CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 73

that people in the company were relatively satisfied

not only to people in IT, but to those outside it, even your

with IT. But she came to the conclusion that they were

vendor community, so that everyone can line up behind

not judging IT with the right criteria, so she rejected

the strategy and push in the same direction.

the feedback and described to her team the greater level

By the end of the second month you should have such

of value IT needed to deliver. Doing that - basically

a plan, with a few simple objectives, articulated in words

setting the bar higher for herself -required some

that people can understand and maybe even put to

significant chutzpah.

memory.

What happens in the second month?

how the specific projects they work on connect to the

The plan should help every member of the IT team see
bigger picture.

The second month is about planning. This is when the

It's probably in the second month that you're meeting

IT leader needs to formulate his or her new strategy,

with the CEO and perhaps with your company's board of

balancing moving forward with a respect for what's been

directors to present a plan and the path forward.

done in the past. There needs to be continuity, even if
you are a leader who is replacing somebody who has
been fired. The vast number of people on your team will
be holdovers who continue to work for the organization.
The plan should provide an overview of the state of the

Do you typically see CIOs make the plan
a document that people at all levels
of the organization and even outside
partners can refer to?

IT organization: Here are the things we have done well.
Here are the things we are going to be capitalizing on.

It's critically important to broadcast the plan far and wide

Here are the strategic threats we will continue to face.

with clarity. Something that is held close to the vest is

Here are some new things that we are going to be doing.

open to misinterpretation. Communicating widely and

Here are the major new strategic objectives that we will

doing it in clear, precise, and simple language is critical

put in place. I think it is very important - this is what

not only the first time you develop a strategy for IT.

my recent book is all about - to create a strategy for IT,

To use Kim Stevenson as an example again, she has

to have it documented in a way that is understandable

4. IT and business partnerships: Ensure that collaborative

becoming crucial to corporations, and managing these

partnerships are the norm both within the internal IT

relationships to ensure that value is achieved is critical.

organization and in relationships with other parts of the

In the fourth principle, the IT organization has learned

business. It is important that the different parts of the

and contributed to the discussion about what is strategic

IT organization communicate effectively and efficiently.

and what is not. Once that is clear, then it will be easier to

It is equally important that IT develops a partnering

determine which aspects of IT might be better managed

relationship with the business. If the three prior principles

by external partners or vendors.

are done well, then IT should earn a place at the strategy
setting table, driving different parts of the
business strategy.
5. External partnerships: Develop a collaborative
relationship with external partners. Outsourcing is

A structured evaluation using these five principles (and 33
sub-principles) helps IT leaders evaluate how their team
is performing and generates recommendations for near and long-term action.
CIO Straight Talk | 73



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
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