A manager’s guide to the annual plan

Creating the annual plan is like solving a puzzle. Participating in the annual plan has always been a challenge to me to a certain extent for two reasons: In the past, I viewed the activity as more forecasting than planning. The plan was a list of goals and objectives that Read More …

What does the business require of me?

The question every IT professional should ask. I think through this question quite a bit. It has significance in the equation of work satisfaction and success. It is fundamental in how every IT professional should approach their career. What do my customers require of the Information Technology group? Typically, we Read More …

Using history to organize your teams

What does the history of man and the advancements of civilizations have to do with business? I recently followed a recommendation to read Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. The book was the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and provides Read More …

Cross Departmental Teamwork 101

Information Technology departments are often criticized for their lack of collaboration with other business departments. Is IT needed since technology equipment and software is a commodity? Everyone has access to buy equipment and software in the open market to help run their business electronically. But what you can’t buy in Read More …

Classic IT Challenges – Technology outside of IT

This is the seventh and final post in a series of writings to discuss issues facing Information Technology (IT) departments. If you have not read any of the first six challenges you can find them under project work vs production support, prioritizing work, operations vs innovation, estimating work, understanding complexity, Read More …

Cast the bully out

We have a love-hate relationship with steering committees. Do committees provide value that pays for the amount of overhead they create in workflows? If you are a committee member with voting privileges then the tendency is to support and agree with the both the decisions and procedural steps the committee Read More …

Getting IT outside the box

I think it’s safe to say that direct interaction between IT and Operations doesn’t happen enough. I’m talking about IT programmers, analysts, and project managers sitting with Operations and Manufacturing to understand their daily workflow with the intention of providing technology solutions to automate workflow and make it more efficient. Read More …

The thought for a rover employee

The Big Picture One of the main functions of a technology officer is to align the organization to grow revenue while at the same time reducing expenses and providing customer service. Thinking about the big picture of profitability and operating efficiencies is like looking at a pile of legos and Read More …

Crossing departmental boundaries with your eCommerce team

This is my 300th blog post! So much is written about the strained relationship between IT and other business departments such as Marketing or Sales. Both departments want to achieve the same goal of creating a service for the customer.  Both departments want to be predictable in their service delivery. Read More …

Be ye not afraid to challenge old ways

This past week I challenged a couple of existing business processes. One thing that I’ve never understood about business environments is why people and management continue to require and support processes that don’t add value to the service and production output of the organization.  I think most people prefer to Read More …