A gloomy picture of how business perceives CIOs

I followed and commented on this Forrester article re: CIO/business perception, which Dan Muse (@dmuse) of CIO.com posted on LinkedIn.

Half the problem is that we don’t consistently come to the table with technology solutions for business problems/opportunities before being asked. In other words, we react and don’t anticipate what other functions will need. Either that, or we do it in fits and starts, especially if our proferred solution is shot down or unwelcome. Too often we withdraw into our shells — sometimes in a snit — then wonder why we aren’t at the table.

Give and take about initiatives is every other function’s lot in life. We have to persist in proposing new directions over time to have that seat at the table — and solicit, then listen to, the feedback about rejected proposals — so that our next great idea gets the hearing it deserves.

CIO job rotation and commitment to IT value

Great interview by Linda Tucci at searchCIO.com (here) with Richard R. “Rick” Roy, CIO at CUNA Mutual Group about his experiences as a line manager and how they’ve transformed his IT leadership approach.  This passage on a shared sense of urgency struck me:

I think the other thing in operations is the sense of urgency. In your customer service centers, the phone rings and you either answer it within your service standards or not; you either resolve the question within your service standards or not, or pass it on to another level of service.

IT operations has that flavor to it, but when you get over into the application development world, it typically doesn’t. They typically are working on projects that can span months, if not quarters, even years. Trying to drive that sense of urgency is probably the other big reminder for me as I have come back into the CIO seat.

Roy also hints at something PMOs need to do better: maintaining the same pace as the business.  A PMO needs processes that are nimble enough to keep up as the business responds to the market, competition, etc. by “adjusting and going perhaps in a different direction.”

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