Month: June 2014

Fresh Links Sundae – June 29, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_34568759-240x170Fresh 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!

Cloud computing is becoming widely adopted, and yet, many organizations still do not fully understand the advantages and challenges that come with cloud computing. Tom Bittman discusses three perceptions of “cloud computing” and how organizations can evaluate cloud computing from all angles to get the most value out of it. How to Create a Cloud Strategy That Fails Big! (Gartner Blogs)

Public cloud offering might be economically attractive, but the lack of customization and other security considerations can present challenges of their own. Brent Bensten explains why not all applications, services, and frameworks are built for cloud computing and how to deploy the right tool for the job. How to choose between custom and commodity clouds (InfoWorld)

Many people define KPIs for their IT service management processes by looking in books or by copying what others do; however, that is rarely going to give good results. Stuart Rance outlines a list of critical success factors (CSFs) and KPIs that organizations can leverage to design a set of problem management measurements. The critical test is to ensure those measurements will derive metrics about the things your organization cares about. Defining Metrics for Problem Management (SysAid)

The DevOps concept is being experimented or adopted in many organizations. For many IT operational teams, implementing a DevOps model within their own organizations still presents many challenges. Alex Honor discusses those challenges and make recommendations on how the development and the operational teams can work together to overcome those challenges while minimizing risks. Common Objections to DevOps from Enterprise Operations (dev2ops)

While there are many cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) offerings that present excellent value, it’s also true that many data protection vendors do not leverage the same definitions when classify their products as cloud-based “DR” or “BC” solutions. Lynn LeBlanc explains what are the four essential DR/BC capabilities when evaluating a potential cloud-based DR/BC offering. Evaluation Criteria for Your Cloud-based Data Protection Solutions (Data Center Knowledge)

Many organizations have their own change management process, but often the process is rigidly applied and not leveraged correctly for its true value to aid the business. Jon Morley illustrates how we can build on our existing change processes and bring them together to help develop an end-to-end change management solution that works for your organization. Advice for Building Your House of Change Management (The ITSM Review)

Cost, schedule, and performance are the most critical aspects we try to manage for every project. We can think of them as three biggest random variables we need to measure and control in order to succeed in a project. Glen Alleman shows how we can measure and estimate these random numbers with a reasonable level of confidence and margin for errors. All Project Numbers are Random Numbers — Act Accordingly (Herding Cats)

A critical component of a capable IT service management practice is the establishment of a Continual Service Improvement process. Building or changing organizational culture, however, is not so easily done because traditions are closely held as norms, values, and beliefs. Pearl Zhu recommends a four-step approach for shaping a continuous-improvement culture in your organization. A Continuous-Improvement Culture (Future of CIO)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 22, 2014 Edition 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!

For many firms, the importance of getting pricing right cannot be overstated. Walter Baker, Dieter Kiewell, and Georg Winkler believe that the flood of data now available provides companies with an opportunity to make significantly better pricing decisions. They suggest four things companies need to do. Using big data to make better pricing decisions (McKinsey & Company)

When documenting a business process or anything with a significant level of complexity, it’s easy to fall into the trap of documenting the process but not necessarily understand it. Bob Lewis explains how good documentation is a balancing act between providing the necessary details and explaining the insights that truly matter. With documentation, accuracy isn’t what matters (IS Survivor Publishing)

BYOD is a trend that is here to stay with a number of enterprises, so the management and governance of the BYOD is crucial. Karen Ferris discusses how ITIL Service Strategy processes can help to govern the BYOD practice more effectively. BYOD concerns? It’s time to dust off the ITIL service strategy book! (The ITSM Review)

In many organizations, the IT departments struggle to effectively market its capabilities and communicate the value the IT organizations bring to the table. Alex Salicrup recommends a list of steps and actions which the IT department can use to improve its effectiveness in managing consumer perceptions. Managing Your Brand: Communications and Marketing for Today’s IT (VMware Accelerate)

A well-planned and a well-run change management process can help build a better, stronger IT organization. In a two-part series, Vawns Murphy discusses how to get started in implementing a change management process and how to effectively manage the process on an on-going basis. Part 1 – Change Management – Surviving Implementation Part 2 – Running Your Change Management Process (The ITSM Review)

During the recent quarterly chapter meeting of the Information Security Forum, Steve Schlarman surveyed the audience noting the different personalities that have risen to the tops of the security food chain.  He discusses how the CISO role in many organizations has evolved and the personality attributes, he believes, tend to contribute to a CISO’s success these days. Leadership Qualities for Today’s CISOs (RSA Archer GRC)

As more IT organizations move away from the traditional model of IT and toward becoming a service provider, running a smooth, cost-effective, efficient service portal can help IT improve its services and effectiveness. David Crane outlines the critical elements a well-functioning service portal should have. The People and Process Behind the Service Portal (VMware CloudOps)

One of the greatest lessons Peter Drucker taught Marshall Goldsmith was this: “We spend a lot of time helping leaders learn what to do. We do not spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half of the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.” While many of us get credit for what we do, Marshall outlines a list of ineffective behaviors a leader should consider stop doing. Teaching Leaders What to Stop (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 15, 2014 Edition 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!

Brady Orand and Global Knowledge are running a blog series “11 Common Mistakes of ITIL Foundation Newbies.” Here are the first five installments of the series. ITIL Newbie Mistake #1: Too Much Focus on the Processes ITIL Newbie Mistake #2: Certified and Done ITIL Newbie Mistake #3: Focusing on Processes First ITIL Newbie Mistake #4: Attempting a Project in Isolation ITIL Newbie Mistake #5: Developing a Service Catalog without Considering Business Needs (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Using Forrester’s research data, Kate Leggett illustrates what is the most important factor in good customer service and recommends approaches for organizations to offer excellent service. Surprise! Customer Service Doesn’t Need To Be Delightful – Just Effective (Forrester Blogs)

These days, picking an appropriate public cloud provider can be a daunting task due to the large number of provider choices. Sarah Chapman and Leonard Whitten outline the factors you should consider when evaluating your public cloud provider options. Pick Your Public Cloud Providers Like You Would Pick Your Hotel (SUNGARD AVAILABILITY SERVICES BLOG)

Many IT organizations believe they provide adequate services but rarely take the necessary effort to assess themselves. Ryan Ogilvie believes that on-going dialogues with the customer are essential for IT to validate its own performance. Performing ITSM Self Assessments – Don’t Wait too Long (Service Management Journey)

Some people would advocate that estimating is a waste, and project decisions can be made without estimating. Glen Alleman argues that executing projects without estimating is like driving in the dark with the lights off, not a prudent business move under any circumstance. An Agile Estimating Story (Herding Cats)

Pearl Zhu believes that a well-designed dashboard can serve as an effective management tool to enable business leaders to make better decision. She recommends a list of measurements and KPIs within which a comprehensive CIO Dashboard should include. CIO Dashboard (Future of CIO)

Martin Grobisen believes that advanced IT service management tools need not only apply to IT functions. The automation and management tools also can be applied to line-of-business processes to drive innovation across departments. He suggests some potential business cases which can be supported with IT service management tools. 7 Quick Ways to Take Advantage of Process Automation for Line-of-Business (ITSM Lens)

For many organizations, the deficiency in trust causes a great deal of tension between IT and the lines of business. Kevin Lees discusses how IT can overcome such deficiency to gain true business alignment. How IT Can Transform “Trust Debt” into True Business Alignment (VMware CloudOps)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 8, 2014 Edition

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Many companies are struggling to add piecemeal elements to their existing IT operations in order to compete in the digital era. Some experts have suggested that reinventing the IT function may be another way to deliver the digital capability the companies need to compete. Henrik Andersson and Philip Tuddenham have identified seven elements that are critical to achieving the IT performance improvements required for the new digital world. Reinventing IT to support digitization (McKinsey & Company)

When moving towards a more “digital” enterprise, many organizations are adopting what Dion Hinchcliffe called the ‘bolt-on’ strategy, which typically means adding a few new digital channels to existing touch point. He explains why companies should consider another more transformative approach when going digital. Going Beyond ‘Bolt-On’ Digital Transformation (Enterprise Irregulars)

Today’s website and web applications contain many distributive technical components. Maintaining and diagnosing performance issues can be complex. In a five-part series, Clare Kirlin discusses the considerations and decisions required to ensure the performance of your websites and web application meets your business needs. New Blog Series: #OptimizeDigital (Part 1) 3 Miles and 14 Bottlenecks: Know Your Performance Enemies (Part 2) Optimize Measurements to Optimize Web Performance (Part 3) Real Users: A Common Web Performance Blind Spot (Part 4) The Quick and Easy Audit that Every IT Manager Should Perform (Part 5) (In the Limelight)

The technologies used in software development have changed radically in the last two decades. Mike Loukides reflects on the technology stacks in use today and describes the essential components everyone in the software development or operations team should know. Beyond the stack (O’Reilly Radar)

Leveraging his recent system migration experience, Andreas Grabner explains why by monitoring all your system components and correlating the results with deployment tasks will you be able to deploy with more confidence without disrupting your business. Web Service Monitoring 101: Identifying Bad Deployments (About: Performance)

With today’s complex projects, some are convinced that the current project management processes are obsolete for dealing with complexity on projects.  Glen Alleman believes that the notion is untested and recommends ways to deal with project complexity. How to Deal With Complexity in Software Projects? (Herding Cats)

In light of what we may have read about the discovery of mismanagement at the US Veterans Administration, Bob Lewis reminds us the importance of collecting and reporting on the right metrics that truly matter to the business. Your own personal VA scandal (IS Survivor Publishing)

We all want to stand out in some way, but we also want to fit in. Reflecting from a personal experience, Jeff Haden outlines the approach for working towards fitting into a larger community. The Best Way to Fit In and Truly Become Part of…Anything (

Food for Thoughts…

Many schools hold graduation commencement during the month of June.  Michael Schrage gives us a playful, but not implausible, look at a future commencement speech. The First Robot Commencement Address (Harvard Business Review)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 1, 2014 Edition 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!

Companies across industries are experiencing a looming issue of finding the senior-leadership capacity to manage the huge program of data analytics. The issue stems from the reality that many top-team members are fully engaged with their existing responsibilities. Janaki Akella, Sam Marwaha, and Johnson Sikes believe that CIOs can help by mastering four critical roles. How CIOs can lead their company’s information business (McKinsey & Company)

With today’s fast delivery cycles, Charles Betz argues that the traditional “Plan/Build/Run” model is no longer sufficient. He explains how a “Demand/Supply/Execute” model may help to counteract the tendency to form functional silos and to promote effectiveness. The challenges of “Plan, Build, Run” and Towards “Demand, Supply, Execute” (lean4it)

In business, process maturity and stability are good things to have, but too much is not necessarily better. Bob Lewis advocates that the job of leadership often is defined by the need to maintain an organization in its most unstable state, because in many areas that is where the best results happen. The unstable optimum (IS Survivor Publishing)

In many IT organizations, setting high operating standards and what gets recognized (ad-hoc fire-fighting) can have opposite effects. Dan Kane believes that performance against the standards you set on an individual basis is a key leading indicator of overall organizational performance. Keeping Employees Engaged with ITSM (Hazy ITSM)

Reporting from IT can be challenging when trying to deliver reports that are accurately reflecting the customer experience. Ryan Ogilvie suggests four principals to keep in mind when planning and making service improvements. Service Management Reporting is all about Perspective (Service Management Journey)

Bill Kleyman advocates that one of the best ways to prep your organization for a potential cloud move is to utilize a cloud readiness assessment. Before you migrate a workload into a cloud provider space, he recommends some key infrastructure aspects to consider. Creating a Cloud Readiness Assessment (Data Center Knowledge)

Denise Brosseau had just returned from her summer vacation to Sweden, after a visit to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. She shares the lessons we can all learn from this remarkable, failed warship. What I Learned About Failure on My Summer Vacation (Thought Leadership Lab)

Just about any animal will tend to repeat behavior that is followed by positive reinforcement. As a result, the more successful we become, with more positive reinforcement we get, we become less able to recognize the need to change. Marshall Goldsmith cautions us not to let over-confidence overshadow our humility and the ability to change. The Success Delusion (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)