Fresh Links Sundae – January 12, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image23590585Fresh 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 – December 8, 2013 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!

In spite of its negative connotations, politics can be viewed as the art of finding a way forward when people disagree about the best path forward. Bob Lewis explains how a manager can manage his/her political capital and work with the system effectively. Political Capital Management (IS Survivor Publishing)

For 2014, itSMF UK has decided to focus on four key topics that will drive its agenda, and those four key topics (referred to as the “ITSM Big 4”) were chosen based on the input from the ITSM community. Sophie Danby interviewed four ITSM Review regular contributors and practitioners to obtain their views on the ITSM Big 4. ITSM Big 4 – the practitioner view (The ITSM Review)

Maintaining a Supported Software Catalogue can immensely benefit the audit and reconciliation of Software Asset Management (SAM) data and facilitate activities at the Service Desk. Rory Canavan recommends a process for maintaining a Supported Software Catalogue. Process of the Month – Maintain a Supported Software Catalogue Process (The ITAM Review)

With the influx of mobile devices into the workplace, it will have a visible impact on what service desks have to do to provide support to the end-users. Stuart Facey recommends several planning approaches that service desk managers and ITSM professionals should consider. Service management for a more mobile world – is anything different? (The ITSM Review)

A number of organizations are struggling to find the balance between productivity and security when supporting IT initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Rob Enderle cautions that IT needs to scrutinize its BYOD approach and not put organizations and employees at risk by trying to be overly accommodating. IT’s BYOD Approach Is Wrongheaded (Unfiltered Opinion)

More and more IT support centers are paying close attention to customer satisfaction. Roy Atkinson explains what support managers can do to gain additional insight into their customers’ perceptions. Customer Conversations: One Thing (HDIConnect)

Diagrams and matrices can help to communicate complex ideas. Laura Brandenburg shows us how visual models can make business analysis work more productive with plenty of examples. How to Make the Requirements Process Faster With Visual Models 22 Visual Models Used by Business Analysts (Bridging the Gap)

Reflecting from the book “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty,” Jim Taggart talks about how an organization can meet today’s challenges by sharing power and enrolling its people to help find solutions. The Payoff from Sharing Power (ChangingWinds)

On those occasions when we are about to do something incredibly vital, we can get incredibly nervous. Jeff Haden suggests five things we can do to prepare ourselves mentally with a quick shot of confidence. 5 Ways to Get a Confidence Boost (Inc.com)

Most of us don’t like or fear public speaking because we believe the audience is focusing on us and constantly judging our presence. Seth Godin explains why those fears are simply misplaced. Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear (Seth’s 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 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 8, 2013 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. 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 IT being essential to the execution of nearly every job, Brad Power believes that business executives will need to continue to build their comfort level with managing IT more directly. Yes, Managing IT Is Your Job (Harvard Business Review)

Drawing from his own dieting experience, Earl Begley explains how building and following a plan are a must for an ITSM initiative to work. The ITSM Diet (The ITSM Review)

With the constant changes in business, many organizations are using IT in a much more sophisticated manner than they are used to be. Stewart Buchanan explains how organizations need better IT asset management controls to prevent unexpected costs from outweighing the benefits of new ways of using IT. Improve Your IT Asset Management Controls or Face Unbudgeted Costs (The ITAM Review)

Motivated by the interest in social-enablement and self-service, many organizations are looking at how best to manage and make knowledge accessible to their people. Barclay Rae gives some planning tips for your knowledge management effort . Knowledge Management Is More Than Just Buying A Tool (The ITSM Review)

Many IT organizations use popular metrics such as first contact resolution (FCR) or mean time to repair/resolve (MTTR) as a primary input into measuring service excellence. Dan Kane argues that well intended metrics don’t necessarily tell the whole story, and we can do better. First Contact Resolution is the last refuge of a scoundrel (Hazy ITSM)

In an effort to maximize his/her own productivity, some developers produce more extra code than the organization can test or make use of them. Dennis Stevens suggests six things that developers can work on that are better economic investments than writing the extra, untested code. Stop Writing Code You Can’t Yet Test (LeadingAgile)

With machines getting more proficient at doing many of the things people traditionally do on the job, this means people need to become smarter at things machines are not quite yet ready to take over. Michael Schrage suggests six different skills that can be useful in today’s workplace and should be taught in school. Six Classes Your Employer Wishes You Could Take (Harvard Business Review)

We live in a world where we want things to happen fast, faster and fastest. Mitch Joel suggests  we focus on spending the time you need to get better at your craft. 10,000 Hours And 20% Of Your Work Time (Six Pixels of Separation)

When it comes to finding and leading like-minded people to make real and powerful change that matters, Seth Godin explains why it is vital to build the tribe around the experience that the tribe members already want to have. Q&A: Tribes and the reality of worldview (Seth’s Blog)

Our flaws at work usually don’t vanish when we go home. Marshall Goldsmith advises us on whom we can approach to learn more about ourselves. How to Learn the Truth About Yourself (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)