Fresh Links Sundae – October 12, 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!

Much of the current big data and artificial intelligence work have been focusing on using a data-driven approach to answering or solve business problems. Michael Schrage discusses how the work in automated hypothesis might increasingly inspire tomorrow’s breakthrough innovation. Let Data Ask Questions, Not Just Answer Them (Harvard Business Review)

Selecting the right features or attributes is one key step in strengthening the effectiveness of a predictive analytics model. Jason Brownlee explains what feature selection is and outlines a handy checklist for machine learning model building. An Introduction to Feature Selection (Machine Learning Mastery)

“Organisations are far too quick to blame their software tools for their woes,” said Rob England. He also points out that processes and tools are rarely the main causes of an organization’s problem. Don’t blame the tool: squeeze the asset, fix the behaviour (The IT Skeptic) Rob England

Organizations often shy away from the zero-based budgeting (ZBB) method because they believe it means “budgeting from zero.” Shaun Callaghan, Kyle Hawke, and Carey Mignerey dispel the myths behind ZBB and explain why it is a sustainable alternative to cost management appropriate for many. Five myths (and realities) about zero-based budgeting (McKinsey & Company)

Steve Schlarman believes that data classification is an absolute core tenet of information security. He explains how to leverage business context for building an information security strategy. The Data Classification Curve (RSA Archer GRC)

A number of people believe we should all be using the DevOps approach to managing our IT services. Stuart Rance briefly discusses what is behind the DevOps movement and some DevOps ideas that he thinks will work for every category of IT service. DevOps isn’t only for startups (Optimal Service Management)

Even with their inherent drawbacks, passwords remain one highly effective mean of securing information and access. Keith Palmgren explains that good passwords need not be hard to remember and difficult to use. How to Build Complex Passwords and Avoid Easy Breaches (SANS Institute)

Project management is one key competency area that is critical to an organization’s success. In a 6-part series, Tim McClintock discusses the pitfalls that project managers should work hard to avoid. (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 5, 2014 Edition

business analytics word cloudFresh 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!

Predictive analytics can never offer any ironclad guarantees around prediction, so how do you evaluate a new tool or a new model? Theos Evgeniou offers some basic questions in evaluating new predictive models to help you get the most out of your predictive analytics. How to Tell If You Should Trust Your Statistical Models (Harvard Business Review)

Some organizations implement ITSM with a number of sophisticated processes that end up too bureaucratic to be effective. Stuart Rance suggests how you can simplify things but stay effective at the same time. Do you really need all those cumbersome processes? (Optimal Service Management)

Jason Brownlee believes that, in order to get good at applying machine learning algorithms, you need to build up an intuition of how an algorithm behaves on real data. He describes the process we should follow when studying machines learning algorithms. How to Build an Intuition for Machine Learning Algorithms (Machine Learning Mastery)

Some organizations’ metrics programs fail while others are successful. Phyllis Drucker outlines the steps for organizing your metric framework and how you can kick your metrics game up a notch. A five-step framework for business oriented metrics (The ITSM Review)

As a product manager for cloud services, Alex Bordei’s mission is to make sure his team gets the highest performance possible out of the technologies used in their services. He discusses how NoSQL databases can scale vertically and horizontally, and what you should consider when building a cluster. Scaling NoSQL databases: 5 tips for increasing performance (O’Reilly Radar)

When we train and deploy machine learning models for big data analytics, we run several risks when we strive for perfection and over-train the model. Kirk Borne advocates that we can reap great benefits from data analytics by having fast, simple, slightly imperfect machine learning. Machine Unlearning: The Value of Imperfect Models (MapR)

A number of IT organizations have transformed themselves from a technology-oriented to a services-oriented organization with the practice of IT service management. John Worthington discusses the various approaches and the continual cycle of service definition. What Does It Mean for IT to Be Customer-Focused? (VMware CloudOps)

Some people feel the traditional IT enterprise architecture (EA) can be too rigid or not flexible enough for today’s fast-changing environment. Charles Betz shares his ideas of what an Agile EA approach might look like. Agile and Enterprise Architecture (lean4it)

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 24, 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!

To compete these days, Martha Bennett believes that it is essential to make the most of the data you have. She outlines five areas where the business leaders need to tackle. Planning Your Big Data Strategy: Five Keys To Success (Forrester Blogs)

With the digital business trend, many organizations look to their CIO to lead by demonstrating technology leadership. Bob Lewis discusses a list of what’s required for technology leadership to be possible. More technology leadership prerequisites (IS Survivor Publishing)

In military, tactics and strategy are both necessary elements, and they complement each other in achieving the objective. In a three-part series, Stephen Lahanas discusses the building blocks and the steps for building an effective IT strategy. Building Effective IT Strategy – part 1  Building Effective IT Strategy – part 2  Building Effective IT Strategy – part 3 (Technovation Talks)

Stuart Rance often gets asked how long should an ITSM project take. He offers his opinions and suggestions on how implement ITSM to obtain value in the shortest time possible. How Long Should an ITSM Project Take? (SysAid)

Some IT organizations prefer to implement IT assets and configuration management as a single practice together while some keep those processes separate. Derek Lonsdale discusses the factors that can help determine the best approach for your IT organization? The synergies and duplications of IT Asset and Configuration management (ITSM Portal)

The Business Relationship Manager (BRM) team often acts as a bridge between the IT organization and their business partners. Vaughan Merlyn discusses the signs of an ineffective BRM practice which does not add value. When Business Relationship Managers Collude with Dysfunctional Behavior (IT Organization Circa 2017)

The US Government recently published a list of good practices for building effective digital services. Mike Loukides explains why private enterprises should also consider adopting these practices for their operations. Not just the government’s playbook (O’Reilly Radar)

There are a number of service providers who can lend their expertise to help completing an ITSM effort. Amy DeMartine makes some suggestions for how to pick your next ITSM implementation services provider. How to Find the right provider to complete your ITSM project (Computerworld UK)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 3, 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 subject of data science receives much attention these days. Some people have used data management terms, such as business intelligence and predictive analytics, interchangeably even though they represent different disciplines. Dean Abbott talks about what similarities the two disciplines share and how they differ. Similarities and Differences Between Predictive Analytics and Business Intelligence (Data Mining and Predictive Analytics)

Neural network is a machine learning approach that is widely used in many data analytics efforts. Pete Warden offers step-by-step instructions on training your neural network. How to build and run your first deep learning network (O’Reilly Radar)

Big data and the Hadoop ecosystem are getting attention from many organizations these days. Rich Morrow outlines some of the most common surprises and challenges that new users of Hadoop run into in their early implementation period. Lessons Learned Deploying Hadoop (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

When you ask which service desk tool is the best for a particular IT organization, you will get a diverse set of opinions. Rob England outlines the essential criteria to consider when evaluating a service desk tool. What is the best ITIL service desk tool? (The IT Skeptic)

Rob Stroud and Rob England got into a discussion on the cloud-based ITSM solution. Mr. England and Mr. Stroud are two authorities I respect in the ITSM space. I thought the discussion was both interesting and educational. Is ITSM SaaS overrated? – Highlight and Is ITSM SaaS overrated? Round two – Highlight (CA Technologies)

When being asked about the tools and techniques used in their knowledge management programs, many IT organizations often just describe tools for managing and sharing documents. Stuart Rance thinks that is very limiting and offers additional ideas for enriching your knowledge management effort. Knowledge Management Is Not Just About Document Repositories (SysAid Blog)

Maturity assessment is a necessary part of ITSM improvement effort, but many organizations do not know how to conduct an effective assessment. Karen Ferris explains the challenges and pitfalls of conducting maturity assessment. ITSM Process Maturity Assessments – Handle with Care (Macanta)

A well-designed RACI chart is an effective tool for creating clarity in roles and responsibilities. Greg Sanker explains how a RACI chart can help in your ITSM effort. What’s a RACI Chart, and how to I use it? (ITSM Transition)