Category Archives: Management

5 Steps to IT Excellence – Step 3: Cost & Low Hanging Fruit

In our last post, we identified our top priority projects, based on likelihood and business impact. Remember, these projects started from our own assessment, combined with firsthand feedback from department heads, IT staff, vendors – anyone possible.

Now we’ll attach estimated costs to each possible solution, keeping in mind that costs may go through several iterations. Think of this initial step as a BUDGETING step – not necessarily the fixed cost for the absolutely-best solution to each problem.

5 Steps to IT Excellence – Step 2: Risk & Impact

In our last post, we covered the Overall Assessment, which is largely a data gathering step. By now we should have a spreadsheet of potential projects, along with a WHOLE LOT more knowledge about the overall IT environment. We should understand the general flow of data, primary systems and integration points, overall network layout, and any existing policies. We should also have a good general understanding of vendor and staff skillsets. Next, we’ll build out the risk/impact prioritization – starting with the spreadsheet we created in our first step.

5 Steps to IT Excellence – Step 1: Assessment

One of the benefits of entering an existing (but leaderless) IT environment is the fresh perspective we can apply while establishing the organization’s technology goals. When starting with a blank sheet of paper, you can’t take anything for granted. Sometimes this clean start can be helpful — even in strong IT environments. Every now and then, it’s good to question the status quo, reassess risk, and confirm past decisions. Why wait until things get bad?

The Gutsy Side of Integrity

For the past several weeks, I’ve been fortunate to attend Sandler sales training. The Sandler training program includes a bunch of keywords, pictures, and techniques designed to shift sales people from the stereotypical used-car-salesman-type to a trusted and professional advisor. Whether or not you are in sales, as a working professional you will probably find yourself selling something to someone (ideas, projects, opinions, decisions, budgets, etc).

Signs of Intelligence

My current Masters class is Decision Support Systems and Business Intelligence. This week’s chapter is Artificial Intelligence. Buried in the chapter was a list of “Signs of Intelligence” from an AI point of view. Most of the signs were common sense, but there were three that caught my attention:

IT Leadership in an Imperfect World

It takes more than great network uptime and rock-star development teams to get IT right. The IT leader has an increasingly important role in directing the “big picture” properly, so that the company can quickly adapt to ever-changing business objectives and technology.