Staying the Course as a CIO: How to Overcome the Trials and Challenges of IT Leadership
By: Jonathan Mitchell (author)Hardback
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STAYING THE COURSE AS A CIO: HOW TO OVERCOME THE TRIALS AND CHALLENGES OF IT LEADERSHIP The shelf-life of a Chief Information Officer can be shockingly short. Few survive in post for more than a few years. More often each falls prey to insurmountable problems and their careers come to a sharp and ignominious end. In this book, a global CIO with over thirty years of experience in major corporations examines the main reasons why this happens. Readers will understand which types of issue can cause problems for an IT Leader and more importantly, they will learn strategies of how these problems can be minimized or even avoided. IT is often seen a technical backwater, but it is a discipline which has the capability to add massive value to an organisation whether it is in the private or the public sector provided of course it has the right leadership doing the right things. Aspiring IT Leaders will need to deal with a common set of recurring trials and challenges.
These include: * Overcoming the challenge of managing diverse and conflicting stakeholders * How to deal with large and complex projects * Making sense of software and how to handle the rapidly changing technology landscape * Knowing when to outsource and how to get the best out of an outsourcing partner * Harnessing the intellectual power of consultants to help you meet your goals * And last but not least, how to develop a set of strategies that are aligned with your corporate goals and then make sure your resources are properly targetted so that the IT function generates maximum positive impact for the enterprise. For IT professionals looking to fully integrate their function into the enterprise, 'Staying the Course as a CIO is a valuable source of practical advice, all based on real experience.
DR JONATHAN M. MITCHELL is an IT executive with over 30 years of experience in global blue-chip companies. For nearly a decade he was the Chief Information Officer, Business Process Improvement Director and Corporate Development Director at Rolls-Royce. Prior to that he built a successful IT career at BP and GlaxoSmithKline, where he rose to become a Vice President. In recent years he has appeared in lists of the most influential Global CIOs in Information Week, CIO Magazine and Computer Weekly. Jonathan is a founder of CIO Strategic Advisors Ltd, a company which provides strategic consultancy and development for Executive teams using a network of respected former-CIOs. In 2014, he became the Non-Executive Chairman of the Global CIO Practice at Harvey Nash, one of the largest IT recruitment companies in the world. He has also been working as an independent industry expert with the UK Shadow Cabinet to develop a rescue plan for a major welfare IT project. Jonathan is a member of the Advisor Board for the Centre for Information Leadership at City University and collaborates with the CASS Business School's Executive Education unit. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Chartered IT Professional and a past Chairman of the UK Corporate IT Forum. www.ciostrategicadvisors.com
INTRODUCTION xi CHAPTER 1 Dislocated Stakeholders 1 Wooden Poles with Holder 2 Because They re Worth It? 4 The Joys of Middle Management 10 Layers and Spans 11 Middle Managers and the Linkage between IT and the Business 13 The View from the Top of the Tree 16 Bored Boards 18 The Relationship Conundrum 19 The Henry VIII Method 20 The Customer/Supplier Model 20 Teamwork! 23 Could I Have Something Impossible Please? 26 The Dead?]Hero Zone 26 Magicians, Circuses and Keeping Something in the Tank 28 CHAPTER 2 Pathogenic Projects 31 IT Projects are Harder than Climbing Everest 33 Not Everyone Gets to be a Pharaoh 36 Don t Start Anything You Can t Finish 38 Peaches Are not the Only Fruit 39 Ungrouping Group?]Think 40 Mugging by PowerPoint 42 Back to the Himalayas 43 Stalinist Project Management 44 Undo?]able Projects 44 Stalin s Special Question 45 Being Nostradamus 49 My Piece of String is Skewed 51 Things Can Go Badly Wrong, but They Rarely Go Badly Right 52 Inoculating against Skew Percentile Therapy 54 What Happens in Projects Stays in Projects 56 The Gates of Wrath 58 Looking Up from the Pit 62 CHAPTER 3 Seriously Shaky Software 63 Software Just Doesn t Wo. 65 Being Immune to Tangerines 70 The Unfortunate Side?]Effect of Moore s Law 72 It Will be Fixed in the Next Release 74 Upgrade or You Will be Banished Naked to a World of Loneliness and Isolation 75 Belchware not Bloatware 77 Patched, Leaking and Lost in a Maze 79 The Wobbly Stack 81 Stabilising Shakiness 84 Safe Software 85 The Safe Software Game 86 Booking a Landing Slot at Heathrow 88 Don t Try to Improve a Da Vinci, Unless You Are a Rembrandt 89 Bespoke Only When You re Bespoken to 92 CHAPTER 4 Obsessive Outsourcing Compulsion 95 Outsourcing an Empire 97 Strains of Outsourcing Compulsion 101 Madness with Metrics 102 Giving the Fox the Keys to the Chicken Coop 103 The Nineteenth Hole Contract 105 Dedicated Followers of Fashion 106 Finance is not about Engineering Anything 108 Contract Accounting and Runaway Trains 110 Faster than a Speeding Bullet 113 The Capability Argument 113 The Economic Argument 114 Better Out than In? 115 Protecting the Crown Jewels 117 Everyone Needs to Win 121 In Summary 124 CHAPTER 5 Chronic Consultancy Syndrome 125 Consultants The Hummingbirds of the IT Jungle 126 Survival of the Sharpest 128 Spotting Hummingbirds in the Wild 129 An Expensive Dose of Aviary Assistance 130 Predator or Prey? 131 What Consulting Isn t ? 132 It Was Their Fault! 133 The Magic of a Name 134 The Consultant s Crutch 135 But What Consulting Perhaps Should Be? 135 Forests, Trees and Spectacles 137 You Are not Alone on Planet Earth 139 Nothing New Under the Sun 141 Hummingbirds Flap Harder than Cash Cows 142 How Hummingbirds Turn into Cuckoos 143 Answer 1 The Cuckoo Consultancy End?]Game Solution 147 Answer 2 The Thin?]Edge?]Wedge?]End?]Game Cash Cow 147 And Finally 148 CHAPTER 6 STRATEGY SCHIZOPHRENIA 151 A Beginner s Guide to World Domination 152 Types of Strategy 154 The Better Tomorrow 154 The Grand Plan 158 Strategy Schizophrenia Balancing the Unbalanceable 161 Summary 164 CHAPTER 7 BLEEDING BUDGETS 167 A Beginner s Guide to Building a Roulette Table 168 How Much Are You Going to Spend? 168 How Much Goodness? 170 Which Investments? 174 But What about Tomorrow? 177 Putting Today and Tomorrow s Investments Together 180 Putting the Final Touches to the Roulette Table 181 Placing the Chips 182 Our Transformation Journey 184 Other Funding Profile Examples 186 Funding Choice 1 The Support Organisation 186 Funding Choice 2 The Go for it Organisation 187 Summary 188 CHAPTER 8 Epilogue What Might Overcome You? 191 It s Always the Same Culprits, Except When it Isn t 191 Failure and Folklore 194 IT Leadership Morbidity Tables 195 First Tier Dislocated Stakeholders 195 Second Tier Money and Strategy 197 Third Tier Projects and Software 198 Fourth Tier Outsourcing 199 Fifth Tier Consultancy 199 The Unknown Unknowns 200 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 203 BIBLIOGRAPHY 207 INDEX 211
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