Establishing a productive partnership

Managing Service Delivery Relationships is a Challenge

(This article was kindly contributed by my friend Peter Hind who runs Hindsight Forum in Sydney and Melbourne. It is a vendor free forum where technology managers come together and share their experiences. )

Increasingly the task for many information and technology departments is to evolve their activities from being the doers to becoming the managers of the doers. This evolution has been driven by both the steady use of outsourcing and the burgeoning popularity of Cloud computing. With many organisations now in their third iteration of outsourcing and with the service delivery model for applications and infrastructure gaining traction the challenge is to ensure that the agreements that govern these relationships are effective. Continue reading “Establishing a productive partnership”

Ensuring IT Value for Money

A large amount of money is spent on Information Technology each year. Organisations regularly attempt to improve IT efficiency and get a better return on the money spent. According to a January 2014 article by PWC, businesses still are unsure if they are getting the most from their IT investments. CEOs and business leaders ask, “What are we getting from our IT investment?” and “are we spending the right amount to get the outcomes?” CFOs ask, “How do we know whether we are getting the value we expected?” The CIOs struggle with answering the questions, “How do I better explain to the business what it takes to run IT?” and “how do I get the business to understand how it affects the IT budget?”. The marketplace is becoming more dynamic and competitive and product life-cycles are becoming shorter. Organisations are seeking to become more agile. Making changes to the interconnected legacy systems is complex and takes too long.  When the business asks for rapid change, IT cannot deliver. Hence, IT appears to be of lower value. Continue reading “Ensuring IT Value for Money”

PMO : one size doesn’t fit all

Many CIOs are often faced with the challenge of building or upgrading the PMO. There is often a temptation to go for ‘best practice’. As result, some CIOs set the goals too high. I have seen many a organisations bogged down with PMO processes that everyone detests but without any improvement in effectiveness. Before we can talk about setting  or upgrading PMO, we need to know why your organisation needs a PMO? Because one type of PMO does not fit all organisations. Continue reading “PMO : one size doesn’t fit all”

On Making Good Decisions

Decision-making is what leaders and managers do in the business everyday.  Good decisions help the organisations become successful. In the information age, despite all the resources and information available to managers, they often make poor decisions.

There are many reasons why bad decisions are made. Managers think of major decisions as choices they must make. The thinking is ‘great men make great decisions’. In making their choices, they rely on their experience, preferences and judgement. While these are necessary, they are not enough to make sure that good decisions are made time and again. There are many ‘decision traps’ that managers fall into. To avoid these traps, one needs to treat decision-making as a process and not just a choice. Like all work, when there are right people, tools and processes are brought to bear, the results can be consistently good. Continue reading “On Making Good Decisions”

Is your IT Department Under Control?

Do you know if your IT department is under control? How does one determine if the IT capability is well managed? Is IT well managed if the IT service is in line with service levels? Is IT in control if projects are delivered more or less on time? Or one can say IT is under control when information is secure? What should a CEO or a CIO do to ensure that the technology function is well governed? Continue reading “Is your IT Department Under Control?”

Finding and demonstrating IT value

Some commonly heard complaints about IT are ‘we are spending too much on IT’, or ‘IT is a black-hole’. While IT aspires to become a strategic business partner, business folks complain about the lack of trust between IT and business or the lack of a common language between the two. Business does not know if IT is doing a good job and many IT leaders cannot communicate how they are creating value for the business.

A book by Hunter and Westerman, “Real Business of IT” provides a four step process for finding and communicating IT value. I thought I would share their key ideas. Continue reading “Finding and demonstrating IT value”