On my way to the new MCSE!

I checked prometric over the weekend and was thrilled to find I passed both of the free Microsoft exams I took at MMS 2012.

071-247 : Configuring & Deploying a Private Cloud w/ System Center 2012

071-246 : Monitoring & Operating a Private Cloud w/ System Center 2012

Now I have only  a few steps reimaining to complete my new and improved MCSE.

If you're interested in more information on the new, revived MCSE certification programs, check out: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-private-cloud.aspx 

Invest in self assessment

Even though I clipped this a few months ago, I still believe it's valuable, so I'm ok with sharing my thoughts "better late than never".

The subject of this original article was discusses how difficult it is to measure the "effectiveness" of charitable organizations and the efficiency of donations. The same principles apply in IT Operations Management, which is more contemporary to me. These two paragraphs in particular summarizes the issue pretty well:

The enemy was never just overhead. It was and is oversimplification. The problem isn’t just a lack of a new measure. It’s a lack of resources. And a lack of resources necessarily leads to over-simplification. 

We are about to replace one simplistic approach with another. Why? We think it’s the best we can afford. Worse, we think it’s the best we deserve because, ironically, evaluation expense is a kind of overhead, and we’re not supposed to spend any money on that, so we need to do it on the cheap. So the very measure we’re trying to replace is the measure that is unconsciously driving the new “solution.”

When organizations / businesses / teams are trying to run efficiently, there's a natural focus applied to maximizing productivity with minimal resources. So, when the concept of adding resources to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the primary resources is introduced, this seems wasteful. Any extra resources should be applied to the primary tasks / objectives right? Well, how do we know until we measure how we're doing? Typically the leaders with budget control do not understand or agree with this approach of spending on anything that could be considered "overhead".

I have more on this topic I'd like to share, but I'm running out of time to write, so I'll leave with this bit to think about. I welcome your questions or comments. 

Getting Things Done with Nozbe

I really appreciated this article because the process to learning about Getting Things Done (GTD) and then finding a cross-platform solution (Windows at work and Mac at home) were so similar to my own. If you're at all interested in improving your productivity and organization, then you should read this article and carefully consider reading the book and then adopting Nozbe.

I've been slowly but surely making my way through Getting Things Done by David Allen (I'm using the audiobook from Audible.com and listening with my iPhone during my commute). As I'm sure many others have, I wanted to find some software to help me apply what I'm learning. Nozbe has been an excellent fit for my style. This article provides a nice summary of one's experience becoming accustomed with the Getting Things Done philosophy and using Nozbe to live it.


Calendar courtesy

This may just be a pet peeve, but if so I suspect many others working in a corporate environment have the same one.

If you invite me to a meeting, please include more than just a date, time, and subject. I need a brief description of the meeting's agenda, and which part of that I am needed for.

Especially if there is information that i need to prepare for the meeting to succeed, I would like as much warning to that effect as I can have in order to prepare quality information to share. Depending on the breadth of the audience, a concise roll call of who's invited and what role they play may also help me understand who the audience is so I can craft appropriate messages and materials.

If I am invited to attend, I may have conflicting appointments, and if you include enough information in the invitation, I can make the best decision as to which meeting I need most to attend. And if I am unable to attend your meeting, don't take it personally. Please include me when you distribute the meeting minutes and whatever other materials were covered during the meeting (hopefully in soft-copy if attached, or better yet just send me a shared link).

These are my ideas about how to setup others to successfully participate in any meetings I arrange. I would appreciate your feedback and other thoughts you may have on calendaring with courtesy.