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  • Managing cultural diversity

    Conclusion: Organisations will typically have employees of different cultural backgrounds. As teams expand and organisations become more global, managers may find themselves managing whole teams based in countries other than their own. A lot of the time, management will by necessity have to be done remotely.

    Managers need to be very aware that management cultural

  • Meetings: Tips for improving productivity and effectiveness

    Conclusion: A recent Harvard business review article1 reinforced the view that meetings have increased in length and frequency over time from 20 % to nearly 50 % of the working week. This time does not include the planning, reading and preparation of those meeting. Executives such as CIOs or similar should spend some time assessing

  • Employee onboarding: Digitising can improve consistency and save significant time

    Conclusion: Onboarding is a critical process when hiring new employees. Poor first impressions can impact the potential success of new employees, and potentially the productivity or benefits that an organisation may have been expecting when adding the new employees. Worst case is a new highly skilled employee decides quickly that the organisation is not a good fit for them,

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  • Onboarding: First impressions count

    Conclusion: Hiring is costly, time-consuming and fraught with risk. Hiring decisions can impact organisations in either positive or negative ways. A critical step in the hiring process is onboarding. First impressions matter and new hires need to be made to feel welcome, engaged and enabled to ensure they can settle in quickly and are able to start contributing as quickly as

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  • For job security, get the house in order before an IT audit

    Conclusion: IT auditors typically consult with, and report their findings to, the board’s Audit and Risk Committee. Their POW (program of work) or activities upon which they will focus may or may not be telegraphed in advance to stakeholders, including IT management.

    To avoid getting a qualified audit report for IT, e. g. when internal (systems) controls are weak or

  • Work for managers that hire you

    Conclusion: Relationships at work between managers and employees are important and can influence the success and effectiveness of individual teams or whole organisations. Both managers and employees need to understand the bias that can occur between a view a manager may take about an employee they have invested in and ‘hired’ or selected, versus an employee that is thrust

  • Turning data analysis from an art to a science

    Conclusion: Increasing competition where thin profit margins are the norm forces management to analyse business data more intently to identify ways to increase revenue and/or reduce operating costs. Similarly, in the public sector the aim is often to connect common data from multiple sources and determine if government programs are achieving their objectives.


  • Cyber security and the board’s audit and risk committee

    Conclusion: Increasing emphasis in the media and in industry literature on cyber security and the risks of data breaches with service disruptions is likely to get extra attention in future from the board and their audit and risk committee (or ICT governance group).

    Not only must the committee be concerned with risk prevention, astute members will also want to

  • Smart thinking needed to buy an ERP and maximise its benefits

    Conclusion: When faced with determining the long-term future of an ERP solution that has met the organisation’s needs, business and IT management must investigate and weigh up their strategic options.

    To make an informed determination, business management must take ownership of the buying process in their role as demand managers while IT management and staff support

  • To enhance customer experience, focus on First Call Resolution rate

    Conclusion: In an environment where the quality of front line services is critical for customer loyalty, the call centre’s (or contact centre or help desk) performance is pivotal. A salient way to measure the call centre’s performance is to calculate its First Call issue Resolution rate (FCR), i. e. the rate at which received calls are resolved the first time while the

  • Recognising cognitive biases for better decisions

    Conclusion: Cognitive bias has the potential to reduce decision-making effectiveness. Although bias can often streamline the process of coming to a decision, the quality of such decisions may suffer. In emerging technology areas such as process and decision automation, as well as in mainstream activities such as procurement and recruiting, unconscious biases can have a

  • Raise your operational effectiveness with better use of calendaring

    Conclusion: The 2018 CIO survey1 revealed that the CIO’s influence is stalling, with fewer CIOs on executive boards. However, improving business processing is still the #1 operational priority. To address this priority, CIOs and IT managers should use everyday tools such as calendars to better collaborate with their staff by

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  • Challenges and strategies moving from waterfall to agile

    Conclusion: There are many strategies to consider as well as challenges to be aware of when migrating from a traditional waterfall development methodology to an agile methodology. Plan and prepare carefully and be patient during this transition and anticipated benefits will be realised.

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  • Who should lead digital transformation?

    Conclusion: The CIO’s role has changed considerably over the past couple of decades, from “keeping the lights on” and working on cost-saving initiatives (automation) to expanding into embracing new technologies and enablers to transform the organisation. The importance of this has created additional roles like the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to lead this critical

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  • Why IT management reporting structures are rarely static

    Conclusion: Just as one size car does not suit everyone, so one IT management reporting structure will not meet the needs of all firms or agencies. While there is no blueprint for developing an IT management structure, there are guiding principles and workplace change management practices to help get the restructure right the first time.

    Due to fluctuating IT

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  • Helping newly appointed IT managers succeed

    Conclusion: The differences in roles and responsibilities between an IT professional and line manager are many and need to be understood quickly by the new managers and their peers. Not only will the understanding help both parties make the appointment work but it will also reinforce the selection panel’s appointment decision.

    A new line manager must remember that the

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  • Understanding followership as a team leader

    Conclusion: The role of being a supportive follower is overlooked as compared against the literature of being a leader. Everyone is a follower, yet by a factor of over 1,000 to 11, information is overwhelmingly written about how to be a better leader rather than about being a follower. As a leader, there are many benefits in

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  • Dealing with conflict in an IT environment

    Conclusion: Being able to deal with workplace conflict quickly and effectively reaps many rewards. There are different strategies that can be used to deal with the differing types of conflict in the workplace. Being mindful that personality classifications are fluid states of being, i. e. there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert...

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  • Mind mapping at work Part 2: Business thinking and outcomes

    Conclusion: Strategic thinking, planning and problem solving often involve bringing together a team of knowledgeable contributors who need to analyse, debate, discuss and decide on key issues around the topic they are trying to address. Mind mapping can be a powerful technique for helping to stimulate the ideas, plan actions, and even communicate the output of the

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  • Mind mapping at work Part 1: Core business skills

    Conclusion: Mind mapping is a tool that facilitates “whole-brain” thinking. It is a technique that can be applied to all forms of the thought process, particularly to memory, creativity and learning. Within an organisation, the use of mind mapping as a visual and graphic thinking tool can help improve business processes and practices, solve problems, improve decision making,

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  • Future-proofing your ICT team: Predictions and mitigation

    Conclusion:Growth in ICT remains strong in the foreseeable future in a very competitive market. Successful CIOs and ICT leaders responsible for staffing and sourcing need to adopt multiple strategies to successfully recruit, retain and plan for the resource challenges of tomorrow.

  • Demystifying IT workforce planning

    Conclusion:One of the objectives of an IT workforce plan is to maximise the use of the skilled IT professionals and project managers and minimise their idle time. Managing the IT workforce plan is a complex task in most organisations as skill levels required may vary by project and by operational support roles.

    To be successful, the manager of the plan must maintain

  • Making the move from IT professional to IT manager

    Conclusion:IT professionals who operate in a structured and predictable environment could find the role change to that of an IT manager more challenging than they had anticipated, as it typically requires a mind-set change from completing one or two tasks to managing people. To avoid disappointment, senior management must help new IT managers make the transition and cope

  • Mind mapping as a tool for collaboration

    Conclusion:Mind mapping is used broadly throughout the world as a technique for improving creativity, problem solving, organising, planning, learning and collaborating. It can be used effectively to help an individual with their personal productivity, and importantly it can help teams and whole organisations.

    If organisations are going to embrace mind mapping and

  • Set Realistic Benefits for the Transformation Program

    Conclusion:Employ a bottom-up technology-based approach and a top-down business approach when developing the business and IT transformation program. Additionally, the program must take a pragmatic approach to reflect workplace changes that are feasible to meet the expectations of clients, staff, suppliers and the community.

    Unless the program is continually revised

  • Business and IT Transformation and Employee Disruption

    Conclusion:Unless management develops work-place change management strategies and staff are trained to implement the transformation program, employees are likely to become disengaged and could fail to adapt to the changes envisaged. To minimise the risk of failure, the strategy to implement the program must be well planned and stakeholders consulted.

  • The role of IT in contributing to Aspirational Goals

    Conclusion:Executives trying to put ambitious and commendable goals in place may not appreciate the clarification that they may see as downgrading their original goal. When IT is asked to provide systems to support ambitious goals, the executive team needs to make sure the costs are understood and any ramifications that may result in significant changes or investment in IT

  • How to become the next CIO and remain there

    Conclusion: It is not enough to just work hard and deliver results, although these are essential qualities to get noticed. To obtain that elusive CIO job and then keep it requires more ongoing effort and vigilance negotiating, monitoring and engaging at executive levels.

  • Use Market Scans to qualify ICT Vendors

    Conclusion: Organisations that by law must issue open tenders for systems solutions know they will be inundated with multiple responses and spend scarce work days assessing them. Staff involved in the process also know that many solutions proposed are not practical and, even if they are, often doubt the vendor has the capacity and capability locally to implement

  • For Project success, get the PMO’s role right

    Conclusion: The PMO role has many manifestations. It is also rarely static. When the organisation is in transformation mode the PMO must ensure project managers work as a team and deliver results. It is analogous to the role of an orchestra conductor who must get the musicians to rehearse so they know their roles and work together to make their opening concert a

  • Business Strategy and Enterprise Architecture

    Conclusion: The enterprise architect (EA) role is one of the most intellectually challenging in an organisation. This is because it involves developing a systems roadmap to migrate from the current to a desired future state that is compatible with the business strategy.

    Assign the wrong person to the EA role and the future systems will probably be unattainable and

  • Virtual Teams need new skills and behaviours

    Conclusion: Virtual Teams have become common in most organisations, and technology and globalisation have been the major enablers. Leaders and team participants have found themselves as participants by default and without choice.

    For many, little training or education has been provided to help individuals recognise that their future work environment is going to

  • Identify the baton holders for effective ICT service delivery

    Conclusion: Successful ICT life cycle service delivery from strategy development to system decommissioning relies on the person assigned the role picking up the work in progress and successfully completing the task before handing it to the next agreed role. It is analogous to the relay runner at an athletics carnival taking the baton from the previous runner and, on

  • Identify and minimise workplace opposition to the digital strategy

    Conclusion: Opposition to workplace change stemming from the organisation’s digital strategy agenda1 is inevitable. Astute IT managers expect it and identify initiatives to minimise opposition.

    Digital strategy (or transformation) initiatives typically generate both overt and covert workplace resistance. Its sources may vary from

  • ERP on premises or SaaS – expedient or strategic decision?

    Conclusion: The options for processing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) range from on premises to managed services to public Cloud to SaaS (Software as a Service). The attributes of all the solutions, including the risks, costs and benefits, can appear overwhelming and may persuade risk averse senior management to make an expedient decision and keep the status

  • Address technical debt before it becomes too expensive to do so

    Conclusion: Technical debt is intangible and its extent hard to measure. Organisations that compromise quality for expediency to meet schedules or defer software release upgrades accumulate technical debt unwittingly.

    Managers who let the debt increase and fail to reduce it could be digging an ever deeper and dry well that could cost them their jobs, leaving their

  • Develop and retain staff to win the talent war

    Conclusion: IT management teams that spend little time planning to grow and retain talented people will find it hard and expensive to keep pace with technology advances and business model changes. Conversely, IT management that makes every effort to retain staff are likely to be employers that attract the best people. They will do this by helping them enhance their skills and

  • Why cyber security concerns, like taxes, will not go away

    Conclusion: To be effective a cyber security program that controls access to hardware, software and data needs to be comprehensive and include all stakeholders. The challenge for IT and line management is to shape the message to the audience in terms they understand so they take their responsibilities seriously.

  • Bite the bullet – stop failing projects sooner not later

    Conclusion: Deciding to stop investing in a business system is a decision no manager likes to make as it could have an adverse impact on staff, suppliers, clients, stakeholders and the Board. Before making the decision, management must assess all options and conclude they have no alternative but to act now and stop wasting scarce resources.

  • Digital transformation – get strategy and people right first

    Conclusion: Just as every marketable motor vehicle needs skilful designers and a proficient driver to reach its destination, an organisation needs visionary leaders and skilled staff to digitally transform its business model.

    Technology, whilst important, represents just one wheel of the motor vehicle. Overstating technology’s value is simplistic. Vendors who promote

  • Why CEOs and Boards need business savvy CIOs

    Conclusion: In a rapidly changing business environment driven by demand for enhanced client services and immediate access to business data, CIOs who can deliver what is needed will thrive. Conversely CIOs unable to meet the CEO’s and Board’s transformation objectives and leverage service providers could quickly find themselves redundant.

  • Embedding research and advisory into an organisation

    Conclusion: Organisations source and procure research and advisory services for a range of reasons. The benefits of access to external research and advisory can vary widely from organisation to organisation. Today’s business and technology environment is changing in more radical and rapid ways. Organisations that fully access and embed the information and

  • When the Stars are Aligned use Agile

    Conclusion: The high-risk and high-reward Agile approach for systems development enabled many organisations to respond quickly to changing management strategies and yielded significant productivity benefits, according to a 2015 survey...

  • Business and IT Agility: their roles in Enterprise Transformation Master Advisory Presentation

    When the leadership of IT and business management work well as a team there are few limits to what they can achieve in delivering services to clients. However for the teamwork to become a reality line management and IT professionals must put aside special interests and focus on implementing initiatives that deliver outcomes that meet the objectives of the organisation.

    Agility is

  • Why the cost of Online Systems Quality is increasing

    Conclusion: To grow their business and deliver sought after online services, organisations must provide error free systems supported by robust IT infrastructure. When unable to deliver one or both of these consumers will seek other suppliers that provide better online services.

    To meet consumer expectations online systems must be comprehensively tested

  • A purpose-driven culture creates a resilient organisation

    Conclusion: There are two compelling information security reasons for creating a sense of purpose and ownership within an organisation. The first is that a sense of purpose and ownership will empower staff so that they move from responding to basic security hygiene matters, towards pre-empting issues. The second reason is so that organisations look out beyond

  • The Value of an independent external committee member

    Conclusion: Governance committees face a number of challenges that can undermine their effectiveness. These challenges include groupthink, a focus on individual responsibilities rather than organisation-wide benefits and trust issues. Experienced independent external advisors can play an important role in overcoming these challenges.

  • Know IT’s Context before starting on a Transformation Program

    Conclusion: In order to develop an IT transformation program it is important to understand today’s operational and workplace context and use the insights gained to shape the way change can be achieved with a minimum of risk.

  • How to make hard cash cost savings in Networking while targeting digital greatness

    Conclusion: softening business conditions in Australia demand that IT operations executives find current cost (cash) savings, optimise the cost of existing operations and/or make valuable new contributions to the enterprise by leveraging networking technologies and practices throughout IT.

    IBRS has identified ten practical ways to cut enterprise

  • Identifying and seizing Business Opportunities with IT

    Conclusion: To meet the demand for more online services, IT and business management must identify and filter the opportunities and vigorously pursue those with high client visibility, ensure adherence to legislation and reduce the cost of doing business.

  • Consumerisation of IT: are you a Leader or a Laggard?

    Conclusion: IT managers who discourage staff from using consumer oriented technologies could be doing themselves a disservice. Whilst there are risks of data leakage or cost blowouts from over-usage of external computing resources, the unexpected benefits such as identifying new patterns of buying behaviour or using data analysis to identify welfare fraud, far

  • The traits of an effective CISO

    Conclusion:There are a number of traits and behaviours to look for in an effective security leader, which are different from a traditional IT leader. The measure of an effective CISO is not whether their organisation has had a breach, or not. The measures of an effective CISO are the types of incidents their organisation has, and how their organisation responds

  • Outcomes Based IT Outsourcing – the next wave

    Conclusion:While the concept of bundling and outsourcing of IT services is simple, its pricing regime based on dedicated devices available and not client applications processed, frustrates efforts to make IT costs transparent to business managers.

  • Mind the Gap in the IT and Business Partnership

    Conclusion: With increasing pressure to digitise extra services to clients, now is the time to review the effectiveness of the partnership between IT and business units. Unless it is strong the capacity to deliver the extra services will be at risk.

  • Why it is important to fix the disconnect between IT and HR

    Conclusion: Unless the IT and HR management work together to implement information systems to enable them to hire, develop and record the skills of IT professionals, the organisation will probably not have the right people to meet the looming challenges of the digital age.

  • Dos and Don'ts when remediating Major Systems

    Conclusion: Remediating major systems is not a job for the faint-hearted or over-confident IT managers. Poor governance decisions and excessive optimism can easily lead to project failures (and ruin careers). Conversely smart decisions combined with sound project leadership can increase the probability of success and enhance careers.

  • Getting Legacy Systems Replacement Projects approved first time

    Conclusion:When business critical systems have ‘passed their use-by-date’ or maintenance costs are excessive there is a temptation to fast-track the approval of the replacement systems and underestimate the cost and complexity of doing so. Avoid the temptation by thoroughly defining the scope of the project and include contingencies in the cost

  • Last Word: Keeping the Nose to the Ground and Ear to the Wind

    I have observed that many organisations operate with limited knowledge of the costs, structures and competitive initiatives planned by their competitors or of comparable agencies in other jurisdictions.

    Rarely does management know which system solutions have been acquired, deals concluded with suppliers such as software licence pricing, or whether their

  • Why A Radical Change in Managing IT is Needed

    Conclusion: Whilst senior management recognise continued investment in IT is critical for business success there is increasing evidence of dissatisfaction with IT management’s performance. It is critical IT managers identify reasons for the dissatisfaction and take remedial action. If not, credible survey data indicates they will be replaced.

  • CIO's Role in Business and IT Transformation and Change Initiatives

    Conclusion:CIOs have a pivotal role in ensuring business and IT transformation and major change initiatives succeed. As they are both disruptive to business and IT operations and typically involve retraining staff while implementing new information systems, CIOs must be innovative and exercise a strategic leadership role.


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