Fresh Links Sundae – January 11, 2015 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!

Data preparation and curation is the task that often consumes the majority portion of the data mining effort. Ben Lorica outlines some of the data preparation lessons discussed in the recent Strata + Hadoop World at New York. Lessons from next-generation data wrangling tools (O’Reilly Radar)

Many organizations have high awareness of the need to build analytics capability but understand very little on the how-to. Lana Klein discusses five approaches for getting through the analytics maze. Analytics: Five Rules to Cut Through the Hype (KDnuggets)

While IT may be a prominent service provider within an organization, there are other functions that also provide services to the enterprise. Darroll Buytenhuys talks about how organizations can leverage IT’s service management experience to benefit other shared services teams. Enterprise Service Management – Enabling Value Delivery Outside IT (The ITSM Review)

According to Dennis Drogseth, ITSM will become a critical, enabling element as the role of IT transforming to become a more front-office and customer focus. He discusses the trends he saw in 2014 that will grow in importance in 2015. The Changing Game of IT Service Management (EMA Blogs)

While data mining receives a great deal of attention today, many businesses still operate with rudimentary decision capability that is very apparent through their interactions with the customers. Michael Maoz suggests that, until IT and lines of business are working together, data mining’s impact will continue to be limited. Why data mining resembles handing a child a scalpel (Gartner Blogs)

Some people believe that, because project requirements are often too fluid, formal project planning may not be as critical as actually doing project work. Glen Alleman reminds us what capabilities-based planning is and what it is intended to do. Capabilities Based Planning (Herding Cats)

Many organizations set goals for process improvement at the beginning of the year. However, many of those resolutions fail to follow through as the months go by. Ryan Ogilvie makes suggestions on how to stay motivated and achieve the results you were hoping for. Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions – 6 of one Half Dozen of the other (Service Management Journey)

Today’s organizations face attack in the cyberspace by highly organized groups with deep pockets and high levels of know-how. Eddie Schwartz outlines four steps where organizations must take immediately to defend their information assets in today’s landscape. Lessons from the Sony breach: Four things that need to happen now (ISACA Now)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 2, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14628852Fresh 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!

Thomas Redman believes that managers should rarely take an important analysis at face value. He explains how data can be interpreted to tell one story but still fail to present the whole picture. When It Comes to Data, Skepticism Matters (Harvard Business Review)

Like all technology implementation efforts, cost benefits analysis should be part of a NoSQL implementation. William Vorhie explains what the two categories of benefit in NoSQL are and how to quantify them. Quantifying the Value of a NoSQL Project (Data Science Central)

Most of us think of taking meeting notes as merely a mundane transcription exercise. Bob Lewis would argue that taking and publishing the meeting notes is one of the most important jobs in a meeting. Notes about notes (IS Survivor Publishing)

Glen Alleman would advocate that, in order to make good decisions, we require good estimates. He explains five decision-making processes and how to incorporate sound estimating effort into those processes. Decision Making Without Estimates? (Herding Cats)

Understand the algorithm is a critical element of leveraging machine learning techniques effectively. Jason Brownlee outlines five ways to study and learn about machine learning algorithms. How to Study Machine Learning Algorithms (Machine Learning Mastery)

Many organizations do not have an organized approach to handling major IT incidents, and, as a result, they compromise their abilities to capture valuable lessons. Ryan Ogilvie discusses the four stages of a major incident handling and what challenges we need to overcome. Not Doing Proper Post Incident Reviews Could Haunt You (Service Management Journey)

Many organizations spend a great deal of effort on IT benchmarking but often get back the results that have little impact. Pearl Zhu discusses how to do benchmarking effectively in order to get the most impactful results from the effort. Is IT Benchmarking valuable or a Waste? (Future of CIO)

With the current and future landscape of tools, technologies, and processes, the IT environment has been changing in a fast and dramatic pace. Chris Riley discusses the challenges IT and Operations will face now and into 2015 and how to address those challenges. 6 Challenges Facing DevOps and Operations Teams in 2015 (logentries)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 19, 2014 Edition from #SMFUSION14

FUSION14Header

NOTE: This is an abbreviated post from FUSION 14 in Washington. DC. If you are there this week, I appreciate you coming out to support the Chapter and the Conference #SMFUSION14.

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!

Roll over Dogbert’s Tech Support, the application economy is here by Robert Stroud (CA Technologies)

Your Relationship with Metrics by Mark Dalton (HDIConnect)

Problem Management – The value in not knowing by Ryan Ogilvie (Service Management Journey)

Where Art Thou Hadoop? by Svetlana Sicular (Gartner Blogs)

16 Options To Get Started and Make Progress in Machine Learning and Data Science by Jason Brownlee (Machine Learning Mastery)

How to re-balance a data migration project plan by Dylan Jones (The Data Roundtable)

Project Risk Management, PMBOK, DoD PMBOK and Edmund Conrow’s Book by Glen Alleman (Herding Cats)

What Peter Drucker Knew About 2020 by Rick Wartzman (Harvard Business Review)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 10, 2014 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. 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!

In many organizations, processing information accurately can have a material impact on the financial bottom line. When the data volume is very large, finding inaccuracy within the data sets can be a big challenge. Thomas Redman recommends a list of steps that managers can use when dealing with such challenge. Even the Tiniest Error Can Cost a Company Millions (Harvard Business Review)

Even after nearly 20 years since the emergence of IT Architecture as a discipline, there is still much confusion surrounding what architects supposed to do. Stephen Lahanas proposes five guidelines to help clarify. The 5 Rules of IT Architecture (Technovation Talks)

Edward De Bono’s six thinking hats have seen many creative uses in disciplines other than just education. Debleena Roy discusses how the six hats can also be applied to be successful in the data science field. Six Thinking Hats and the Life of a Data Scientist (KDnuggets)

Some may hold the belief that IT does not matter because it is a commodity. The digital trend shows that IT does matters more, and companies that lacked the skills to manage IT effectively can suffer compared with competitors that had mastered those skills. Pearl Zhu talks about ways where organizations can manage IT more effectively. Digital Trend: IT Matters More (Future of CIO)

In IT organizations, good quality changes present the right information to the right people to make the right decision. Rob Spencer outlines the common reasons for poor quality in a change request and what actions the change managers can take to improve it. Back to basics: why your change fell at the first hurdle (ITSM Review)

What are the differences between data science, data mining, machine learning, statistics, and so on? Vincent Granville compares several analytic disciplines that overlap and explains the differences and similarities. 16 analytic disciplines compared to data science (Data Science Central)

Some organizations classify break/fix as standard changes, which usually get approved automatically and do not require impact assessment. Ryan Ogilvie explains why such setup is rarely a good idea. Practice Shouldn’t Always Make Perfect – Using Standard Changes for Break/Fix (Service Management Journey)

When taking on a difficult challenge in the organization, some leaders may opt to delegate the responsibility to one of their star direct-reports. While delegating difficult issues is tempting, Susan Cramm believes that it can only lead to disappointment. She discusses an example why strategic, change-oriented initiatives will likely require hands-on leadership by senior executives. Lead by Doing, Not by Delegating (Strategy+Business)

Fresh Links Sundae – July 13, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_25479412-240x180Fresh 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 firms talks about the necessity of transforming themselves and moving towards becoming a “digital enterprise.” Bob Lewis recommends a three-step program to achieve the digital transformation. Is the “digital revolution” revolutionary? (IS Survivor Publishing)

The increasing use of cloud computing has led to IT losing control of some of its enterprise resources. David Linthicum explains how IT can reassert itself and bring oversight back on top of those cloud-based resources. How cloud computing can strengthen IT’s control (InfoWorld)

Often, a process’ deficiency requires us to perform deep analysis in order to discover the linkage. Ryan Ogilvie gives an example of how analyzing the appropriate change and incident metrics can lead to a productive examination of IT service issues. What percentage of ‘suckage’ does your #ITSM processes have? (Service Management Journey)

Business and IT both need to change quickly in order to meet business demand but still keep the risk at a manageable level. Martin Grobisen suggests ways we can use the change management process to improve operations and create an environment that fosters innovation. 8 Quick Tips About Change Management (ITSM Lens)

IT managers often face the unpleasant task of directing computing resources for a business application at the expense of another. Steve Brasen suggests two simple tips of leveraging ITIL to assist with the decision making. Prioritizing Workloads – Deciding What’s Hot and What’s Not (EMA Blog Community)

Working with many complex projects, we have to monitor and manage closely many aspects of the cost, schedule, and quality. Glen Alleman reminds us why maintaining a statistical mindset is crucial for managing today’s projects. Why is Statistical Thinking Hard? (Herding Cats)

Introducing the concept of DevOps to an organization is never easy because DevOps often bring an assortment of cultural changes. Ho Ming Li discuss five potential difficulty areas for this cultural-changing endeavor. 5 Common Barriers When Introducing DevOps (ActiveState)

As the World Cup games wind down, many of us have cheered on the US men national team, especially for goalie Tim Howard. Patrick Potter discusses what parallels we can draw from watching Howard’s solid performance during the tournament. What Does Internal Audit and Team USA goalie Tim Howard Have in Common? (RSA Archer GRC)

Fresh Links Sundae – July 6, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-fruit-sundae-image15278271Fresh 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!

Vaughan Merlyn is running a five-part series on business relationship management on his blog. He discusses the common failure modes he comes across and what the IT organizations can do to implement an effective BRM practice. Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 1  Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 2  Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 3  Common Failure Modes in Business Relationship Management – Part 4 & Key IT Roles for Driving Business Value (IT Organization Circa 2017)

Although IT and business ultimately have the same goal in serving the enterprise, they often do not communicate effectively with one another in many organizations. Establishing a business relationship management function can improve the IT-business interactions. Ryan Ogilvie discusses that IT can do to get started. Translating IT and Business Speak (Service Management Journey)

IT organizations continue to face aggressive cost saving mandates, and IT service management practice could be leveraged to contribute positive results. Reginald Lo presents his perspectives on how does Service Management directly save costs and how do we reduce the cost of Service Management. Streamlining Service Management to Achieve Cost Savings Targets (VMware Accelerate)

A number of organizations have implemented IT practices around the DevOps concept with varying degree levels of success. Mike Loukides discusses what the DevOps trend is today and what organizations need to do in order to be effective. Revisiting What is DevOps (O’Reilly Radar)

A recent Forrester study found that many organizations experience low first change success rate for and long lead time on changes for IT infrastructure and applications. Matthew Selheimer discusses the problems he sees as the impediments to organization changes and how to improve the first change success rate. The secret to change success – understanding multiple perspectives (The ITSM Review)

Companies often assign leaders to affect changes (culture, behaviors, or climate) within the organization. People have different opinions on whether a leader should change a culture and, if so, how to change a culture. Rob England helps us answer the question of “Should you try to change culture?” and what a leader should do to promote changes. Don’t try to change culture (The IT Skeptic)

Putting out fires can be a common problem for the Program Management Office while struggling to manage a portfolio. Glen Alleman outlines five recommendations we should keep in mind, so we do not lose sight of the big-picture view of the project management process. Don’t be an Accidental Project Manager (Herding Cats)

In his new e-book Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, 2nd Edition, James Taggart discusses four major forces that are exerting major impacts in our lives. He outlines ten leadership lessons each one of us should leverage to adapt to the on-going change. 10 Leadership Lessons to Succeed During Turbulent Change (ChangingWinds)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 15, 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!

Brady Orand and Global Knowledge are running a blog series “11 Common Mistakes of ITIL Foundation Newbies.” Here are the first five installments of the series. ITIL Newbie Mistake #1: Too Much Focus on the Processes ITIL Newbie Mistake #2: Certified and Done ITIL Newbie Mistake #3: Focusing on Processes First ITIL Newbie Mistake #4: Attempting a Project in Isolation ITIL Newbie Mistake #5: Developing a Service Catalog without Considering Business Needs (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Using Forrester’s research data, Kate Leggett illustrates what is the most important factor in good customer service and recommends approaches for organizations to offer excellent service. Surprise! Customer Service Doesn’t Need To Be Delightful – Just Effective (Forrester Blogs)

These days, picking an appropriate public cloud provider can be a daunting task due to the large number of provider choices. Sarah Chapman and Leonard Whitten outline the factors you should consider when evaluating your public cloud provider options. Pick Your Public Cloud Providers Like You Would Pick Your Hotel (SUNGARD AVAILABILITY SERVICES BLOG)

Many IT organizations believe they provide adequate services but rarely take the necessary effort to assess themselves. Ryan Ogilvie believes that on-going dialogues with the customer are essential for IT to validate its own performance. Performing ITSM Self Assessments – Don’t Wait too Long (Service Management Journey)

Some people would advocate that estimating is a waste, and project decisions can be made without estimating. Glen Alleman argues that executing projects without estimating is like driving in the dark with the lights off, not a prudent business move under any circumstance. An Agile Estimating Story (Herding Cats)

Pearl Zhu believes that a well-designed dashboard can serve as an effective management tool to enable business leaders to make better decision. She recommends a list of measurements and KPIs within which a comprehensive CIO Dashboard should include. CIO Dashboard (Future of CIO)

Martin Grobisen believes that advanced IT service management tools need not only apply to IT functions. The automation and management tools also can be applied to line-of-business processes to drive innovation across departments. He suggests some potential business cases which can be supported with IT service management tools. 7 Quick Ways to Take Advantage of Process Automation for Line-of-Business (ITSM Lens)

For many organizations, the deficiency in trust causes a great deal of tension between IT and the lines of business. Kevin Lees discusses how IT can overcome such deficiency to gain true business alignment. How IT Can Transform “Trust Debt” into True Business Alignment (VMware CloudOps)

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)

Fresh Links Sundae – May 18, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-fruit-sundae-image15278271Fresh 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!

IT as a Service (ITaaS) is a shiny new buzzword for the old idea that CIOs should run IT as if it is an independent business. If IT is going to be a business serving internal customers, Bob Lewis believes that its business model matters. In a three-part series, he discusses what we can do to make the ITaaS model work. The ITaaS metaphor – picking and choosing the parallels (Part 1) Where the ITaaS IT-as-a-business metaphor does fit (Part 2) ITaaS: If they’re going to be your customers, make them your tenants (Part 3) (IS Survivor Publishing)

Many IT organizations are actively working toward becoming a service provider, but a necessary prerequisite to achieve this status is good IT-business alignment. Barton Kaplan recommends five best practices for IT organizations to adopt in order to realize the true promise of alignment. 5 Tactics Leading IT Organizations Use to Realize the Promise of Business Capabilities (VMware Accelerate)

Many organizations are placing a big bet on digital marketing to drive results. Jennifer Polk outline three things required for success in digital marketing. Three Things You Need to Get the Most out of Digital Commerce (Gartner Blogs)

Every project needs some core elements that are connected to the actual performance of the project and can be used to make decisions in a closed loop feedback system. Glen Alleman discusses the four core components that must be in place for a project. Four Critical Elements of Project Success (Herding Cats)

Is it reasonable just to deliver good service and not waste time by spelling things out with Service Level Agreements? Hanan Baranes believes that we should not take the short-cut if you really want to give good service and have happy customers. If You Don’t Have an SLA, You’re Delivering Bad Service (SysAid Blog)

Part of being able to deliver the premium level of service to our customers is to ensure that we have the necessary service management capabilities built and established. Ryan Ogilvie discusses some essential foundational steps to establish a service management program. Ensuring Service Management Stays Effective (Service Management Journey)

As a service provider with a complex infrastructure, Heroku has a codified framework for responding to incidents that require extensive coordination and communication. Mark McGranaghan shares what they do at Heroku for incident response for those who may be considering adopt and apply some of these practices for their organizations. Incident Response at Heroku (Heroku)

Similar to other change management efforts, a highly successful Agile transformation happens when there is executive engagement throughout. Steve Colasinski suggests that executives should consider leading the change by being personally involved and engaged with the Agile transformation activities. Agile Transformation & Executive Engagement (LeadingAgile)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 30, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24270014Fresh 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!

The word “Agile” in IT can take on a variety of meanings, depending on the organizational environment and context. Bob Lewis tries to explain and answer the question: What does it mean for an organization to be agile, and what does it take? How does a business become agile? (IS Survivor Publishing)

The future of IT organization is quickly evolving due to technology, so should how we practice ITSM. Courtney Bartlett recommends three news ways of thinking about ITSM in a world with ever-increasing complexity and fast-changing technologies. Revolutionize Your IT Service Management Journey: Focus On Your Customers! (Forrester Blogs)

With the advance in cloud services, more and more IT systems are being migrated into a cloud hosting environment. In a two-part series, Oded Moshe outlines six steps an organization should consider taking when migrating applications and data to cloud. What Are the First 3 Steps You Need to Take to Successfully Migrate Your Organization to Cloud? and 6 Steps to Successfully Migrate Your Organization to Cloud (SysAid Blog)

Morgan Hunter, Laszlo Gonc, Jenny Juliany, Rosanne Delaney, and Jessa Lyders of Intreis are running a blog series on compliance myths.  You can catch the last five posts in the series via the following links. Compliance Myth #6 – “Outsourcing a non-compliant process will make us compliant”  Compliance Myth #7 – “Internal Audit will detect any problems that exist.”  Compliance Myth #8 – “The right technology will make us compliant.”  Compliance Myth #9 – We don’t have enough resources to achieve compliance  Compliance Myth #10 – “Compliance is largely an IT problem” (Intreis)

The traditional website is alive and well, but the proliferation of the mobile devices require us to re-exam how we build mobile friendly websites. Lawrence Howlett walks us through the steps for planning a mobile e-commerce website that delivers productive user experience. How To Plan Your Next Mobile E-Commerce Website (Smashing Mobile)

Almost every organization has various islands of data stores. At the same time, many of them struggle to find productive or insightful ways of using the data. Larry Bonfante reminds us that the use of data is not about technology – it’s much more about using the information wisely to enhance the relationship with our customers. Big Data for Business Decisions (Enterprise Efficiency)

Good data analysis is hard to do, but bad data analysis can hurt more than help. Greg Reda goes over some useful principles to follow when tackling one of those deep-dive analyses. Principles of good data analysis (Greg Reda)

ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 state the importance of having a definition for a major incident. Roman Jouravlev discusses one approach to define what major incidents are and what elements you will need to consider when crafting a process for handling major incidents. Major incidents in the real world (ITSM Portal)

Many organizations handle major incidents poorly because they fail to execute or don’t have a workable communication process in place. Ryan Ogilvie talks about the importance of having a major incident communication plan designed and vetted before a major incident strikes. Incident Management, Executive Gargoyles and Communication (Service Management Journey)

Sometimes the everyday life and work can make things difficult for all of us, but that does not mean we cannot invest some of our energy into something that can have a significant return. Ted Rubin helps us calculate the return on investment of taking the time to smile. What’s the ROI of a Smile? (Ted Rubin)