CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 72

It's really important to have an eyes-wide-open perspective: How do I augment
this department's strengths, where is it weak, where do we have to prioritize funds
and people and activities to improve in areas where there have been issues?

be humble enough to recognize that the great processes

Regardless of how they came to the job, it is important

you have developed, the great things you have done, the

for new CIOs to spend a lot of time going out and

way you manage people, all of these need to be tuned to

meeting people in their first month. They should go

the culture of the organization you have joined. Is this a

deep into the organization and ask for good, solid,

process-heavy organization or a process-light one? Is it

honest feedback, pushing the team to be as open and

metrics-driven or does it tend not to measure itself well?

candid as possible. Also important are meetings with

Is this a very hierarchical organization or very collegial?

constituents outside of IT, both peers and superiors, to

Is it political? Where does the power lie? How do people

better understand where IT has met expectations, where

outside of IT best take tough messages?

it has exceeded expectations, and where it has had

Of course, those promoted from within an

underwhelming performance. Similarly, meetings with

organization will understand the cultural nuances.

external partners can help in understanding areas

But they may still need to spend time up front learning

for improvement.

and understanding their new role and how things look

During the learning phase it's important to listen

from this new position. They are likely to meet more

well but also to draw your own conclusions. One of my

frequently with a broad array of other leaders in the

favorite lessons comes from my interview with Intel's

company than they did in the past.

Kim Stevenson. During this learning period, she found

World-Class IT Methodology
The methodology Metis Strategy uses with its clients is

infrastructure is not reliably performing its tasks, the

based on five principles Peter lays out in his first book,

IT organization will become stuck in reactive mode,

World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When
IT Triumphs.

constantly fighting fires. If systems and hardwar work

1. People: Recruit, train, and retain world-class IT people.

reliably, then a larger portion of the organization can think
about the future.

This is the foundational principle - without the right

3. Project and portfolio management: Field an effective

people doing the right jobs at the right time, it will be

project development and portfolio management process.

nearly impossible to achieve excellent performance.

This is the engine through which new capabilities can be

2. Infrastructure: Build and maintain a robust IT
infrastructure. This is the principle that separates
proactive organizations from reactive ones. If

brought to bear on behalf of the company. It is important to
ensure that projects are delivered on time, on budget, and
on target, and that the portfolio collectively supports the
objectives of the business.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 4
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 5
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertA
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover4
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