Tag Archives: success

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.

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.

How to Tackle a BIG Tech Project

If you are lucky, you only have ONE really big tech project to manage, like ERP implementation or a huge integration project. If you have several going at once, it is even more important to stay focused on the most important tasks first. We know to break big projects down into smaller tasks, but how exactly does one do this and can it be done wrong?

The Great IT Team

What makes a great IT team? A good IT team can become great by sharing a common vision. This vision can come from corporate leadership, or it can come from within IT. Lack of a corporate vision need not prevent IT from adopting its own vision statement.

M&A from an IT View

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the IT projects that result from M&A activity (and feel like a swirling vortex of chaos). There is nothing really new here — this list is simply to help you remember what you may already know.

Customer Service in IT

I was privileged to hear motivational speaker James Lloyd at the 2nd annual DSS Tech forum this week. His topic was customer service and he made several very excellent points. First, if you are ONLY meeting customer expectations (and doing nothing more), your grade is a C. Customer Loyalty occurs at levels A & B, but not at level C. If we’re only meeting expectations, the customer is loyal ONLY until a better deal comes along.