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)

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 – December 1, 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. 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!

Most would agree that it takes six months or more for knowledge workers to become sufficiently productive to produce value. In order to enable the productivity of the new workers, many organizations need to utilize efficient knowledge transfer approaches. Greg Sanker believes that a standardized service delivery approach modeled by IT Service Management frameworks like ITIL and COBIT can help. The Coming Workforce: A Case for IT Service Management (The ITSM Review)

Although the term “Shadow IT” has only appeared in the press and media in recent years, the practice has been around for a much longer period of time. David Cappuccio explains how the latest iteration of Shadow IT has grown in significance and scope to where the C-suite should start to pay attention. Shine Some Light on Shadow IT (Gartner Blogs)

Lather, Rinse and Repeat (LRR) is a well-known process with a strong tie to the shampoo products since 1990’s. To Earl Begley, LRR is a reminder to design processes that can be easily executed and deliver desired results. With that in mind, He suggests several tips that ITSM can learn from the shampoo process. Lather, rinse and repeat your process (The ITSM Review)

Many organizations conduct self-audits on software to ensure a sound assets management practice or to get prepared for third-party audits. David Foxen explains the importance of the self-audit and how to perform one in your organization. The importance of Internal Software Audits (The ITAM Review)

Even today, Michael Schrage believes that most organizations struggle to answer even the simplest 80/20 analytics questions. He also suggests that the Big Data tools and techniques will help shape the 80/20 analytics when the organization can leverage both approaches at the same time. How is Big Data Transforming Your 80/20 Analytics? (Harvard Business Review)

For many organizations or industries, conducting effective data analysis is becoming an essential activity for many managers. Thomas Redman recommends an exercise that can help managers to become more data literate and more adept at data analysis. How to Start Thinking Like a Data Scientist (Harvard Business Review)

Many BAs use diagrams to express ideas or to create simple and effective visual models, but they don’t always know what tools are available for their work. Laura Brandenburg outlines 5 diagramming tools that a BA can consider adding to his/her requirement gathering and analysis toolkit. 5 Effective Diagramming Tools You Can Afford (Bridging the Gap)

We all deal with stress and anxiety in a number of ways. Mitch Joel recommends five tools that you can deploy to manage the times when things get a little too stressed or anxious. Keep Calm And Carry On – 5 Steps To Getting Rid Of Stress And Anxiety (Six Pixels of Separation)

According to Marshall Goldsmith, part of being an effective leader is setting up systems to measure everything that matters. At the same time, he advocates that measuring the “soft” values is just as essential as tracking the hard numbers. Account for Soft-Side Values (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

The performance review process in many companies carries risks and downside. The reviews often don’t produce the intended results, either. Bob Sutton believes there are three things that an excellent performance review always should have. Three Hallmarks of Good Performance Evaluations (Work Matters)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 3, 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. 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 all the excitement surrounding big data and advanced analytics, many organizations are naming Chief Data Officers (CDO) to manage their data needs. Thomas Redman describes the challenges and the opportunities that can come with this transformative role. Are You Ready for a Chief Data Officer? (Harvard Business Review)

The biggest story in IT this year likely is the issues surrounding the rollout of Healthcare.gov. By leveraging her experience in managing large-scale IT projects, Mary Shacklettin outlines the lessons which all IT professionals can learn from the website. Healthcare.gov web site launch leaves lessons for health of your IT career (TechRepublic)

Many people think gaming is just a nice way to make training more fun and engaging. Paul Wilkinson advocates that gaming can do a lot more as part of a learning process. A game is just nice to have right? – Wrong! (The ITSM Review)

Some people believe that managing the work is as important as doing the work, if not more. Bob Lewis suggests that it’s the other way around because, if you don’t deliver the goods, nobody will care about your brilliant insights. The work or managing the work: Which matters more? (IS Survivor Publishing)

Mobility is rapidly becoming the primary consumer interaction point with the organization and its business processes. Robert Stroud recommends all IT shops leverage mobility as a key interaction point with their constituents. A Fall, An iPhone, Mobility And Knowing What Good Is! (CA Service Management)

While the political punditry around the healthcare website is laughable, the layers of technology and components required to make the website work is no joking matter. Mitch Joel believes that this prominent website can also offer an excellent opportunity to educate the mass population on the complexity of the technology we work with daily. When Important Websites Crash (Six Pixels of Separation)

For a number of women (or men), delivering superior results and advancing within the corporate structure are often at odd with achieving work-life balance. After talking with the founder of Pixo, a technology consulting firm, Susan Cramm believes it’s still possible to run a competitive company that nurtures work-life balance. Exceed Customer Expectations—and Get Home for Family Dinner (strategy+business)

On any project, changes are expected and should be handled proficiently so significant issues can be avoided. Laura Brandenburg discusses how to manage change requests so that an informed decision can be made about how the changes can be incorporated into a project with as little disruption as possible. How to Manage Change Requests (Bridging the Gap)

Giving effective feedback to team members is quite possibly the most crucial part of any leader’s job. Heidi Grant Halvorson recommends a few simple rules that leaders can use to do a better job giving feedback. The Key to Giving Great Feedback: Focus on the Process, Not the Person (Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson)

While the global culture has immense potential benefits, it can also lead to an effect of “cultural extinction” where people around the world are much more likely to look alike, act alike, and sound alike. Marshall Goldsmith believes that, in order to create a positive global community, we need to meet three key challenges. Celebrating Diversity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 13, 2013 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. 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!

More and more workplaces are demanding more hours from the employees far beyond the typical 40-hour week. If you are in one of those organizations and need to cope with it, Bob Lewis has some insight to share. Escaping the toxic workplace (IS Survivor Publishing)

With enterprises being more software driven than ever, George Colony believes that technology management leaders must not only continue to manage the traditional IT but also need to make large strides on managing BT (business technology). Tech Management in the Age of the Customer (Forrester Blogs)

With ITSM concepts and frameworks in existence for over 20 years, most people thought we probably have reached a plateau in term of squeezing more productivity out of ITSM efforts. Allen Houpt advocates that more productivity can still be had and suggests 10 tips to reduce service costs in a webcast. The Little “ITSM” Engine That Could (CA Service Management)

As a follow-up to a recent discussion in the Software Asset Management group on LinkedIn, Rory Canavan presents a detailed process model for Corporate Governance for a successful SAM implementation. Process of the Month – Corporate Governance Process (The ITAM Review)

As the cloud and big data trends develop, jargons and buzzwords have made them difficult for people to understand the real issues behind those trends. Jeremy Bergsman talks about how data protection and third-party risk management should be addressed in order to master the cloud and big data trends. Are Buzzwords Clouding Your Judgment? (CEB’s IT Blog)

When it comes to creating a strong foundation for customer loyalty management, Ted Rubin believes that your customer service department plays the most important role. He recommends four approaches to leverage your customer service team for effectively turning customers into fans. Customer Loyalty Management via the Customer Service Silo [] (Straight Talk)

Empowerment is a noble notion where people are given the opportunity to fully leverage their capability and contribute to their organizations. For some under-performing individuals, Rob England suggests that “empowering” people can sometime means setting them up for failure. Empowering the hopeless (The IT Skeptic)

In an IT project, a business analyst will often need to create a functional specification. Laura Brandenburg explains what a functional specification is and what information goes into it. What Goes Into a Functional Specification? (Bridging the Gap)

Mitch Joel believes that many people are doing it wrong when it comes to preparing for a public speech. He recommends a 22-step approach on how to prepare for one. How To Give A Great Presentation (Seriously) (Six Pixels of Separation)

After spending three years managing a recent start-up, Jeff Nolan wrote a series of blog posts to document the lessons learned as well as what worked and did not. Startup Lessons Learned: Hiring; Startup Lessons: Dynamic Org Structures; Startups Lessons: Product First; Startup Lessons: Marketing; Startup Lessons: Board Management; Startup Lessons: Tough Decisions (Enterprise Irregulars)