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 – January 26, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_34969337 (150x240)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!

Some people don’t like culture change because it is slow and can be ugly. Bob Lewis suggests that you do not choose both aspects when implementing culture change, but you will need to pick one. Quick culture change (IS Survivor Publishing)

To some, big data holds the promise of producing output of unique insight on the information that would be almost unimaginable for a human being to uncover and develop. Mitch Joel believes the trick is to leverage all of this data, analytics and performance in a way that machines can’t. What’s Bigger Than Big Data? (Six Pixels of Separation)

Cloud computing has fundamentally changed how we provide and consume computing services. Hank Marquis talks about how cloud technologies are changing the roles within IT organizations. How Cloud is Redefining IT Job Roles (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Configuration management (CM) process exists in many IT organization, but many organizations struggle with it. Earl Begley explains why the CM can be difficult to practice well and offers tips to improve the odds for success. Why is configuration management so tough? [] (ITSM Review)

Like many aspects of IT, some organizations have chosen to outsource some or all of their software asset management (SAM) practice to a third-party partner. Kylie Fowler gives three suggestions on how to get the most out of your SAM service experience. Implementing a successful 3rd party SAM Service (ITAM Review)

Many enterprise project/program management offices (PMO) get stuck at a lower level of management maturity and struggle to deliver IT projects that meet customers’ expectation. Pearl Zhu discusses the ways a PMO can use to solidify itself and improve project success rate. IT Transformation: How to Build a Solid PMO Roadmap (Future of CIO)

When asked by his students in his ITIL classes, Michael Scarborough believes that he sees more organizations having difficulty with ITIL is the overall governance. He explains why more organizations struggle with that aspect of ITIL more than others. What’s the Most Challenging Aspect of Adopting ITIL Best Practices? (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Occasionally we are requested to join a team having difficulties and turn things around. Len Lagestee suggests we first assess the situation and identify the gaps that may exist within the team. So, You’ve Just Joined a Struggling Team (Illustrated Agile)

Leaders are expected to create change, but inconsistency between their talk and their walk can create creditability gap. Susan Cramm discusses the crucial leadership lessons we can all learn from the Pope. Leadership Gone Viral (strategy+business)

We can increase our effectiveness by changing elements of our behavior. Marshall Goldsmith outlines six steps you can follow to achieve a positive, measurable, long-term change in your behavior. From Good to Great (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 3, 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. 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 all the excitement surrounding big data and advanced analytics, many organizations are naming Chief Data Officers (CDO) to manage their data needs. Thomas Redman describes the challenges and the opportunities that can come with this transformative role. Are You Ready for a Chief Data Officer? (Harvard Business Review)

The biggest story in IT this year likely is the issues surrounding the rollout of Healthcare.gov. By leveraging her experience in managing large-scale IT projects, Mary Shacklettin outlines the lessons which all IT professionals can learn from the website. Healthcare.gov web site launch leaves lessons for health of your IT career (TechRepublic)

Many people think gaming is just a nice way to make training more fun and engaging. Paul Wilkinson advocates that gaming can do a lot more as part of a learning process. A game is just nice to have right? – Wrong! (The ITSM Review)

Some people believe that managing the work is as important as doing the work, if not more. Bob Lewis suggests that it’s the other way around because, if you don’t deliver the goods, nobody will care about your brilliant insights. The work or managing the work: Which matters more? (IS Survivor Publishing)

Mobility is rapidly becoming the primary consumer interaction point with the organization and its business processes. Robert Stroud recommends all IT shops leverage mobility as a key interaction point with their constituents. A Fall, An iPhone, Mobility And Knowing What Good Is! (CA Service Management)

While the political punditry around the healthcare website is laughable, the layers of technology and components required to make the website work is no joking matter. Mitch Joel believes that this prominent website can also offer an excellent opportunity to educate the mass population on the complexity of the technology we work with daily. When Important Websites Crash (Six Pixels of Separation)

For a number of women (or men), delivering superior results and advancing within the corporate structure are often at odd with achieving work-life balance. After talking with the founder of Pixo, a technology consulting firm, Susan Cramm believes it’s still possible to run a competitive company that nurtures work-life balance. Exceed Customer Expectations—and Get Home for Family Dinner (strategy+business)

On any project, changes are expected and should be handled proficiently so significant issues can be avoided. Laura Brandenburg discusses how to manage change requests so that an informed decision can be made about how the changes can be incorporated into a project with as little disruption as possible. How to Manage Change Requests (Bridging the Gap)

Giving effective feedback to team members is quite possibly the most crucial part of any leader’s job. Heidi Grant Halvorson recommends a few simple rules that leaders can use to do a better job giving feedback. The Key to Giving Great Feedback: Focus on the Process, Not the Person (Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson)

While the global culture has immense potential benefits, it can also lead to an effect of “cultural extinction” where people around the world are much more likely to look alike, act alike, and sound alike. Marshall Goldsmith believes that, in order to create a positive global community, we need to meet three key challenges. Celebrating Diversity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 20, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626

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. 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!

Some experts have predicted that the CIO role has become less and less relevant over the years and maybe going away soon. Bob Lewis disagrees and explains why the CIO role is necessary to coordinate the integration between applications and systems. Is the CIO dead? Maybe. Should it be? Nah. (IS Survivor Publishing)

As the power of data and analytics profoundly affects the business landscape, companies once again need more top-management talent who can understand and leverage the technologies. Brad Brown, David Court, and Paul Willmott outline six areas that will require more senior leadership’s participation. Can Your C-Suite Handle Big Data? (Harvard Business Review)

Many of us are accustomed to having access to highly capable consumer technologies that offer convenience and commodity pricing. Over time, we have grown dependent on those technologies. Sharon Taylor reminds us the importance of balancing the level of support response, redundancy, cost, and reality when offering those same technologies and services to our organizations. Rocket fuel, cake and customers. (SHIFT)

Many IT organizations are looking for ways to improve their services by making themselves more assessable to the business. Robert Stroud suggests that perhaps a “walk-up service center” can help to improve your organization’s service management effort. Service Management From the Back Room to the “Drop-in Center” (CA Service Management)

Most IT departments are in a struggle to meet the demands from a customer base and from a massive volume of IT project and firefighting work at the same time. Offering a more personalized support from IT appears to be a low priority item considering the resource and staff constraints. Ian Aitchison thinks that offering a more personalized IT support to enterprise users can be doable. You don’t need to be a Genius or a Guru to offer a Personal Service Desk (The ITSM Review)

Many CIOs feel innovation can only come after establishing a culture for innovation within the organization. CEB believes that, instead instilling a culture, a “climate of innovation” will be more malleable and can be influenced by processes, practices, and signals from leaders. Laura Wilson explains what is a “climate of innovation” and recommends four actions to create such climate within your organization. Want to Make IT More Innovative? Don’t Set Up a Skunkworks Team, Examine Your Behaviors (CEB’s IT Blog)

Some leaders try hard to help their teams by handing out advice on every aspect of the team’s work. Susan Cramm explains what the negative consequences can be and what corrective actions a leader should take. Are You Disabling Your Organization with Advice? (Strategy+Business)

Today’s leaders face a set of very different environments and leadership challenges. Len Lagestee believes that, by changing the way we think, speak, and act, we will begin to design how we will be remembered as a leader. Shaping Your Leadership Legacy (Illustrated Agile)

A challenge around strategic core competencies today is that too many of them appear to be enterprise-centric rather than from the customer’s point of view.  Michael Schrage discusses how companies can re-think and re-architect how they can empower customers to add value to their core competencies. Do Customers Even Care about Your Core Competence? (Harvard Business Review)

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that leading an organization that provides integrated multi-product solutions is remarkably different from leading an organization that sells a single line of products. He recommends approaches leaders should take to navigate in today’s interconnected world. On a Consumer Watershed (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

Microsoft has made a free Windows 8.1 ebook by Ed Bott available for download. Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals (MSDN Blogs)

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)