I wanted to avoid rehashing for them the typical CIO topics around business alignment. There are gaps in what CIO’s focus on. I still find it hard to locate organizations that look at strategy to execution as an end-to-end process. CIO’s have the opportunity to provide the rigor methods and tools to allow an organization to integrate everything that goes on between strategy and execution. At the moment the process is fragmented and optimized to improve certain areas. Since business transformation is about tough, business-wide execution, the organization needs better methods and tools that work on a business-wide transformation scale.
Here is what I provided. The following is the text without the formatting. There is a link to the formatted handout at the bottom of this posting
Business Transformation (BT) is about:
• Creating a business vision for higher performance.
• Transforming when incremental change processes are not sufficient.
• Sustaining a step change in performance where value vastly outweighs execution costs
Unfortunately BT fails to meet CEO expectations more than 50% of the time.
Where does the problem lie?
• Vision and strategy are the primary domain of business leaders. BT strategies are usually well thought out but change over time.
• Execution is the domain of all, under project management. Project management and business alignment are mature sciences. Incremental improvements are the likely result here.
• Translation of strategy to execution Whose domain is this? Who has the capability to hold together end-to-end strategy to execution? Who can manage continuously changing requirements? CIO’s can step into the breach here.
BT is Not Business as Usual
• Skills and processes for transformation sized change are not often exercised.
• BT experience is usually unevenly distributed across the business. Failures will be unpredictably uneven, even in areas where success is most critical.
• Performance measures for BT don’t exist. Success may ultimately be measured by the sponsor’s expectations having being met.
• BT and business-as-usual commitments and performance targets must be met.
The CIO can directly improve failure rates.
The CIO can provide a business-wide approach, skills and tools that may make the difference in the continuous translation of strategy into execution.
The CIO can provide new capabilities to:
1. Keep Everyone on the Same Page
• Use IT logic and rigor to translate the BT strategy into a roadmap of targeted outcomes and initiatives.
• Make the BT vision understandable by all by distributing an easy to understand graphical representation of how success will be achieved.
• Show accountability for outcomes. Link outcomes to the initiatives and the hierarchy that support them.
• The occurrence and impact of change must be understood synchronously by all in the same way at the same time.
• Link status and operational documents to the outcomes they support.
2. Non-Politically Prioritize & Optimize
• Prioritize around highest value outcomes and resource constraints.
• Minimize execution conflicts. Optimize around targeted outcomes and the continuous trade-offs tied to perceived stakeholder expectations, management styles, and resource availability.
• Manage complexity in business budgets. They are pushed down to operating units. Provide transparency around the resources that span operating units. BT initiatives will be financially starved or overfed not necessarily according to importance.
3. Manage Changing Expectations
• Manage conflicting expectations where standard escalation processes are not designed for these non-standard operating procedure type of decisions.
• As execution time progresses, managers who hold the needed resources will change their perception on the relative value of the transformation. Project managers will continuously struggle to obtain necessary resources as opinions shift.
CIO’s can provide a Language for Business Transformation Execution.