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 14, 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!

Most IT organizations have a set of IT and ITSM metrics, and those metrics have a direct impact on the organization’s ability to deliver value-add services to the business. Stephen Mann discusses the pitfalls we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement when designing ITSM metrics. 14 Common ITSM Metrics Pitfalls & 13 ITSM Metrics Best Practices (ServiceNow)

Large infrastructure functions have traditionally been organized in “technology domains,” but that model seems to be hitting its limits as businesses become more global and require more agility. A “plan-build-run” organizational model can help to break down silos and facilitate performance-improvement and transformation objectives. Himanshu Agarwal, Nagendra Bommadevara, and Allen Weinberg discuss how leading IT infrastructure organizations are increasingly adopting plan-build-run models. Using a plan-build-run organizational model to drive IT infrastructure objectives (McKinsey & Company)

Many predictive analytics efforts fail to produce expected result because they focus more on the end predictions, rather than grasping the analytic “hows” and “whys.” Michael Schrage explains why humbly learning from your mistakes can quickly and cost-effectively turn predictive failures into analytic successes. Learn from Your Analytics Failures (Harvard Business Review)

With the current focus on big data and analytics, enterprise data strategy is becoming an increasingly critical part of a portfolio planning process. Stephen Lahanas outlines the top seven considerations when crafting an enterprise data strategy. How to Create an Enterprise Data Strategy (Technovation Talks)

While all projects focus on delivering the value for the businesses, many of those projects had a hard time defining what constitutes value for their projects. Glen Alleman discusses that there is another equally critical element with which we must factor into the overall ROI calculation. Focus on Value is Only ½ The Equation (Herding Cats)

An effective IT service costing process can be a solution to the pressing need for tighter technology budget and better business/IT alignment. Khalid Hakim discusses the steps for setting up a better service costing process. How to Create a More Accurate, Useful, and Equitable Service Costing Process (VMware CloudOps)

Organizations deal with a variety of hardware and devices both at the end-user and in the data center environments. Accurate asset tracking is critical for all environments within an enterprise. David Foxen discusses the key approaches and considerations to asset tagging, along with strengths and weaknesses of each methodology. Quick guide to Hardware Asset Tagging (ITAM Review)

Many organizations use proof-of-concept exercise to validate the use of certain technologies or systems. Many of those technologies or systems later failed to produce the expected results or benefits in production. Bob Lewis cautions us to be skeptical when a proof-of-concept is showcased to be an absolute proof of something working. Proofs of concept usually aren’t (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 – August 31, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_32609411-240x178Fresh 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!

A majority of organizations implement only reactive problem management; however, it is the proactive problem management practices that bring even more value. Stephen Mann discusses the barriers we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement for proactive problem management. 6 Barriers To Proactive Problem Management and 6 Problem Management Best Practices (ServiceNow)

A number of organizations are experimenting with predictive analytics and exploring its business value. James Taylor explains how to avoid common mistakes of predictive analytics. The Four Traps of Predictive Analytics (MIT Sloan Management Review)

Working in the field of IT Service Management, vendor management needs to be one of the high competency areas. Morgan Hunter talks about the considerations you should be aware of before signing a contract and recommends a nice checklist. Contract Negotiation Checklist – Don’t forget Your Pre-Nup (Intréis)

Predictive analytics is an increasingly mature technology, but many organizations still are not aware of the opportunities it presents. William Vorhies discusses the paths that a business leader can follow to discover more opportunities from leveraging predictive analytics. From Data Analyst to Predictive Modelers to Data Scientists (Data Science Central)

Many would believe that exercising technology leadership is all about achieving a successful implementation. Bob Lewis believes that the most important goal for technology leadership is to build a reusable organizational capability. Organizing for technology leadership (IS Survivor Publishing)

While the DevOps movement is evolving into a culture for continuous delivery of IT services, many organizations are still trying to find a balance between the human collaboration aspect and the tools/technologies. Mark Burgess uses the Promise Theory to explain how DevOps should work and why having a functional IT is a business imperative. The Promises of DevOps (Mark Burgess Website)

Analysts need to know the business rules which influence their database designs in order to ensure data operations make sense and results can be interpreted correctly. Fabian Pascal advises data analysts on the types of business rules for which they should be familiar with. Data Analysts: Know Your Business Rules (AllAnalytics)

Many believe that you cannot achieve value from your investment in ITSM without a fully functional and integrated CMDB. Oded Moshe explains why that is not necessarily true and recommends a list of advices to implement CMDB. Clearing Up the Myths of CMDB (SysAid Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – February 23, 2014 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!

While pulling some thoughts together on the future of ITSM and service desk, Stephen Mann outlines his perspectives on what’s to come for those two important areas in IT. What’s the Future of ITSM? (HDIConnect)

As more and more organizations adopt cloud infrastructure, the migration to the cloud is not always a straight path with no obstacles. Phil Whelan outlines common steps IT organizations can take when adopting cloud technologies. 10 Steps To The Cloud (ActiveBlog)

Keeping up with and leveraging the available technology advancement has become one of the top challenges for many organizations and their CIOs. Dion Hinchcliffe recommends the ways a CIO can leverage building a more digitally-aligned business. The new CIO mandate (Enterprise Irregulars)

Migrating to the cloud is not only a technology decision but also a risk management consideration. John Overbaugh recommends four steps a leader can follow to help their companies adopt cloud technologies while minimizing overall risk. Risk changes in the cloud (ISACA Now)

The recent security breach at Target highlights a reality where organizations are much more connected to one another these days. Those close connections, if not managed correctly, also can present potential security loopholes. Bob Lewis suggests two lessons any organization should consider and learn. When they’re good at being bad, learn from the good (IS Survivor Publishing)

Today’s managers often need to exercise the ability to think analytically. Thomas Redman discusses an example of using data to explore cause and effect. How to Explore Cause and Effect Like a Data Scientist (Harvard Business Review)

Many IT organizations work hard to meet their service levels and deliver excellent customer experience. Ryan Ogilvie explains why identifying what makes the service function is critical in the delivery of a consistent customer experience. Service Level Management – The Gap between Delivery and Expectation (Service Management Journey)

When implementing ITSM, some believe that, by improving the IT processes, the IT services will improve as well. Dan Kane cautions IT organizations that improving processes does not always lead to service improvement. Process Improvement is not Service Improvement (Hazy ITSM)

For many organizations, the success often comes down to the quality of leadership and the strength of the culture. Pearl Zhu describes three areas where IT can be a supporting catalyst to the business culture. IT as Business Culture Catalyst (Future of CIO)

Business analysis is a discipline that can effectively promote the success of the projects. Laura Brandenburg outlines eight steps with which a business analyst can follow to perform effectively on the projects. The Business Analysis Process: 8 Steps to Being an Effective Business Analyst (Bridging the Gap)

Something else you might be interested in…

Microsoft has made a free Microsoft System Center e-book available for download. Free ebook: Microsoft System Center: Building a Virtualized Network Solution (Microsoft Press Blog)