Turning around failing projects

It is not uncommon for companies to struggle with implementing technology projects. Even with good vendors, sprawling and complicated technology projects are difficult to execute. Many go off-track at some point and of those, many are brought back to achieve some level of success in production.

If you have a project go off course, how should you handle it? How do you avoid it in the first place? From someone who has done this several times, here are a few tips that I've found work very well:

Turning it around

  1. Bring in an unbiased perspectiveSomeone who does not have a stake in the history of the project should assess the process of the project and the status of the project. Have them provide input on the three main areas: governance, management, and execution. If the issues seem to be more with the design or architecture issues, then assess those as well. Maybe this person can turn their findings over to the management team or maybe they need to stay involved longer-term to ensure their advice is executed, but either way it's critical to take blame out of the assessment itself.
  2. Re-set the goal-line: There are always timing and budget considerations, but when a project goes off the rails you need to make sure to take a balanced view of your priorities. If the timeline is the most important thing, then evaluate how to reduce scope or add resources. If a business result is most important, be flexible with your timeline and consider adding resources to key areas. If it's a tricky design issue, allocate additional budget to bring in a specialist. It all depends on the project and the business priorities now - not necessarily the expectations that were established at the beginning of the project.
  3. Move to an exception-based project management methodMeetings will not fix a floundering project. Keep the PMO lean and predictable. Have a well-established and well-communicated project plan that is updated on the same schedule every week. Keep an issues and risks log which your people update as needed and the PMO reviews every week. None of this is hard in and of itself, but being disciplined about it often is.
  4. Repair the relationships: If PMs are fighting or distrustful of one another, they need to get on the same page. They cannot fight for the rest of the project and expect to be successful. If they can't get on the same page, one or both of them need to be replaced. Not doing so will sow discord and mistrust among the project team, people will take sides, and their decision-making will lean more towards self-preservation than successful delivery.

Avoiding failure in the first place

  1. Establish a steering committee: This should be comprised of senior stakeholders and at least one outside expert. They monitor the project on a regular basis and have decision-making authority and budgetary control over the project. They are ultimately accountable for the results.
  2. Don't skimp on project management: A lot of projects try to save cost by running a lean PMO. Lean PMOs are, in general, a good thing but many project go too far. On difficult projects your lead project manager needs as much hands-on management time as possible. Add a PMO analyst to manage the project plan and put together status reports, add the part time resource to manage the issues database, delegate go-live planning to another experienced PM. Don't make the lead PM be engulfed in day-to-day administrative work - they need to turn the ship around first and foremost. And don't make them a "working" project manager - big projects needed a dedicated PM.
  3. Periodic project QA by an outside entity: Do at least a quarterly review with an outside, unbiased expert. They shouldn't get too close to the team, but it should be same person throughout the project. They should report to the project sponsor and their written assessments should be shared with the steering committee.
  4. Avoid the blame game: Most projects go off the rails because one or more issues get hidden for too long. They aren't raised high enough fast enough and ultimately become either the long pole in the tent or introduce a great deal of uncertainty to other workstreams. Creating a project environment where someone who raises an issue isn't worried about taking a hit, and where workers are comfortable disagreeing (constructively) in meetings is a critical and often overlooked aspect of creating a constructive project environment.

With a steady hand and a disciplined project manager, most struggling projects can be turned around. When in doubt, bring in help. The cost of getting things on track quickly will be dwarfed by either Day 0 turmoil or a disastrous delivery.

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Focusing on Risk

For whatever reason, my conversations during the first month of 2017 have focused disproportionately on risk - quantifying it, understanding it, controlling it, or avoiding it altogether. I don't know if it's the prevailing social and political winds or just a random sequence of discussions, but risk seems to be on the mind of all of my clients, prospects, and partners.

Here are two highlights from my risk-laden January:

Middle Market Risk

I presented to the Exit Planning Exchange this month on how operations can be used to increase the value of a business prior to an exit. The case study we worked through, which was based on a real business, involved a lower middle-market company that couldn't drum up any interest from 30+ strategic buyers, and only a little low-value interest from 120+ PE firms.

The company certainly had some value drivers to explore, but my judgement was that to increase the pool of potential buyers, the main thing they needed to do was decrease the risk of acquisition.

I explored the three main areas I felt were the likely reasons for this lack of interest:

 

1. Key Man Risk

Where you see it: Most middle-market companies have key-man risk in spades. As they grow, and especially as they grow towards a majority investment or exit, that key man risk becomes more and more costly

Control it by: 1) Building a professional management team; 2) developing management disciplines like project planning, portfolio management, implementing smart performance management frameworks; and 3) understanding KPIs and start holding managers accountable for them

Pay particular attention to: 1) Sales organization - if most sales are relationship-based, those cannot be replaced just with business processes. Reducing risk will involve warm intros to other salespeople - either up or down the chain; 2) Operations - if only one or two people know all the ins and outs of your production process, that means everyone else is operating in a silo. Use small improvement projects, technology projects, and promotions to expose other people to and create accountability for end-to-end business processes

2. Geographic Risk

Where you see it: Most lower middle market companies. It's far easier for founders and owners to manage people who are physically close to them. Any company outside of the high tech sector that has grown from an SMB to a larger business is susceptible to this risk

Control it by: Build disciplined core business processes, implement easy-to-use cloud-based enterprise systems, roll out management KPIs, and then hire great people

Pay particular attention to: It may be tempting to hire the most technical, specialized people you need for a new region first. In reality, you also need to know how to manage them. A slightly larger upfront cost structure to an expansion may result in faster, more sustainable results.

3. Vendor / Customer Risk

Where you see it: Companies that have a concentration in a small number of products or who serve industries that are dominated by a few large companies

Control it by: For vendors, diversify the portfolio a little bit. For customers...well you're going to need to sell more. Nothing overly complicated there.

Pay particular attention to: For vendors pay attention to quality. If you need to, institute stringent quality thresholds before adding new vendors to the portfolio - at least for critical goods. For customers, build some relationship walls around existing customers and be very strategic about how to/whether to sell to their direct competitors.

Cybersecurity

It seems that not a month goes by without being exposed to some new information about the prevalence and cost of cybercrime. Middle market companies are especially vulnerable.

At a January conference organized by Staffleader, several people spoke about the trends and costs of these intrusions to the community. I had three key takeaways from the event which apply to nearly every organization I interact with:

  1. You are vulnerable and, if you haven't been compromised yet, will at some point
  2. If your business is compromised it will be expensive to fix, even if the only cost is figuring out who you are legally obligated to report to. If customer data is compromised, the cost will be exponentially higher.
  3. Malware is a pain, ransomware is a pain, and viruses are a pain. But if you have good IT infrastructure and a well-designed (and tested!) backup system these risks are largely mitigated. Data breaches are much worse, and most of them will occur because of human error from people who work for you.
    • Staff training is key and something you can start now
    • Spending a little money on prevention and a good data breach response plan now can save you a lot of money and significant reputational damage later
    • Your current insurance probably does not include breach insurance. If you don't have a cyber policy, it's worth pricing one out. From the numbers I've heard here and elsewhere they are not terribly expensive 

Thanks to Michael Menapace from Wiggin and Dana, Jeff Welsch from Fairfield County Bank Insurance, and Frank Ballatore from NECG for their presentations.

In Summary

Value is always the most fun thing to think about, but when choosing where to invest don't forget about risk. Some risks need to be controlled for now, others can wait for later, but either way they should be included in your roadmap.

Value investments will compound over time, risk will not, so pick your value investments for the most long-term potential and your risk investments for when they will most need to be controlled.

It will just take a few poorly controlled risks and one piece of bad luck to unravel years of great results from value-focused investments.

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Your Digital Resolution for 2017

Is your company ready to absorb what you're going to throw at it this year - more customers, higher sales, lofty revenue targets, and elevated customer service expectations?

Embracing a "digital" mindset will not only help through the tools it brings - better analytics, big data, mobile, and cX (customer experience) tools - but can transform an entire company's culture to be more customer-centric and better able to execute quickly and accurately.

Middle market companies want to understand how to evolve into this new paradigm and avoid the cost, disruption, and risk of jumping in all at once. To that end, here are three simple things you can do in 2017 to get your team ready for digital transformation:

1. Focus on creating a culture of execution

Why

A organisational culture that is not built for speed or set up for continuous improvement will impede the successful delivery of digital projects,
— Kapil Bagga, GROW-Strategy.com

Digital is all about execution - constantly improving how you serve your external and internal customers and constantly innovating, implementing, and iterating. Achieving small execution victories will build a culture that prioritizes action and will serve as an example for long-time employees about the value this mindset brings.

Just as importantly, an execution culture knows how to fail small and move on. This is difficult for historically risk-averse environments and takes strong leadership to change.

How

  • Execute a project in Q1. Pick a project, a small project. Assign it to someone. Ask them to create a plan. Assign a team. Meet for status weekly. Make sure it's adopted by the business. Simple!
  • Do at least one technology project. No matter what industry you are in, software will be a major driver of your capacity to execute over the long-haul. Bring in the right people to help decide on the project, choose how to do it, and manage it through to execution.
    • Simpler projects can include reorganizing your inventory, improving how people are quoting, or rolling out a new sales tool to your staff.
    • If the business is ready, extend yourselves by touching a large system and more people - inventory control, time and expense tracking, order management, or even a full-blown ERP or CRM project.
  • The goal should be to get someone in your company to plan and execute a project, to improve one very specific area or solve a specific problem, and to prove to your people that not only can changes make things better for them, they can be done with little disruption and be led by people you have.

2. Start a mentoring program

Why

Digital requires collaboration towards the goal of total company achievement. Succeed together on small things that mean something big for the company. This means everyone in your organization needs to support each other and be vested in one another's success. Mentoring relationships send a strong message about how you intend to grow people internally, allow them to develop over time, and how your most experienced people need to invest in the next generation. The best encourage open and honest dialogue without fear of retribution. They also serve as arguably the strongest way to retain and grow young talent.

(C) 2016 Ronan Consulting Group, LLC

How

  • Start small - assign one or two junior staff members to experienced staff who have the mentality of a mentor
  • Create a simple list of topics you expect them to work on (avoid developing a complex framework of expectations). Examples could include career counseling, identifying key skills to develop, helping them network within the company, or exposing them to more of the marketplace. They could even include 360-degree elements with the younger staff member expected to teach the experienced staff member something specific.
  • Set aside budget for them to go to lunch occasionally 
  • Meet with both every 6 months to see how it's going. Don't ask for a formal report - just make sure they are talking about important topics for both the company and the junior staff personally. Contrary to popular theory, I do NOT advocate measuring the program off the bat. Evaluate it qualitatively first, then move towards a more structured program later on.

3. Start planning your digital IT function

Why

Effective digital tools require a number of foundational capabilities - a strong ERP/CRM and enterprise systems platform; a level of consistency with your business processes, and baseline technology skills throughout the organization. The odds are, you have some deferred maintenance in these areas. You may not be able to dive in right now, but you can plan the specific steps to prepare your organization to get there over the next 12-18 months.

For example, a central piece of your analytics strategy will be analytics. In their 2016 Tech Trends report, Deloitte called out "information acquisition and curation" and "information delivery" as two key elements of an analytics program. These items require strong underlying enterprise systems, disciplined processes, and well-established integration between your systems. These are all items you can work on now before you make the investment to dive into the latest and greatest analytics tools.

How

  • Create a roadmap to get to the digital future you want. The right consultant will ensure the roadmap is aligned with your overall strategy and contains the foundational elements required to quickly evolve into a digital model.
  • In the little projects we discussed in point 1, make your people accountable not just for implementing, but for monitoring success and improving the systems once they are being used by the business; and second, focus on agile development - constantly rolling out small improvements that add up to something substantial over time
  • Start vetting vendors who may offer long-term relationships to help build your digital capabilities. Make sure they are selected in a way that aligns with your roadmap long-term 

Even if you are just starting to think about digital, that's still a huge step in the right direction. Commit to spending the next year setting the stage for digital and beginning to evolve the organization in that direction.

Tolerate small failures, learn as a team, and generate lots of new ideas. Learn the digital marketplace - webinars, conferences, vendor demos are all great, easy ways to do this.

And have fun. Digital capabilities are exciting - enjoy the journey!

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Four Easy Ways to Make Remote Employees Work

I had a discussion yesterday with a client about hiring an out of territory sales rep. The company has never done it before and is skeptical a salesperson could be effective in this role.

In the current state, that may be true for them, but continued growth - particularly in niche industries - is eventually going to demand it. Being able to do so earlier will open a wider and more skilled talent pool to the company.

Here are four things that can make it easier and more likely to be successful:

Upgrade Core Technology

This does not need to be expensive. The odds are you already own most of these things, you're just not using them. The following tools are critical:

  1. VOIP Telephony: The phone system should have the ability to have a phone with an internal extension anywhere with internet access and should have a mobile app that allows 
  2. Cloud Apps: Ideally these are web-based, but if you have a Citrix environment or a terminal server, that's just fine. The point is, people should be able to access all of your core applications from the field at any time.
  3. Instant Messenger: You already own this, your employees probably just aren't using it yet.

And the following tools are nice to have:

  1. CRM: If you aren't using it yet you should be anyway - no matter how many salespeople you have. If you are onboarding remote salespeople, CRM will be critical to making them successful - particularly if there are backoffice or internal sales and service folks they will be working on the same customers with.
  2. Collaboration tool like Slack which is a great way to organize subject or project-specific internal conversations
  3. Video Conferencing: You may already own something that offers this as well (Google Hangouts, Microsoft Skype) but it takes some heavy management to get people to use it regularly. Video can really shrink the distance between a central team and remote workers.

Organize Your Content

Odds are your information is fragmented across the company. Using a tool like Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint, or even Box or Dropbox, organize the information that the prospective employees will need to do their jobs. Your employees should get away from storing things in their own hierarchies and on their own devices anyways.

This exercise will also force you and your employees to rationalize what's really important and identify clear gaps in your documentation. Work to fill these gaps over time as you on-board new employees and get them up to speed.

Institute Management Reporting

"Management by walking around" is a great discipline but in the modern work environment it needs to be paired with some level of regular reporting and data-based analysis.

Work with management to develop the core, key management report - both activity-based and output based - that gives them an understanding of what's happening in their department at a macro level. Ideally, generate these from a centralized system (e.g. CRM, order management, production management) rather than asking people to compile them manually.

Once again, this is just a good management discipline. Regardless of whether you're adding remote workers you should be doing this; but in order to be able to manage remote workers this is absolutely critical.

Hire Millennials

That's right. Seek out and hire millennials.

They will challenge you in some ways - they'll ask for more flexible schedules, they will want more feedback from their managers, and they will want a collaborative and fun work environment. Embrace it.

They will also show you how they can be effective under these alternative arrangements. You will need to work with them to find the balance between flexible and traditional.

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How do we decide whether to keep, replace, or enhance our systems?

Great systems can add tremendous value to your business. They make processes more efficient, control risk, deliver a better customer experience, and produce superior data and insight. Poor systems are inconvenient and sometimes devastating – demoralizing employees with red tape, offering a difficult and frustrating user experience, leaving data fragmented and inaccurate, and creating confusion with customers.

If your systems aren't adding the value they should, what should you, as a leader, consider when making decisions to keep, replace, and enhance your systems that maximize the possibility of success?

Systems are a lot more than just technology and business processes. They are behavior patterns, incentives for collaboration, institutionalized cultural norms, and tacit expectations for how your people should be efficient and effective. Successful systems account for:

  • Psychology - why do people think this way?
  • Sociology - how are groups of people behaving?
  • Tools - what do we use to do things better?
  • Management science - how do we measure what's happening?

They are of course also rooted in business science, mathematics, and core technology.  They amplify both desirable and undesirable behaviors and, in turn, either accelerate or hold back your business growth.

The success of your business systems will be determined by three main factors:

  1. How well the technology and processes fit your business strategy
  2. The quality and capabilities of the technology
  3. How well your users adopt

Understanding where your business stands with each of these will help you choose the best path forward.

For purposes of this article, “systems” refers to both the business processes and the technology used to support them.

Fit to the business

The basic question is: did you choose a reasonable solution up front? There are few legitimately bad software packages and also few that will exactly fit your business processes without modification. The question is not “Is the system perfect?” but rather “Did we make the right trade-offs and decide to change the right processes when we selected (or designed) the software?”

To be clear – if a system failure is because of a major deficiency in this area, you will probably need to replace it. If the deficiency is minor, see section 2 for a few ways to address it.

How do you ensure business fit?

A rigorous system selection will force your team to collaboratively decide on the most important requirements up-front and agree on major process changes. Systems projects are a litany of trade-offs – what needs to be perfect, what areas can you change your process to fit the system, and what processes are worth spending more effort and money on (e.g. customizing the system or purchasing a separate bolt-in). The thoughtfulness of these trade-offs are what will set the implementation up for success.

Do not skimp on the selection process. Some of the most expensive implementations are the result of the cheapest selections. Analyst reports will tell you general quality and focus of products, but not how appropriate they are for your business. You need to get inside your business, uncover its operating priorities and biggest value drivers, and match them with the systems you are considering. This takes a little bit of money and a lot of time from your best people – but it’s worth it.

Technology and Functionality

The base technology is usually fine – if it doesn’t “work” it can usually be fixed with some professional help. Custom software can be more challenging or more expensive, but these systems can be fixed as well. The good news is that in the new world of enterprise technology, there are many more options than those offered by your primary vendor to support your most valuable areas, mitigate major risks, or make a challenging system more palatable for your users.

Example: ERP

ERP systems are sprawling technologies that do a lot and ask a lot of their users. The accepted approach to ERP used to be to standardize business processes to the functionality of the package, adjusting only when absolutely necessary. This maximized the vendor’s ability to support the solution and tried to concentrate investment in the most important areas.

This isn’t necessarily the case anymore. There are more niche solutions, software is easier to build, and most platforms play nicely with each other. It’s more important to choose the right ecosystem of technologies that give your business flexibility and in the aggregate add the most value than it is to standardize on a specific package.

If your platform is mostly successful but failing in a small number of critical areas, is it possible to simply plug those holes with secondary applications? This is often easier, less disruptive, less expensive, and more effective. Odds are good that you can avoid a wholescale replacement.

In these cases, you should perform selection processes for add-ons where the base system doesn’t fit the business. This can include features like subscription billing, customer support, portals, analytics and reporting, or workflow applications. Not all packages do these things well, but there are many third-party products that will play nicely with your other systems and dramatically improve these areas.

User Adoption

Your users will ultimately determine the success of the solution. Assuming you made acceptable trade-offs, made reasonable assumptions, and have a fundamentally sound, supportable ecosystem, your users are responsible for the consistency, efficiency, and innovation the new systems drive.

If you don’t think your current systems are adding value, ask yourself: How much is due to poor technology and how much is due to employees resisting using it correctly?

Fixing user behavior is challenging. Most of it is set in motion during the implementation itself. When a system has been deemed a failure, it can be hard to recover. Good project managers will help manage these user expectations in the immediate aftermath of an implementation but this can only last for so long. If things spiral in the months following a go-live, sometimes this can be a lost cause.

So what do you do?

It depends on how bad it is. Sometimes a few loud user groups end up coloring the organization’s perception of the entire system. You need to put a laser-focus on these groups, solve their problems while giving them ownership, and slowly bring them back into the fold. At the same time you need to roll-out incremental improvements demonstrate momentum to improve the business.

If the system isn’t being adopted because people don’t understand it, this can be easier. Start with aggressively pursuing stakeholder buy-in from senior leadership. They need to re-inforce with their staff how important it is to use the system as intended and to identify additional training requirements. This needs to be combined with a rigorous enhancement process that uses stakeholder feedback to improve the system.

If this is the core problem, have an independent professional work with your users on assessing the source of the system’s weaknesses. They will cut through the noise and the politics and be able to tell you the heart of the problem. This is very difficult for anyone who had a stake in the original process.

And remember that the users’ complaints may be right: Maybe the system was the wrong choice or was not implemented well. Given that they have the most detailed view of the solution, they may have valid points in this area. In these cases, the details matter. Understand the specific issues instead of the broad complaints and have someone help you understand if they can be resolved or not.

Remember: it doesn’t matter what the users should be doing, it matters what they are doing. Blaming users doesn’t accomplish anything while giving them resources, listening to them constructively, and supporting them accomplishes a great deal.

In Summary

If you feel your business needs technology changes, look at your systems holistically. Understand the processes, the system possibilities, and the cultural needs of your users. Ensuring all of these elements directly support your growth strategy will greatly improve your business and ensure you can be successful as you grow over the long-term.

Most of all, get an independent opinion. It may end up saving you a lot of money and aggravation, and will certainly help confirm your best path forward.

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Table Stakes: Operational Keys to Success for the Strategic Advisor

This post originally appeared on my blog at CIO.com here

I recently had a conversation with a friend about my post on using big projects to become a strategic advisor in the C-suite. While he agreed with the post he talked about a recent large enterprise software project he ran and how the CIO damaged his opportunity to become a strategic advisor. It wasn’t because of inadequate attention to the strategic aspects of the project, but rather because of poor operating practices.

Many of us spend our time articulating how the CIO and other executives need to strategically plan and invest in technology-based solutions. What we talk less about are the core operating responsibilities of the CIO and how they need to use operational successes to bolster their position as a strategic advisor.

Big enterprise software projects are really hard. Panoramaestimates ERP projects fail around 72% of the time. McKinsey has found that IT projects that cost over $15M run over budget 45% of the time and deliver 56% less functionality than originally anticipated.

While these are scary numbers for the sponsoring executive, they don’t mean it’s impossible to do big visionary things and make a strategic difference for the company. What they do mean is the CIO needs to be able to balance being an operator and being a strategist to build and hold onto credibility in both areas. The trains need to run on time before you have the influence to build an airport.

With that, I will offer four keys to success for any sponsoring executive of a big enterprise transformation projects.

1. Achieve radical transparency

Do not hide problems. Openly report on risks, major issues, and how you plan to overcome them to the steering committee and the team from the start of the project. If there is an issue or risk that threatens to sink the whole project, you need to ask for help from the other executives – it’s their business too. If it looks like you may go over budget (fortunately you planned enough contingency), report it quickly with alternatives for how you will accommodate it. If you don’t have a solution yet, tell them and provide a date when you will.

 This sounds like motherhood-and-apple-pie kind of stuff, but it is incredibly important and frequently disregarded. If you are suspected of being a political player – hiding things that make you look bad and promoting things that look great – people are unlikely to trust your strategic recommendations. And if you don’t get the support the project needs from the other executives the project will almost certainly fail.

2. Make sure the technology works

Ultimately, ownership of the technology itself is squarely on the shoulders of IT. This includes the custom development, mechanics of the software itself, and infrastructure. Whether it’s an on-premise solution, managed services model, or in the cloud, IT needs to make sure the technology and its vendors are successful on Day 1. To ensure this, they need to be successful by Day “30.”

Do not underestimate what it will take to make it work well, get your people the training they need, bring in great people in key areas, and test it early and often. At the very latest, you should test your production infrastructure during user acceptance testing (UAT), which means you will need to complete performance testing even earlier than that.

Here’s the main thing: the technology is capable of working. It always is. If you hit your design and build deadlines, the technology will work. The technology may not work if you miss those deadlines. So push the business and your vendors to hit their deadlines and retain credibility by making sure the technology works when they do.

3. Keep track of the finances

Nothing damages credibility more than appearing fiscally irresponsible or, worse, indifferent. Project actuals and forecasts should be updated on a bi-weekly basis and shared with your project leadership (including your vendors’ project managers) and summarized and shared with the steering committee. I like explicitly showing the “change order” or “over budget” number and maintaining backup detail on the causes of this number in every leadership deck.

If vendors forecast budget overruns, proactively work with them to realign the budget. Be sensitive to the fact that if you only approach this by pushing for free time and deeper discounts, this will filter back to the team and likely hurt the project. Make sure all parties are working together to alleviate budget issues and nobody is taking the brunt of the impact.

4. Empower your team; monitor results

The only way you will have time to focus on the steering-committee, board-level, strategic aspects of your job will be to appoint strong project managers to lead each piece of the project and allow them to make decisions (and some mistakes). Good project management discipline includes robust status reporting, enforcing hard deadlines, and open and honest reporting of risks. Make sure these PMs don’t feel they will be penalized or shamed for every mistake they make, but rather when things go wrong they will have your support and the support of the project leaders to get back on track.

Finally, recognize that great solution people are often not the same as great project managers. Do not confuse the two skillsets when assigning your leadership team. Good project management discipline is what keeps big, complex enterprise software projects on track and is capable of fixing mistakes in solution architecture. Good solution architecture cannot and will not keep a project on its timeline. Keep your architects in positions of influence on the team, but make sure you still have good management around them.

CIOs are often in the best position of any executive to turn an abstract business strategy into real implementation. Make sure that once your strategic recommendations are adopted by the C-suite you have the ability to execute and retain their trust.

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New Blog Announcement / How CIOs Can Use Big Projects to Drive Their Strategic Brand

As of this week, I officially have two blogs: The one you see here and one at CIO.com.

On this blog, I will continue to focus on a broad range of issues relating to growth, profitability, and technology-driven improvement across the business and continue to make it relevant for smaller and mid-sized organizations as well.

At CIO.com I will focus on enterprise software specific topics. My agreement with CIO.com means I cannot post the same content here for a few weeks, but I'll put up short summaries with links on this blog whenever I add something new. Today's inaugural post is for CIOs looking to enhance their strategic brand within the C-suite. 

An excerpt:

Enterprise software implementations are among the most expensive, visible and risky projects you will undertake as a CIO. They are also among the most strategically important and, as such, can help propel the CIO to the role of true strategic adviser to the C-Suite.

Click here to read this post and subscribe to the new blog.

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