Tag Archives: it strategy

Watch my videos from the IT Leader GROWTH SUMMIT

Recently, I participated in the IT Leader GROWTH SUMMIT 2018, an all online event targeted to helping IT managers improve their success. The reason I participated was because it reinforces my company mission: “helping IT managers of the world achieve more success”.

There were over 50 speakers from many parts of the world during the 1-week agenda so it was truly an international event. Lots of fun plus I learned some things.

My participation was twofold.

First was an interview we recorded on the topic, “Attack the Triple Threat to IT Success to Achieve More”. It includes a short training segment followed by a candid interview with me about aspects of the Triple Threat that exists in companies around the world.

The second part was to lead a group discussion on the topic, “Let’s Chat About the Modern IT Organization”.

Discussions in this session include:
– What do you focus on initially in a new CIO role?
– How do you position IT more strategically?
– How can IT break out of the purely technical narrative?
– What is the role of the IT Leader in strategic business discussions?
– Who are the people in the C-Suite that the IT Leader should partner with?
– Is communication that important? And if yes, what type of communication?

IT Strategy: align your IT vision for business value

IT Strategy: align your IT vision for business value
The key to keeping IT aligned with your company is to develop a practical IT strategy for your company, review it with your senior management team, and gain their support. This book takes you step by step through the whole process.

Create strategic plans for your IT organization and set yourself apart from your peers. Most IT Managers are reactive managers only because they haven’t learned the value of developing long term strategies that work. This book even discusses how to prepare for your strategy recommendation meeting with your senior management team to gain their agreement and support.

Included is an actual strategic IT plan example with CIO level insight into each component.

Table of ContentsBook excerpts



Buy the entire
Practical IT Manager GOLD Series


Do you have a game plan?

You call yourself an IT manager or IT executive, , , so what do you tell people when they ask you, “What is your strategy?”

Strategy comes in many different forms. It would be helpful to understand the context of the question when someone asks you this question. If no one is asking it, , , you should be asking yourself the question, , , and hopefully you have specific answers.

Let’s talk about three key strategies:

  1. Short term strategy – No matter what your situation, there are things that need to be addressed sooner than later. Your team is focused on projects and things “right now”, , , you should always be able to articulate what you are focused on and plan to accomplish in the next 60-90 days.
  2. Long term strategy – What are the ultimate goals and objectives of your team? Senior management and department managers need to know where you are headed long term, , , so do your IT employees. You need to be able to justify what you are doing and articulate every major initiative in business value terms for why you need to spend money and time on such work.
  3. Personal career strategy – What do you want in life and career? I can assure you that if you do not spend some time to think about this and put a plan into place, you won’t get very far in life. Analyze what you want, decide you want to achieve it for yourself, and develop a strategy that will take you there.

Successful people are like successful coaches, , , they approach their business with a game plan. It is developed based upon the goals they want to achieve and the obstacles and circumstances that surround them. They don’t take “No” for an answer, , , obstacles become challenges to overcome and the game plan helps them do just that.

Do you have a game plan? If not, there is no better day than today to start developing one.

IT strategy presentation tip

When you plan to deliver an IT strategy to senior management, pay attention to who is sitting in the room and what they want from you.

If your audience is the CEO, CFO, and COO or possibly the Board of Directors of your company, your presentation is quite different than if your senior manager is a CIO with a stronger technical background.

Let’s assume your IT strategy presentation is to the CEO and CFO, , , the top two executives in the company. There is also a difference in these two people, but the primary target is the CEO, , , the boss.

If this is the case, develop a presentation that targets your CEO’s need. Normally, a CEO wants “the answer” and not a lot of detail, , , especially not technical detail.

In most strategy presentation meetings you will have an hour, maybe two at most to present and discuss your strategy.

Think more like you have 20 to 30 minutes of actual presentation time. I can assure you an hour will go by faster than the “blink of an eye”.



An 18-24 month IT strategy probably has a dozen, maybe even up to 60 projects. You will never cover a dozen projects or more.

You need to summarize your list of projects into high level initiatives. Let’s say you have 60 projects you believe are needed to address the business needs and issues of your company.

Summarize your 60 projects by consolidating similar types of work into 6 to 8 major initiatives. For example, 10 projects may be Data Center type of work, , , if so, create an initiative called Data Center Improvements.

Maybe you have 3 technology conversion projects as a result of acquiring three companies, , , summarize these 3 projects into a high level initiative called Technology Assimilations Initiative, and show the key projects in it when you draw a time line picture.

Something like this:

You graphically show three assimilation projects (A1, A2, and A3), but you talk about the Technology Assimilations Initiative.

This saves lots of time and discusses your points at the proper level for a CEO and CFO.

Some initiatives may have dozens of projects that you discuss as a single initiative. Six to eight initiatives will be about the extent of what you will be able to cover and have ample time for questions and discussion.

I’ve seen many IT managers try to cram too much in an hour presentation and it ends up missing the mark and failing to get accomplished what was needed.

Summarize your projects into high level initiatives, plan on 20-30 minutes of real presentation time, and anticipate the questions you might get from the audience who will be in the room.

Do these things and your IT strategy meeting will go much smoother.

Quarterly strategy meeting

Every quarter Tom Mochal and I meet to discuss our two companies. Often, we have others join us who can contribute to the process. This time, Tom and his wife visited us at Camp Liberty and spent the night on the Buffalo River.

Tom and I prepare to meet at “The Point” above the Buffalo River

Our meetings are fairly short, but they mean a great deal to me for many reasons:

  • motivation
  • gaining insight from other viewpoints
  • additional analysis and feedback on my work
  • collaborative process

It’s important for you to collaborate your strategies with others and hear their feedback. It’s not always the feedback you want to hear, but you need to listen closely to what others think of your ideas. Honest opinion from those you trust is extremely valuable, , , and your strategies will be better because of it.

It’s also important for you to hear other strategies, especially if they have a similar business as in the case of Tom and me. Listening to other people’s strategies and ideas can be a great catalyst for your own thought process.

I can’t tell you how many times the light bulb has turned on in my head with a new idea when discussing something in these meetings. It happens at least once in every meeting.

Our 20 Minute IT Manager product concept was spawned in such a meeting way back in 2005. After developing the idea, Tom and I developed weekly training sessions for three years, , , 162 of them as a result. CLICK HERE for info.

In this weekend’s meeting, Tom and I decided to revive the 20 Minute IT Manager and develop more sessions for our audiences. You will see our announcement soon, , , we plan to begin releasing new sessions in June.

It was a great meeting with great friends, , , and I didn’t even charge them the standard Camp Liberty Hotel room rate. 🙂 🙂

Dodge the bullets and arrows

In your IT manager role, there are lots of bullets and arrows whizzing by, , , and they come from all directions. In many cases, there isn’t much you can do to avoid getting hit by an arrow.

For example, if a tornado knocks out your Data Center, you definitely get hit by an arrow, , , same thing if the utility company cuts the electrical lines leading into your office building and you have no generator for auxilliary power. OUCH, , , hit again.

The best way to dodge bullets and arrows is to have a strategy in place that you are executing so your team is working proactively versus reactively.

The next thing is that you have to be prepared for when the “event” happens. Things like tornadoes, flood, electrical feeds being cut, etc. One of the things you should do here is to identify what kind of “arrows” and “bullets” could come whizzing by your head and determine how you prevent them, , , or at least minimize the damage if they were to occur.