Listen and Plan Ahead

By Tom Pettibone  |  Posted 2009-03-04 Print this article Print

3 Get a second opinion.

The third component to a successful 100 days is getting a dispassionate, independent assessment of the IT department. Seeking input on what works and what doesn’t from the current IT staff and other senior management is certainly important, but keep in mind that it can be biased.

Having an independent third party identify weaknesses gives cover to a new CIO—especially if he or she must rein in unruly staff, eliminate inefficient processes or identify which legacy systems are money-losers. Bringing in outside experts to deliver the unvarnished truth enables a CIO to establish a baseline and develop long-term planning.

4 Develop the plan.

This doesn’t mean that a new CIO should jettison any planning during the first 100 days. In fact, the culmination of your first 100 days is your initial plan.

This plan, based on your internal and third-party assessments, should address the strengths and weaknesses of the current environment, make recommendations to improve performance and provide a timetable for implementation.

Finally, you should make a formal presentation to management to gain their buy-in for the plan.

If you resist the urge to bury yourself in IT minutiae until you’ve navigated the first 100 make-or-break days as a CIO, you’ll have your IT vision, as well as the support environment in which to execute it.

Tom Pettibone, a former Fortune 50 CIO, is founder and managing partner of Transition Partners, an IT management and consulting firm based in Reston, Va.


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