

As more IT organizations move away from the traditional model of IT and toward becoming a service provider, running a smooth, cost-effective, efficient service portal can help IT improve its services and effectiveness. David Crane outlines the critical elements a well-functioning service portal should have. The People and Process Behind the Service Portal (VMware CloudOps)

One of the greatest lessons Peter Drucker taught Marshall Goldsmith was this: “We spend a lot of time helping leaders learn what to do. We do not spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half of the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.” While many of us get credit for what we do, Marshall outlines a list of ineffective behaviors a leader should consider stop doing. Teaching Leaders What to Stop (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 1, 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!

Companies across industries are experiencing a looming issue of finding the senior-leadership capacity to manage the huge program of data analytics. The issue stems from the reality that many top-team members are fully engaged with their existing responsibilities. Janaki Akella, Sam Marwaha, and Johnson Sikes believe that CIOs can help by mastering four critical roles. How CIOs can lead their company’s information business (McKinsey & Company)

With today’s fast delivery cycles, Charles Betz argues that the traditional “Plan/Build/Run” model is no longer sufficient. He explains how a “Demand/Supply/Execute” model may help to counteract the tendency to form functional silos and to promote effectiveness. The challenges of “Plan, Build, Run” and Towards “Demand, Supply, Execute” (lean4it)

In business, process maturity and stability are good things to have, but too much is not necessarily better. Bob Lewis advocates that the job of leadership often is defined by the need to maintain an organization in its most unstable state, because in many areas that is where the best results happen. The unstable optimum (IS Survivor Publishing)

In many IT organizations, setting high operating standards and what gets recognized (ad-hoc fire-fighting) can have opposite effects. Dan Kane believes that performance against the standards you set on an individual basis is a key leading indicator of overall organizational performance. Keeping Employees Engaged with ITSM (Hazy ITSM)

Reporting from IT can be challenging when trying to deliver reports that are accurately reflecting the customer experience. Ryan Ogilvie suggests four principals to keep in mind when planning and making service improvements. Service Management Reporting is all about Perspective (Service Management Journey)

Bill Kleyman advocates that one of the best ways to prep your organization for a potential cloud move is to utilize a cloud readiness assessment. Before you migrate a workload into a cloud provider space, he recommends some key infrastructure aspects to consider. Creating a Cloud Readiness Assessment (Data Center Knowledge)

Denise Brosseau had just returned from her summer vacation to Sweden, after a visit to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. She shares the lessons we can all learn from this remarkable, failed warship. What I Learned About Failure on My Summer Vacation (Thought Leadership Lab)

Just about any animal will tend to repeat behavior that is followed by positive reinforcement. As a result, the more successful we become, with more positive reinforcement we get, we become less able to recognize the need to change. Marshall Goldsmith cautions us not to let over-confidence overshadow our humility and the ability to change. The Success Delusion (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)