Fresh Links Sundae – September 21, 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 a 9-part series, William Vorhies discusses the important considerations that can help you determine which NoSQL technology is appropriate for your project. Parts one through five are listed here to start things out. 9 Lessons: Picking the Right NoSQL Tools  Lesson 2: NoSQL Databases are Good for Everything – Except Maybe this One Thing  Lesson 3: Open Source, Distribution, or Suite  Lesson 4: Features Common to (Most) NoSQL/NewSQL Databases  Lesson 5: Key Value Stores (AKA ‘Tuple’ Stores) (Data Science Central)

Cloud computing is here to stay, and many organizations have begun implementing their private clouds. Thomas Bittman talks about ten reasons why most organization fails to get the most out of their private cloud efforts. Why Are Private Clouds Failing? (Gartner Blogs)

Many organizations hire for skills and aptitude, but are there other elements that play an even more critical role in the organization’s success? Stephen Mann suggests that the attitude of the IT staff can go a long way in shaping and promoting their organization’s chance to succeed. Working In IT: Does Your Attitude Determine You… (ServiceNow)

Effective software asset management (SAM) is a crucial component of any IT operation, but the scope of SAM needs to be well-defined and precise, or it could become unmanageable quickly. Brent Jarnell talks about what to consider when designing your SAM practice. Setting the scope in SAM design (The ITAM Review)

When operating a complex system, it is often difficult to grasp the potential connections between many data sources which are part of the system. Rita McGrath explains how predictive analytics can now help organizations gain more insights into their business by bringing more disparate data stores together. To Make Better Decisions, Combine Datasets (Harvard Business Review)

When adopting a non-waterfall project management practice, some organizations had to face the decision of whether to adopt Scrum or Kanban. Simon Morris discusses the similarities and differences of those two approaches and how to be successful with either. Scrum vs. Kanban (The ITSM Review)

Many IT organizations have a significant portion of their budget goes into maintaining operations and application portfolio. Pearl Zhu gives suggestions on managing a balanced IT portfolio and how to run IT more effectively. IT Portfolio Management (Future of CIO)

Conducting proof-of-concept (POC) projects to test out a new idea is a popular approach, but many POC efforts fall into the traps of wasted valuable time and resources. Bob Lewis talks about how to avoid those traps when conducting POCs. How to prove a proof of concept (IS Survivor Publishing)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 7, 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!

The quality of the service catalog has a key, direct impact on IT’s ability to deliver value-add services to the organization. Stephen Mann discusses the barriers we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement for Service Catalog Management. 6 Barriers To Service Catalog Success & 13 Service Catalog Best Practices (ServiceNow)

A number of organizations have begun making use of predictive analytics techniques to interpret business results and make better decisions. Tom Davenport discusses the basics about predictive analytics that every manager should know for his/her organization. A Predictive Analytics Primer (Harvard Business Review)

There are many reasons why data governance projects fall short of expectations. In a three-part series, Bryan Finnegan shares his thoughts on achieving persistent data governance and recommendations for avoiding pitfalls in data governance projects. Achieving persistent data governance, pt.1: link your teams  Achieving persistent data governance, pt. 2: focus on trouble areas  Achieving persistent data governance, pt. 3: find a visionary (The Data Roundtable)

Stuart Rance believes it is a good idea to document improvements you want to make in the register and let it evolve as we discover new things we want to record. For those organizations that want to keep formal documentation on improvements, he gives a list of recommendations on how to make a register and populate the information. Managing a continual service improvement register (Optimal Service Management)

Many IT managers understand the importance of the Knowledge Management process but are unsure of how to get started. Simon Morris talks about the key elements of the knowledge management process and ways to use KM to strengthen your incident management practice. The Avocado of Knowledge Management (The ITSM Review)

People have different opinions about shadow IT efforts and how best to deal with them. Rob England gives his recommendations on working with Shadow IT within your organization. How to deal with Shadow IT (The IT Skeptic)

Overwhelming evidence points to a tendency toward cost and effort overruns due to poor estimation for many software projects. Magne Jorgensen summarizes some of the knowledge he believes we have learned about effort estimation over the years. What We Do and Don’t Know about Software Development Effort Estimation (InfoQ)

Bob Lewis believes that you can draw strong parallels between conducting covert operations and managing typical corporate projects. He outlines a list of the factors without which projects are bound to fail. Spycraft, project-craft … what’s the difference? (IS Survivor Publishing)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 1, 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 the NASDAQ outage on August 22nd, a number of people have been analyzing and discussing the incident and the lessons learned. Brian Barnier explains what risk management lessons we could have learned from this incident. Have the right lessons been learned from the NASDAQ outage? (ISACA Now)

Some people advocate that the gap between ITSM and Agile are wide enough where the two frameworks really cannot leverage each other’s principles. Simon Morris outlines his thoughts on why ITSM practitioners should care about Agile principles and the positive effects Agile can bring to an ITSM organization. Applying Agile principals to Service Management (The ITSM Review)

Getting IT service management initiative off the ground can sometimes seem like a long journey without highly visible progress. Julie Montgomery suggests things we can do to maintain our focus. The 8 Step Cycle to Grow Your ITSM Impact (Plexent Blog)

Taking the lessons learned from her recent training for marathon, Melanie Karunaratne articulates how the lessons can be applied to improving customer satisfaction in IT. Learning to Run (LANDesk Blog)

People like to compare methodologies and debate why one framework is more superior than the other. Dennis Stevens gives us a run-down between Agile and Waterfall and explains what matters more is about the problem you are trying to solve. Agile vs. Waterfall [] (LeadingAgile)

In business analysis, elicitation describes the set of techniques used to discover the requirements. Laura Brandenburg outlines a number of concrete steps a business analyst can take to make sure no requirements are overlooked. 53 Tips For Discovering All the Requirements (Bridging the Gap)

Jeff Haden believes that working for a start-up is different from working for an established company. He outlines the qualities that make a excellent employee for start-up or a brand new business. 7 Qualities Every Start-up Employee Needs (Inc.com)

James Altucher lists some hard-hitting advices for running your business. Whether you agree with the entire list, I think many advices listed are actionable and applicable to many aspects of life as well. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Starting and Running Your Own Business (Altucher Confidential)

Drawing from his personal experience, Hank Blank talks about one thing that can derail a consulting endeavor. I think Hank’s advice and James Altucher’s RULE #infinity resonate with each other. The Kryptonite of Consulting. (Thoughts on Networking, New Business & Agency Searches)

We often have the tendency to dismiss  poor behavior as if we have permanent genetic flaws that can never be corrected. Marshall Goldsmith gives a personal example and advises how we can change and overcome the self-imposed limitation. Give Yourself A Chance (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

A bonus download…

David Ratcliffe used this presentation to support his talk at the recent “2nd Annual IT Service Management Leadership Forum.” It’s thought-provoking, and I highly recommend it. The 5 Most Important Leadership Qualities For ITSM (Pink Elephant)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 4, 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 whose ideas resonate with me. I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

For a number of IT organizations, outstanding customer service has been touted as the key to organizational success. Rob England points out that it is necessary to have the proper perspectives before investing resources purely for the sake of exceptional customer service. Customers are not your top priority (The ITSM Review)

Organizations accumulate a vast amount of information and knowledge over time, and losing some of the critical knowledge can hurt productivity significantly. Ryan Ogilvie discusses why knowledge management (KM) deserves our attention and how can organizations get started in putting a workable KM process in place. WORN – Write Once Read Never? – The Importance of Knowledge Management (Service Management Journey)

The methodologies such as Agile, Lean, and DevOps can present some promising ideas for continual process improvement. Simon Morris suggests two starting steps for those organizations who want to start integrating Agile, Lean, and DevOps into their ITSM effort. Simple steps towards Agility and Service Management improvement (The ITSM Review)

To do IT Asset Management (ITAM) effectively, inventory along is not going to be enough. Filipa Preston suggests that a close collaboration between HR, IT, and procurement can go a long way to improve and to ensure the organization’s ITAM effectiveness. How many machines, really? (The ITAM Review)

When initiating or executing changes, plans and tools are critical components to have. With a three-part series, Jason Little explains why models, tools and plans still cannot replace the soul change agent must have to bring change that matters. The Soul of a Change Agent – Part 1, The Soul of a Change Agent – Part 2, The Soul of a Change Agent – Part 3 (Jason Little)

Business Process Model (BPM) can be a useful tool to describe how a process works, even if one knows little about the technology or business systems involved. Laura Brandenburg explains what is BPM and how to create one. How to Analyze a Business Process (Bridging the Gap)

As an experienced business professional, Jim Taggart believes that a country’s greatest competitive asset is its human capital and how it develops it. He explains why social capital is necessary for building the human capital and how organizations can build social capital for accomplishing their objectives. Build Your Organization’s Social Capital by Keeping Good Company (ChangingWinds)

While many organizations continue to be skeptical of how best to leverage the available social media tools, people are using the readily accessible tools to help them get their work done. Michael Schrage outlines several examples of how social media technologies have empowered people to accomplish their tasks. The Real Power of Enterprise Social Media Platforms (Harvard Business Review)

Instead of emphasizing on feedback or rehashing something that had already happened and cannot be changed, Marshall Goldsmith would like to encourage leaders spending more time creating a positive future. Leave It at the Stream (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Websites have evolved over the last 15 years and have become more valuable to more organizations. Seth Godin tells us what is one crucial question to ask when building a website and why the question matters. Q&A: What works for websites today? (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – December 16, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

While ITIL may advocate the concept that problems come into play only after incidents had occurred, Rob England gives an introduction into what a proactive problem management process should look like and address. Proactive Problem Management (The ITSM Review)

In a two part series, Abhinav Kaiser outlines the steps for setting up a software license management process in your organization. Best practices for software license management [Part 2] (TechRepublic)

Implementing a service catalog can sometimes turn into a major undertaking for many organizations. Barclay Rae gives an overview of why having a service catalog, what it should look like, and what to expect when putting one together. Service Catalog is Simple…or Should Be (Barclay Rae Website)

Most people would agree with the notion that change is the norm in our time. Karen Ferris explains why the desire of staying static and avoiding changes is no long an option. CHANGE: Don’t be a statistic [] (The ITSM Review)

Reflecting from a recent McKinsey Quarterly article “Capturing value from IT infrastructure innovation,” Gregory Tucker shares his view of what the service management concept is turning into. Service Management Is Dead (Tracted IT Management)

In this information-rich age we live in, managing knowledge and classifying information can be a formal challenge. Aprill Allen discusses two methods of information classification schemes and how they can be used together. Taxonomies and Folksonomies (Knowledge Bird)

In a presentation to a group of computer science students in London, Simon Morris describes the software development methodology used within his organization. ServiceNow development methodology presentation to QMUL (ServiceNow Community)

Instead of making the typical New Year resolutions that get quickly deferred or forgotten, Jeff Haden outlines 21 goals that can go a long way to improve your personal effectiveness. 21 Things That Beat Your New Year’s Resolution (Inc.com)

Like so many things in life, the subject of leadership does not have one single source of truth, but a number of competing ideas or opinions. Jim Taggart suggests what each of us can do to better understand the field of leadership and management. A Big (Obvious) Idea for Leadership–There Are NO Experts! (ChangingWinds)

Seth Godin talks about how companies start in serving the niche market. Later on, some of those companies transform their products/services to serving the mass market. I think supporting the IT technologies in organizations has gone through the similar transformation as well. The question remains is how should an IT department deal with the two very different market/user segments within their own organization. The cycle of customers who care (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 18, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

From his article at the recent ITSM 12 conference, Robert Stroud explains why the Service Manager needs to be more versed in the business and less in technology, a transition from a purely operational role to a more business oriented one. Delivering ‘Innovative Business’ – The Next Challenge for Service Managers (Service Management – CA Technologies)

Using a railroads operation example, Rob England discusses what a Problem Management process is and how it differs from Incident Management. Problem Management Defined (The ITSM Review)

When measuring the effectiveness of your knowledge management effort, Simon Morris talks about the use of metrics and how to improve them to yield a more meaningful measurement. Tracking user behaviour with Cohort Analytics (ServiceNow Community)

Referring to the recent NY Times columnist Nate Silver’s work on the presidential election, Bob Lewis talks about why hard evidence and careful analysis really should be the cornerstones of business decision-making. The cloud of intellectual relativism has a Silver lining (IS Survivor Publishing)

Although nature disasters tend to grab our attention as prominent threats to the business, the human risk factors should not be overlooked. Kirstie Magowan outlines the approaches we can take to minimize the human risk factors in order to protect the business from avoidable threats. Take care of your human risk factors first (Common Sense and Service Management)

Although there are many poorly implemented SLAs and some people are calling for its abolishment, Barclay Rae advocates that there are better ways to arrive at a solid SLA that is valuable to ITs customers. SLAs (Barclay Rae)

Attracting great people who can fit well into an organization is a common challenge for many hiring managers. Nick Corcodilos explains why hiring great people should be based on common interests, not common desperation. Yada, Yada, Yada: Desperate hiring (Ask The Headhunter)

Talking with Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Jeff Haden discusses why a popular career management belief might not be practical and require a second thought. Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is Terrible Advice [] (Inc.com)

I just finished the mentoring program with my Ascend USC student mentees, and I am going to miss working with them. To learn more about what else you can do bless the young ones you love, check out what Rachel Martin has suggested. 51 Things You Can Do That Will Bless Your Kids (finding joy)

While you are working hard to bless and empower your young ones, don’t stop there. Check out what Toni Birdsong has suggested you can do in their online worlds. Catch Your Kids Being Awesome Online (InternetSafety.com Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 28, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

I take an avid interest in computer gaming and actively play a few myself. It was cool for me to read Keith Ferrazzi’s article on ways where virtual teams can successfully collaborate using a gaming analogy. How Successful Virtual Teams Collaborate (Harvard Business Review)

Although the nature of innovation and changes can seem conflicting to IT’s fundamental goal of keeping things running with great stability, Robert Stroud talks about why IT Operations must balance the need to facilitate innovation while still keeping the existing business solutions working and operational. IT Operations must accept risk and innovate (CA Service Management)

JavaScript Injection is an approach that can be used to monitor application performance from the end-user experience perspective. Jonathan Ginter explains why such method is not without risks and the implications for deploying such method in your application environment. Monitoring 101 Myth – JavaScript Injection is Safe (BMC Communities: DevOps)

Merger and acquisition activities can put up some very formidable challenges for IT to integrate various business operations. Sasha Gilenson describes what those challenges are and what can organizations do to integrate more effectively. Mergers & Acquisitions Road is Bumpy for IT Operations (Evolven Blog)

Advocating for solid documentation that support the process effectively and with minimum waste, Simon Morris talks about how to factor in user personas when writing productive and useful process documentation. ITSM User Personas (The ITSM Review)

Using the term “cul de sacs” as a reference from Seth Godin, Laura Brandenburg outlines the harder things to work on that will propel you much more towards your BA goal. Why You’re Not Achieving Your BA Career Goal (Bridging the Gap)

Citing information compulsion as a source of annoying habits and interpersonal flaws, Marshall Goldsmith explains why inappropriate sharing of information and emotions from leaders can be counter-productive and outlines four ways to change and to create a win-win exchange. Change for the Better (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Many organizations (IT or others) set up customer service function to accomplish objectives. Seth Godin sums up what customer service is all about and what good customer service should subsequently lead to. The only purpose of ‘customer service’… (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 16, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

ITSM SaaS solutions have been gaining popularity with many IT shops. Stephen Mann discusses the selection criteria and the considerations when selecting an ITSM toolset, SaaS or not. SaaS for ITSM: Getting Past The Hype (Forrester Blogs)

While many IT organizations try to avoid dealing with projects that are considered “shadow” and under the radar, Bob Lewis explains why it also makes sense for IT to find and support the “shadow IT” projects. Never mind shadow IT. How about shadow projects? (IS Survivor Publishing)

With a number of discussions and the push for Green IT concept, Rob England shares his feelings about the movement and why he believes the impact of green or sustainable IT will be negligible. Green sustainable IT is a sop to middle class consciences (The IT Skeptic)

Many outsourcing arrangements frequently bundle ITSM tools implementation as part of the deployment. Ros Satar explores ways to improve the effectiveness of the ITSM solution without getting lost in the deployment shuffle. Will it ever be possible to innovate in outsourcing deployments? (The ITSM Review)

Because technologies progress and change quickly, strong problem solving practices have always been an important part of IT. Simon Morris demonstrates a problem solving example using the Kepner Tregoe Problem Analysis process. A structured approach to problem solving (The ITSM Review)

Running a service desk can be a complex and labor-intensive operation. Benjamin Whitehead suggests ten things the service desk should avoid doing for efficiency and effectiveness reasons. 10 Things your IT Service Desk should NOT be doing (ITSM Portal)

The Knowledge Centred Support (KCS) concept has received some attention from the ITSM community lately. Aprill Allen discusses her early impression and the approach of leveraging KCS using forum-based knowledge bases. Adapting the KCS article lifecycle to Zendesk forums (Knowledge Bird)

After years of focusing on costs, many senior leaders are finding that their organizations are not up to the task of searching for and attaining the top line growth. Susan Cramm outlines ways anyone can use to renew her focus, to build better relationships, and to improve results. What Would Your Successor Do? (Valuedance)

Replaying from his person experience, Tobias Nyberg suggests ways to make progress in the ITSM initiatives from a grass root level and without explicit management support. Guerilla ITSM: When management doesn’t care [] (The ITSM Review)

Leveraging ideas from J. Allan McCarthy’s book, “Beyond Genius, Innovation & Luck: The ‘Rocket Science’ of Building High-Performance Corporations,” Don Tennant shares the author’s tips for building a successful, effective team. Best and Brightest, Like Star Players, Need to Be Able to Work as a Team (From Under the Rug)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 24, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

Using several examples, Eric Feldman showed how innovations can also be achieved with things other than the new, disruptive technologies alone. What is Innovation? (CA on Service Management)

While identifying opportunities is certainly a part of providing technology leaderships, Bob Lewis explained why identifying obstacles, while not as fun, can be just as critical, if not more. When providing technology leadership, don’t push it (IS Survivor Publishing)

When performing business analysis, Laura Brandenburg showed how requirement verification and requirement validation are two different and equally necessary activities. How to Distinguish Requirements Validation and Verification (Bridging the Gap)

With the need to field so many changing technology and landscape, Patrick Gray gave some examples of technologies where the CIO must attend to but can do so productively. Top CIO distractions (and how to avoid them) (TechRepublic)

Citing examples from Ron Kaufman’s book, Don Tennant talked about ways to interact with service providers more effectively. Want Better Service from Your Vendor? Be a Better Customer (ITBusinessEdge.com)

If you are working on a service catalog project, Alicia Choo posted a couple of sample documents that may help in your endeavor. Service Catalogue Management (Choofca’s Brain Dump)

To help us measure our ITSM performance as effectively as we can, Stephen Mann outlined some common mistakes when designing and implementing Infrastructure & Operations metrics. Where IT Metrics Go Wrong: 13 Issues To Avoid (Forrester Blogs)

By advocating the need for solid enterprise technical architecture management (ETAM), Bob Lewis gave suggestions on how to implement ETAM effectively. Good IT architecture means knowing when to take control (InfoWorld)

Following up to another post, Simon Morris described what an ideal Product Owner would look like for your ITSM enhancement effort. The Goldilocks Product Owner (ServiceNow Community)

Though commonly used in IT service delivery, Martin Chalkley explained why poorly defined SLA can affect the working relationship with the suppliers more negatively than positively. Do SLAs hinder collaborative relationships with our supply chain? (The ITSM Review)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 17, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

Instead of implementing it as-is and rigidly, Jeff Wayman explained why a practical implementation of ITIL can still offer tremendous value to an organization. ITIL: The Hidden Driveway of IT Service Management (ITSM Lens)

From a recent technology summit in which he hosted, Perry Rotella offered some ideas on leverage IT’s role for leading innovation. If Innovation Is Everyone’s Job, Why Not Be a Leader? (Forbes)

Using a building construction example, Bob Lewis explained why architecture is important and why the architects need to step up and do their part. Is your IT architecture up to code? (InfoWorld)

Having been a proponent of the notions of governance, service and assurance, Rob England gave his view of what the future of IT management might look like. The Future of IT management (The IT Skeptic)

In a globally competitive environment for hiring, Kim Nash offered suggestions on how CIOs can recruit talent more effectively. Why CIOs Must Master the Art of Hiring (CIO Blogs)

Drawing from the Scrum methodology, Simon Morris talked about the role of Product Owner and why it is an essential part of an ITSM enhancement project. Who is sponsoring your ITSM enhancement project? (ServiceNow Community)

Although humans are, by nature, tribal, Bob Lewis discussed what we can do to work with tribalism in an effective way. What to do about tribalism (IS Survivor Publishing)

On the similar topic to Bob Lewis’ article, Seth Godin gave an example of leveraging tribalism to help encourage positive behaviors. Amplify the positive outliers (Seth’s Blog)

Addressing the skepticism about COBIT 5, Brian Barnier explained how IT leaders can leverage COBIT to help achieve business objectives. COBIT 5: New release offers CIOs more potential for business benefit – if the implementation is focused on business objectives and doesn’t get lost in the weeds (Center for CIO Leadership)

Addressing the question from various angles, Ros Satar gave her take on whether going through the ITIL Foundation education is worth the effort. Back to Basics: Why DO the ITIL Foundation Certification? (The ITSM Review)