Tag Archives: it manager tool

Communicate IT Value with an IT Initiatives Portfolio

One of the best tools I developed over the years is one that helps communicate IT value and the level of success you are achieving. I call it the IT Initiatives Portfolio.

IT Initiatives PortfolioIT Initiatives Portfolio

This is one of the Top 15 tools and templates I think every IT manager needs and I’ve written about it a couple of times, , , here is additional information that will be helpful in using this tool.

There are six key parts to this template, and the information on this report can tell you a lot:

  1. Success in completing projects on time
  2. Success in completing projects within budget
  3. Benefit results. I include columns for expected results and achieved results for both 6-month and 12-month intervals. You won’t use these columns for every project but it is certainly helpful to list some type of business value benefit for every project you work on, , , this is the value contribution your IT team is making.
  4. Success in meeting client needs
  5. Overall success rate of each project – on time, within budget, achieving expected results, and meeting client needs.
  6. Ongoing success rates of completing projects successfully. You get this by calculating the percentages of success for each of the key measurement criteria – on time, within budget, and meeting client needs plus overall project success rate. This is your track record, , , something you need people to know about because it shows how good your team is operating.

Let’s take a closer look at the information maintained on this report:

it initiatives portfolio_resultsExample

In this example I’ve rolled it up so you can see the results of three projects. The nice thing about Excel is that you can summarize all the projects to calculate overall performance indicators at the bottom as I’ve done here.

In the example it shows we have achieved the following performance track record:
– On time percentage – 66.6%
– Within budget – 100%
– 6-month actual benefits of $21,500 which is $500 better than expected
– 12-month actual benefits of $63,500 which is $5,500 better than expected
– Meets User Needs percentage of 100%
– Overall project success of 66.6%

It helps to prepare an annual report that lists every project the IT team completed during the year and keep copies for every year to show progress and to analyze to determine how you get better. You will find this information becomes valuable to have handy at times.

Something else to consider is that when people know you are tracking performance and you are serious about it, , , two things happen:
1.  Your IT team focuses harder to complete projects successfully.
2.  Senior managers view you more as a business manager than a technical manager.

Both of these are important for your credibility.

Summary
Project success is the path to IT credibility, something you must establish if you are to attain any level of IT success. To get there you need to do more than just complete projects successfully, , , you must also communicate the status of active projects and make others aware of the track record and results your team achieves in delivering projects successfully.

CLICK HERE to download a customizable IT Initiatives Portfolio template.

Personal Inventory – time for reflection

I was asked to participate in a project with IT Business Edge to create a project guide for a new product offering they are developing.  My focus was to create a project guide for “Creating a Professional Development Plan for Yourself”.

First, a few questions for you:
1.  Do you have a career plan?
2.  Have you defined what you really want in life?
3.  Are you investing in yourself to achieve success?

Hopefully, the answer is “YES” to all of these questions. If not, you will want to take a look at the project guide when it is completed and released. As soon as it is, I will post an announcement on ITLever.

When I started to think about this project, the first thing that came to mind was the need to do a “self-evaluation”. It’s important to know “where you are” and “what you want” before you try to plan anything. If I were to create a professional development plan for myself, I would start with a bit of self-analysis.

Sooooo, , , this is exactly where I started with the project. I developed a simple tool called the Personal Inventory tool.

It is time to take an introspective look at yourself, , , and when you do, it will help you develop a plan for yourself.

CLICK HERE to download the tool.

The tool includes 5 sections. The information you provide will tell you or someone else quite a lot about you and what is important to you.

I.   Goals and objectives
What do you want to achieve in life. It could be anything, , , money, power, position, certain style of living, a happy family, , , it’s an endless list of things, but what is important is for you to identify it for yourself.

II.   Strengths and weaknesses
People do better with their strengths and weaknesses can hold us back. Depending upon your answer in Section I, you may need to do some work to eliminate or minimize certain weaknesses. You also want to take advantage of any strengths you have.

III.  Likes and dislikes
People tend to work harder and with more interest on what they like and avoid their dislikes. Sometimes, you may dislike something only because you aren’t very good at it or don’t know enough about it, , , many of these things can be overcome with knowledge and experience.

IV.   My passion in life
What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and rush to work because you love what you do – anything? Find a true passion for something and be able to work with it, , , and it won’t seem like work. Time will fly by because you love what you do. Find it and your career will take care of itself.

V.  How I want to be remembered
Have you ever thought about how you want people to remember you? What will they say about you when your name comes up? Your legacy is important so this part is important to think about.

This Personal Inventory tool is simple like all my tools, but it will give you a practical method to understand what you want in life and begin to develop yourself to make it happen.