Monday, June 30, 2014
- from the definition of objectives (Plan),
- to their concrete implementation (Do),
- Measurement (Check), and
- Corrective actions (Act) for the interpretation of the measures.
- Define organizational goals and objectives in clear, tangible, and quantified terms,
- Develop project / activity plans designed to attain the goals and objectives,
- Routinely monitor actual performance vs. plans,
- Analyze significant performance deviations,
- Advise (via routine performance reports) key managers of situations requiring attention,
- Formulate corrective action plans, and
- Implement corrective actions to remedy performance deviations or modify plans.
Role of the CIO in the definition of a Performance measurement system
- Are aligned with overall strategic goals and business objectives.
- Deliver promised results on time and within budget,
- Manage the information systems with regards to the business lines' needs.
- Manage the information systems to support the organization's strategy. The business strategy has to be linked to the IT objectives.
- Manage the IT department as an IT executive.
- Communicate on a cross-sectional way. The information is used to demonstrate the value-added of both information system (IS) and IT department within an organization. Such a communication provides therefore credibility to both IS and IT department.
- Communicate on a top-down way. The information is used to communicate objectives and feedbacks to the IT employees.
Best practices for the design and exploitation of a performance measurement system
- Gather performance data on those variables of interest to IT and senior management.
- Analyze the data to determine normal (baseline) levels.
- Determine appropriate performance thresholds for each important variable; exceeding the threshold that indicates a problem in need of immediate attention (e.g., achievement of a major project milestone is 30 days, or more, behind schedule) and possibly remediating actions.
- Periodically (often monthly) monitor performance variables for deviations from established thresholds (a.k.a., variances). When a performance threshold is exceeded (e.g., vacant PC support staff positions increases to 10% when the acceptable vacancy threshold is 3%), analysts identify a variance and determine its significance.
Depending on a number of factors (e.g., severity or risk), analysts may take one of several actions, including:
- Identifying the projects and concerned activities as "at risk" and more closely analyzing performance during the next reporting period.
- Contacting the project / functional manager for a verbal variance explanation
- Investigate the cause of the variance and formulate corrective action recommendations.
- Report on performance to senior management (at least annually), and functional management (at least quarterly).
- Initiate corrective action.
1. Reliability & Security - infrastructure running 24/7
2. IT Capacity & Capability
3. Customer/Vendor Relationship Management
4. IT Fiscal Health
5. IT Application Portfolio Management
6. Innovation Capability with Revenue Generating Initiative
--How does IT impact customer retention?
7. Talent Competency
8. Optimize business processes
9. IT Agility
10. IT Sustainability
"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science." — Albert Einstein
August 26, 2005
Evaluating how well CIOs do their jobs is no easy task for a company. James Thompson investigates how to gauge whether IT is delivering what it should
But CIOs at some of Europe's biggest companies strenuously deny that their performance targets are any less rigorous than other executives. John Worth, CIO at insurer Prudential, says: "I do not think it is difficult for companies to measure the performance of IT. I do not think it is any more or less difficult to measure the performance of a sales or IT executive or another executive."
That said, CIOs still have to hit their technical targets. Royal Mail CIO David Burden says: "A very large part of the CIO's job is to make sure that the technology services are invisible in that they only get noticed if things go wrong. If you are successful then you do not actually get any applause. I worry about 99.9 versus 99.3 for SLAs."
Boots is one company that did not pay bonuses to employees this year after reporting an 11 per cent drop in annual pre-tax profits to £481m. Fraser says: "My bonus depends on how the company does as a whole. Boots will not pay a bonus to employees this year. Our company performance was not good enough to trigger a bonus. There are some folk in the organisation who have had a good year and if we had a mix of individual performance and company performance then they would have had a bonus."
One of the biggest perks of being a top CIO is the pay package. Simon La Fosse, a director at headhunters Harvey Nash, says that the average base salary of a FTSE 100 CIO is between £200,000 and £300,000. In addition, bonuses of more than 50 per cent of salary are not unusual, although a very small percentage receive bonuses of 100 per cent or more.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Chief executive at CPA Australia
Are you a dud in meetings?
June 24, 2014
For too many years to be proud of I just didn't know how to perform in the strange beast known as 'the meeting'. What I did notice, though, whether right or wrong, fair or not, was that performance in meetings appeared to be a proxy for career progression. Even at the very least, it was a factor relevant to promotion.
It makes sense when you think about it. Meetings are a common stage where, more often than not, you are on show in front of colleagues from multiple departments and seniorities. Your ability to effectively communicate is judged. You can either fill your colleagues with confidence in you, or drain it. So, leaving a consistent positive impression in meetings is a key factor in building and maintaining a positive reputation.
I understood this as a young professional, but it still took me many years and mistakes to master it. Ironically, now as the most senior person in my organisation's meetings, I see younger colleagues trying as hard as I once did to make that positive mark. It reinforces that I should discuss the five core behaviours I have come to understand make people more effective in meetings.
1. Key messages
Work on the principle that time is limited. All too often, hard-working people deliver a level of detail that ultimately requires the Chair to abruptly cut them off mid-stream.
Remember, in the first instance, less is more.
In preparation, define the key messages you wish to deliver and aim to provide just enough detail at the meeting to prompt reasonable questions – that is your opportunity to then provide that little bit more information to showcase your knowledge.
2. Certainty and confidence
As a senior leader, or as a Chair of a meeting, you don't value surprises. As a participant always be direct and certain in your commentary. The minute colleagues sense doubt they will begin to second-guess even the issues you are confident about.
If asked a question that you have no capacity to answer at the time, take it on notice and assure the relevant colleagues that your response will follow soon after the meeting.
Certainty and confidence stem from your preparation. Too often great operators neglect their homework, creating the perception of uncertainty in a meeting.
3. Don't compete
All too often colleagues enter an unofficial competition to outdo the other. Do not enter this game. Focus on your key messages, enter appropriate debates on issues and rise above any obvious petty competitiveness or politics. While competing might be tempting, your capacity to stay professional and objective during those moments will win you the long game – the only game worth winning.
If you speak too early on particular topics, the whole tone of the conversation may change and you may feel a need to re-enter to clarify your comments. Avoid this. It will damage your credibility.
I am going to repeat what I know you will have heard many times before: timing is everything. You know the situation: everyone in the meeting is offering their opinion on a particular issue, each focused on being heard – there is a lot of noise but little substance.
This is why timing what you have to say towards the end of the dialogue is a smart move. By doing so you will have a clearer understanding of all the issues and perspectives, placing you in the best position to either provide a better informed contribution or formulate a potentially useful closing to the matter.
Remember, if you have nothing to say on a particular matter, say nothing. It will set you apart from the serial over-talker.
5. Body language
There has been much written about the multiple impacts body language can have. From my experience, the most effective body language is the positive type.
Never underestimate the power of the nod.
Here's the situation: someone in the meeting is delivering an important message that you agree with. Try this, wait for eye contact, nod in agreement, and study that person throughout the ensuing conversation. They will more than likely keep looking back at you for reassurance. Others in the meeting will notice and likely presume this is a measure of your influence. In spite of the competitive world we have created for each other, most human beings seek recognition and reassurance – you can count on that. Don't overdo it, though - colleagues may question your authenticity. Express it when you mean it.
I hope these tips will help you take a little less time than I did to work out how to make the right impression in meetings!
Alex Malley FCPA is the chief executive ofCPA Australia and the host of the Nine Network television series The Bottom Line. Alex is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and he is a regular business commentator on the nationally syndicated programs The Money News on 2GB and Sky News Business.
Marie Renee Ouellet
Managing Partner & Senior Consultant / Training Solutions & Programs Design
The Westerner Expatriates Cycle of Integration in Asia and Middle-East
June 26, 2014
I am Canadian and I have been living outside my home country for over 14 years now. It might have taken me some firm convincing to join my husband in Saudi Arabia and leaving behind (what I thought at the time) so much and now with time, realizing how intense and fulfilling our adventure has been and still is. Saudi Arabia was just the beginning of a fantastic journey that lead us to reside in Oman, in Qatar and now in Malaysia, working all over the world and visiting for pleasure as many exotic cities as possible.
Expatriation becomes for many, addictive. Although we miss many aspects of our country of origin, it is hard for those who had a good time abroad to go back to a sedentary life.
Living in a foreign country means going through a variety of phases leading, hopefully, to a positive experience for all parties involved. The reasons for becoming an expatriate are various, ranging from "making money", "running away from stagnation and weak employment in country of origin", "career move", "personal development experience", "adventure and facing new challenges", etc..
The following stages of integration are to be expected and depending on your aptitude and your willingness to adapt, you will progress through this cycle:
1. THE COMPARATIVE STAGE: at the beginning, you will have a tendency to compare your new environment with everything you might have experienced previously. You will analyze prices and convert them into a more familiar currency; you will compare the traditions, the culture and the lifestyle to your own. Many times during a conversation you will say: "In my home country, we do this like that…" or "Where I come from, we do this like this…" Consciously and unconsciously, all your experiences are in relation and connected to your previous references.
2. THE INTEGRATION STAGE: once the differences become more familiar and integrated into your life routine, and when your expectations are being leveled with the reality of your environment and host country, you will feel less and less the need for comparison and you will "live in the moment" in serenity. This is the stage where you are creating a new system of references.
3. THE FULL IMMERSION STATE: this is the stage where you become fully adapted and integrated; your surroundings are familiar and what might have been surprising or chocking at first is now part of your reality. For example, you will no longer use your holidays as point of reference but the local national holidays; you might even forget some of your own traditions or celebrations if not reminded by your family members and friends back in your home country. You might even hesitate on your reply when asked "where is your home?" or "where are you from?". This is also the stage where you fully understand, respect and appreciate your host country.
Sadly, not all expatriates reach this final state of the cycle. The individuals that succeed at their expatriation have a tendency to want to explore and discover their host country, while adopting an attitude of "wanting to contribute" more than "wanting to change things and doing it my way". Those expatriates looking at replicating their home country in their new environment usually find their stay uncomfortable and have a hard time fitting in.
Expatriation is not for all, however, with a good dose of flexibility, it could very well be the adventure of a lifetime! My most useful tip: having a great partner to accompany you or a good network of people who have adopted the same lifestyle (work connections, expatriates associations, embassies, etc…) to share all you new adventures.
Marie Renee Ouellet is the founder of RSVP Consulting & Training and has been designing and delivering Cultural awareness programs for Westerners employees working in the Middle-East.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
June 26, 2014
Getting IT experts out of the server room and into the boardroom
By Patrick Hubbard, Head Geek, SolarWinds | 2014-06-23
The skills and guidance of IT professionals is more critical to effective business decision-making than ever before. But it's not just sitcoms like The IT Crowd that put technology experts in a world of their own: IT managers need to break out of the perception that their place is in the server room but not the board room.
To do so, they'll need to translate their deep knowledge of technical systems and processes into insights that businesspeople can understand; they'll also have the power (and responsibility) to defuse technology hype and define targets for their co-workers that are most relevant to business success.
That sounds like a big ask of the humble IT manager, but the majority of them already feel up to the task. In SolarWinds' New IT Survey released earlier this year, 96 percent of IT professionals surveyed said they feel at least quite confident in providing advice on critical business decisions – and almost half said they were completely confident that they could do so. Yet although we found that almost every IT professional has delivered this guidance and counsel at one time or another, 7 in 10 only get the chance to do so occasionally or rarely.
This suggests that businesses have yet to fully tap into the diverse technical expertise that their IT managers can bring to the boardroom table. IT professionals, however, can quite easily make their potential decision-making value known – all they have to do is align what they know with what the business wants and needs. Here are five tips which can help the typical tech professional stand out from the Roys and Mosses of their own IT crowd:
Speak the language
Those who live outside the server room often have a pathological fear of the jargon and technical terms that IT managers are known to bandy around. Popular culture probably hasn't helped this misperception, but IT professionals can help make their own case by working on how they translate the technical implications of a system into laypersons' terms. Being able to succinctly and patiently explain how a system works will give executives and business leads greater buy-in to the technology that's powering their operations. IT managers can further boost their business-lingo skills by talking to their counterparts in sales, marketing, and PR – they're the best placed to gain effective communications tips and help better explain a piece of complex technology.
Remember: there's no way you'll be trusted with major business decisions if you talk like Moss.
Focus on actions, not features
IT managers have a tendency to emphasise the specs and features of solutions, rather than what they can do to help meet the business' overarching goals. Instead of just describing the capabilities of technology, they should frame them in terms of business actions: "what can we do (better) with this?" rather than "what does this widget do?" This hammers home the relevance of the platform or solution in a manner that executives can not only understand, but support as actionable for the business. To do this most effectively, IT managers need to cultivate knowledge of what the board is aiming to do: around 44 percent of those we surveyed said they could do with a better understanding of their company's overall business. By clearly highlighting the correlations between technology and ROI, IT pros can forge stronger partnerships with executives and build up that understanding over time.
Up-skill to manage (lofty) expectations
Hard technical evidence is the perfect antidote to hype. More than 50 percent of the IT professionals we surveyed said that cloud computing and information security would grow most in demand of any skillsets in the next 3 to 5 years. No surprises there, given the constant spotlight on the cloud's transformative potential and the high-profile nature of threats to organisational data.
IT managers should definitely focus on developing skills in these fast-growing areas; more importantly, however, they should use the resultant expertise to both meet and manage expectations from business leaders. IT managers' technical nous gives them the credibility to rein in overzealous technology adoption, by highlighting the potential risks that this "me too" approach can pose if it isn't informed by thorough requirements-gathering and planning. They should also take the initiative to suggest more appropriate solutions based on the underlying business needs that are driving enthusiasm or fear: a hybrid cloud, for example, may balance the security fears of a finance executive and the campaign vision of a marketing leader.
Use data to set better metrics
IT managers have access to vast amounts of organisational data, much of which can be used to optimise broader business processes and product/service delivery. By developing a decent overview of this data, and putting in place tools that can effectively track it, they can define new KPIs and metrics that are not just quantifiable, but also directly correlated with business performance. Tracking network traffic, for example, makes sense for both marketing campaigns (external browsers) and flexible work initiatives (employees' devices). Once IT professionals identify the core business imperatives at play, they can use that knowledge to better inform the targets that the business sets itself, and how these targets are measured.
Send word from the coal-face
Finally, IT professionals often interact with a broad range of employees and customers far more than board-level executives get to do. And while isolated reports of "my computer isn't turning on" may not have relevance to enterprise strategy, the attentive IT pro is likely to get wind of mission-critical trends – like poor quality-of-service, increasing outages, or malfunctioning hardware fleets – that do. By transmitting these issues and their related counsel to other business leaders, IT managers can do a lot to stop them escalating or identify new opportunities for organisational growth.
With technology playing such a defining role in business and the workplace today, IT professionals are more relevant than ever to the big decisions that organisations make. To be heard, they simply need to translate their technical prowess into insights and advice that directly impact the wellbeing of their companies, from the adoption of new technologies to the basic processes of product development and sales. The server room may always feel like home, but for many businesses the boardroom's where the IT leader is needed the most.
- the things they thought they had to sacrifice in their lives for work...
- that they wish they didn't have to sacrifice...
- in order to get where they are professionally
- grandparents' last days
- childrens' births and birthdays
- sports games and recitals
- friend's weddings
- family vacations and reunions
- first-this and first-that
- last-this and last-that.
1. What those who are at the top (aka CEOs) think:
2. What those who didn't (aka The Invisible Leaders) make it think:
3. What those who want to be at the top (aka You & I) think:
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. - William Shakespeare
Discussion Question: Do you respect today's archetype of the Fortune 500 CEO?
Work-Life Balance & Millennial Expert
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