Fresh Links Sundae – January 19, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_22202715 (240x178)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!

Many ITSM implementations strive to engage in communication with customers and to establish the foundation for continual improvement. In fact, Doug Tedder advocates that those two points are probably the most essential objectives for any ITSM implementation. Good Enough is Good Enough (HDIConnect)

While HR tells us we can only deal with behavior, not attitude, Bob Lewis disagrees. He explains why attitude is something leaders cannot ignore, especially when it comes to building and driving a culture of effectiveness. Behavior isn’t enough (IS Survivor Publishing)

Leveraging his government IT leadership experience, Matthew Burton discusses the critical aspects of talent and tools when it comes to managing large government IT effort. Lessons learned from my time at the CFPB (O’Reilly Radar)

Patrick Gray believes that reference architecture should provide a blueprint for advancing your business or technology strategy. He goes on to discuss the approaches of coming up with effective designs. Tapping into the real-world value of reference architectures (TechRepublic)

With the initiation of SMCongress, Paul Wilkinson believes it’s time that we must demonstrate the added value of ITSM. He discusses different types of resistance and the issue of “implementing ITSM” in general. SMCongress – Why this initiative? Why now? [Part 1] SMCongress – Why this initiative? Why now? [Part 2] (ITSM Portal)

John Coles advises that organizations should train their employees to recognize the distinction between Personal Information Management (PIM) and Business Information Management (BIM). Without the distinction, we could miss excellent opportunities for sharing and collaborating, create sideway-paths of inefficiencies, or even incur opportunity cost. PIM vs. BIM: Personal Information Management vs. Business Information Management (HDIConnect)

Many ITSM efforts have a significant focus on process/tools implementation. Thom Salo cautions us that ITIL implementation is much more about the culture than simply the processes. Think ITIL Is All About Process? Then You Missed The Point. (Plexent)

A number of organizations implement monitoring for their IT environment but doing it in a silo or non-integrated manner. In order to have an effective event management practice in your organization, Ryan Ogilvie reminds us the importance of understanding what we are monitoring and why. Event Management – Who Sees What (Service Management Journey)

While a number of enterprises have started to adopt Agile, some are still failing with Scrum and struggling extending it into the enterprise. With multi-part posts, Mike Cottmeyer shares and discusses his experience of helping organizations adopt Agile. Are We Solving The Right Problem? What Problems Are Executives Trying To Solve With Agile? Is Your Business Model A Good Fit For Agile? How to Make Commitments in the Face of Uncertainty (LeadingAgile)

While studying the leadership characteristics, Marshall Goldsmith discusses the emerging trends and outlines five new factors that have emerged as clearly more important in the future. Future Leaders (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 6, 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. 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!

When IT groups and their business counterparts do not collaborate, Thomas Redman and Bill Sweeney believe that the failure to derive the full advantage of information technologies does enormous disservice to organizations. While there is no “silver bullet” solution, they have outlined three approaches for IT and business leaders to consider. Bridging the Gap Between IT and Your Business (Harvard Business Review)

With the technologies available to consumers these days, many end users have become knowledgeable on the technologies they are using in their work environment. However, a number of IT organizations still have outdated processes and lack of tools to support their increasingly knowledgeable end users. Eric Feldman gives examples of how IT can better engage and improve their interaction with the end users. Are Your Consumers Treated as Consumers? (CA Service Management)

As part of an ITSM initiative team, Earl Begley was tasked by his CIO to ensure quality execution. He shares with us the lessons learned and the takeaways from his experience as the project’s Total Quality Manager. Is Darth Vadar in your ITSM project? (The ITSM Review)

Dan Kane points out that the “traditional” approach to IT metric reporting can be ineffective, due to the use of the siloed numbers that do not help the readers make the necessary connections between the numbers and the big picture. As a result, the metrics often fail at driving action or decisions. He recommends an approach that can help transform the focus of ITSM metrics into information that tells a compelling story. Do your metrics tell a story?  What makes for a compelling metrics story? (Hazy ITSM)

Reflecting from her recent trip to Nepal as a volunteer for a humanitarian effort, Susan Cramm describes how our 21st-century leadership skills can have a powerful and positive impact on those living in extreme circumstances throughout the world. Using Your 21st Century Skills in a 19th Century World (Strategy+Business)

On a recent mountain climbing trip, Bob Lewis experienced the negative consequence when you push your body too far. He cautions that management today can sometimes create a harsh environment where the employees are pushed too hard and too far. Pushing through the pain hurts (IS Survivor Publishing)

Many organizations go a considerable length to build fault-tolerance capability into their technology environment. Occasionally, due to poor design decisions, the fault-tolerance capability does not fully come through when the need arises. Jonathan Hassell explains why regular testing, robust communication, and occasional mock failover are necessary to ensure your disaster recovery practice will work when you need it. 4 Ways CIOs Can to Respond to a Service Outage (CIO)

Organizations seem to have different levels of success when deploying the same technology solutions to its business environment. Patrick Gray believes that, once you develop a strength at gathering and managing use cases, your IT projects are more likely to meet their objectives, satisfy the key stakeholders, and make your company more effective. Approach IT from the perspective of use cases and not features (TechRepublic)

Seth Godin believes that art is the work of a human – an individual seeking to make a statement, to cause a reaction and to connect. He also advocates “art” creation is not just for the artists in the traditional sense – all of us are capable of producing our best craft and “art.” Decoding “art” (Seth’s Blog)

Many people seem to know that encouraging upward challenge is a key to maintaining organizational integrity; however, it can be hard to do in practice. Marshall Goldsmith recommends that business leaders should focus on encouraging their followers on learning how to recognize potential integrity issues and effectively communicating these in a way that can prevent problems. Challenge Up: A Key to Organizational Integrity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

With data being recognized as a key asset for a number of business processes, trusting the data too much or too little can often lead to unintentional, negative consequences. Cathy O’Neil has published a free e-book that urges its readers to cultivate their inner skeptic when it comes to leveraging data for decision making. New Essay, On Being a Data Skeptic, now out (mathbabe)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 29, 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!

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 – September 22, 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!

Working in IT organization often involves working with consultants, and conflicting dynamics can emerge between management, consultants, and practitioner employees. Tobias Nyberg provides suggestions on how to deal with those situations when one of those conflicting dynamic surfaces. Practitioners: Do you feel unwelcome in your hometown? (The ITSM Review)

Defining IT services should always be done from a business perspective. Ryan Ogilvie explains what elements are necessary when working with customers in defining and implementing IT services. Baking Up IT Services – Swedish Chef Style (Service Management Journey)

According to Patrick Gray, enterprises are losing their emphasis on the bread and butter of IT, and the need for server technicians and systems administrators seems to be diminishing. He advises how IT professionals can plan around this trend. Make a plan as enterprises hollow out IT (TechRepublic)

As a data scientist, Cathy O’Neil receives lots of attention and emails just for her my job title and Ph.D. in math. While it is flattering, she also points out that some serious headwinds are forming in the sea of big data. The bursting of the big data bubble (mathbabe)

As a new business analyst, it can be a challenge to figure out how to learn everything you need to know to be successful. Laura Brandenburg articulates the type of knowledge you need and how to document and synthesize the information you pull together. How to Learn About a New Business Domain (Bridging the Gap)

There are a number of writings that talk about and define leadership. Peter Saddington presents his definitions of leadership using the Agile perspective and outlines questions that can help you evaluate your leadership strengths and weaknesses. Agile Coach Leadership Traits (Agile Scout)

Andrew Dlugan believes that poor speakers often fail to understand the concept of the ladder of abstraction. He proceeds to define the ladder concept and explains why it is essential for all speakers to know. The Ladder of Abstraction and the Public Speaker (Six Minutes)

We may work with some people who, for one reason or another, choose not to be committed, to their work and also to the full experience and the team that they are a part of. Mitch Joel explains why it is necessary to periodically examine our own perspectives with the question “Why are you doing the work that you’re doing?” Opt In To Your Work (Six Pixels of Separation)

According to Jeff Haden, being stuck on measuring yourself against the entrepreneurial greats like Steve Jobs is only self-defeating. He suggests striving for a much better goal. The Best Kind of Entrepreneur to Be (Inc.com)

Referring to his book Linchpin, Seth Godin talks about what will the quality jobs of tomorrow look like. Q&A: Linchpin: Will they miss you? In another similar discussion, he talks about whether the war for talent is real or merely perceived. The truth about the war for talent (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 15, 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. 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 so many data sources available to us, it is easy to analyze the data but still not getting the required results. That can happen when we analyze data without truly understand the business questions behind the analysis. Brian Barnier outlines four potential collaboration opportunities where IT and business can work together. Dangers of big lazy data / opportunities for IT leaders (ISACA Now)

When it comes to initiating an IT service improvement plan, a number of considerations should go into the planning. Over a three-part series, Michelle Major-Goldsmith presents a list of suggested starting points for your service improvement planning effort. A Trilogy – The One-Hour Service Improvement Plan (Part 2) (Part 3) (SHIFT)

With excellent customer service being one of the key goals of IT Service Management, Ryan Ogilvie reminds us that the ability to measure the quality provided is just as essential as the ability to provide services faster and cheaply. Request Fulfillment – How Good Are You? (Service Management Journey)

With today’s quick business pace, businesses are asking their IT organization to be more efficient and agile in providing the technology services the businesses require. Robert Stroud advocates that delivering business values, maybe on a smaller scale but quickly and efficiently, is the way to go. Can DevOps Get You Out of “Technical Debt”? (HDIConnect)

IT organizations manage a number of third party and off-the-shelf software assets on the regular basis. Rory Canavan presents a detailed asset management process model for managing changes to the software owned by an organization. Process of the Month – Software Change Management Process (The ITAM Review)

While teams bring many positive contributions to collaboration, they also can be a significant source of indecision. Patrick Gray makes recommendations on how we can do to stop this reactive behavior from taking hold in our organization. Eradicate a culture of indecision (TechRepublic)

In our lives, we probably know someone who seems to have a solid future ahead but somehow screws up life on a major scale. Susan Cramm explains how we can continually reflect and keep the worst in us from getting the best of us. Keeping the Stupid Out of Your Life (strategy+business)

With today’s globally distributed teams, having clear, timely communication amongst the teams is more crucial than ever. Over a three-part series, Peter Saddington presents his suggestions for managing a distributed Agile-based team. Ideas on Managing Distributed Teams Using Agile [1/3] – Introduction and Ceremonies (Part 2 – The Retrospective) (Part 3 – Review and Conclusion) (Agile Scout)

Some leaders try hard to win all the time, and they inadvertently try to add value to everything his team comes across. The behavior often adds incremental value while substantially diminishes employment involvement and commitment. Marshall Goldsmith advises us on what we can do stop this ineffective behavior. Adding Value — But at What Cost? (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Successes in career are rarely achieved without struggle and rejections along the way. When you have one of those dip/valley moments, Mitch Joel reminds us how we can confront those negative experiences on our own. If You Have Ever Been Rejected… Be Like Bono (Six Pixels of Separation)

Something else you might be interested in…

Jim Taggart has released an updated version of his May 2011 e-book. The e-book begins with a brief overview of the global context within which organizations will operate in the years ahead. He also highlights the key trends that will have noticeable impacts follow. Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, 2nd Edition – NEW E-BOOK! (ChangingWinds)