Bears, hedgehogs, and Gladys Knight: parables of IT leadership

Tweet For years, I’ve had two framed items hung on my office wall throughout my various stints as CIO, CTO, etc.  I like to think of them, both individually and together, as reflecting certain truths or ironies I encounter as a technology executive, particularly in the realm of leading others.  They serve as cautions to […]

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We don’t like that estimate. Change it.

Tweet CIO: “We can’t go live in six weeks as you want.  It’s going to take at least three months.” CEO: “That’s … unacceptable!” One of the most recurring memes in IT, for me, has to be hearing “we don’t like that estimate”, coming from stakeholders, senior management, etc. Depending on the mood and/or semi-intellectual […]

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Uncommonly followed common sense tips on CIO communication

Tweet I recently had the privilege of being interviewed, along with other experienced senior technology executives, by CIO magazine for my thoughts on communication mistakes still made by CIOs. Some great ideas came out in the article, but when it comes to communication (see tip #1 below), there’s always more to say. So here goes. […]

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Yes we can, yes we must: the ongoing case for IT/Business alignment

Tweet How do we (IT executives) get away from being typecast as technologists, unconsulted on core business issues and approaches? Face it, that’s a common situation and dilemma that we all encounter, early and often, and it’s the grist for a constant mill of articles and blog posts and books on business/IT alignment. Lately, though, […]

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IT transparency is good. But how transparent should you be?

Tweet A few years back, I had an extremely surprising and unpleasant experience as CTO. The director of my Program Management Office ran a weekly status meeting for project stakeholders, where we’d all methodically go through the current project portfolio, in order to communicate on issues, gather necessary feedback, and align everyone’s expectations. I typically […]

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Complexity isn’t simple: multiple causes of IT failure

Tweet Roger Sessions recently published a white paper on IT complexity and its role in IT project failure: “The IT Complexity Crisis: Danger and Opportunity”.  It’s certainly possible to quarrel with bits and pieces of his analysis, and thereby tweak his numbers, but the overall thrust remains undeniable: IT failures are costing the world incredible […]

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“Getting” Twitter, from the technology executive’s perspective

Tweet I don’t want this to be just another post about Twitter, the current hot trend of the Internet.  Rather, I’d like to relate this new Twitter fad to a long-planned important topic here. Specifically, what can we in technology do to keep current and stay up-to-speed on our various areas of interest and expertise? […]

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Speed vs. bureaucracy: management issues confronted by companies in transition

Tweet I was at a relatively young company once where a senior executive suddenly sent out a message to the entire employee base, asking for general input on the cause and treatment of the following concerns: “There is a feeling that the company is not able to move fast enough or nimbly enough — we’re […]

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