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Thursday, November 22, 2007

How to Fail as a CIO

The awful truth about being a CIO is that there are a lot more ways to fail than to succeed:
  1. You can fail to deliver key projects.
  2. You can be ambushed by deficiencies in your infrastructure (e.g., customer credit card information leaks out).
  3. You can be overwhelmed by thousands of small things that add up (e.g., massive support problems due to poor control over PC's).
  4. You can waste millions of dollars on tools and infrastructure because unreasonable user demands force you to support too many conflicting platforms.
  5. You can focus your organization’s efforts on the wrong things (usually discovered when your company’s competition comes out with something that you could have done).
  6. You can even do everything else right but fail because you don't hit it off with the other executives.

But let’s be clear about all of these failures. They all come down to the statement I made earlier in this article: If the company expects “X” and you deliver “Y” then you fail. Sure it’s important for you to be able to deliver, but in my experience ninety percent or more of CIO failures come from not managing the expectations of your business executives. Make sure that if “Y” is going to be delivered, then “Y” is what’s expected. Managing expectations is the way to avoid CIO failure.

Continue reading The MakingITclear® Newsletter, March, 2007: article

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