Tag Archives: Management

Calmer Gentler IT

Maybe it’s my old(er) age, but it seems the typical IT department lives in a state somewhere between panic and chaos. Personally, I enjoy working in a calmer and kinder environment. Since IT often includes helpdesk and support, a sense of urgency is certainly expected, and there are times when it’s “all hands on deck”… Read More »

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 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 Optimization vs IT-run-amok

Over the past few years, I’ve been hired into IT positions that were vacant for a period of time (no CIO/ VP-IT/Director of IT). This means I was not aware of existing project plans or future goals. In this situation I’m starting from scratch, which means assessing the current environment to determine future plans.The temptation in this type of role is to immediately identify high-visibility IT projects and push them forward. As the new IT expert, your chance of approval may be higher if you push projects early. However, assuming new tech is needed without fully assessing the existing environment often leads to IT-run-amok.