This is a message to everyone who runs any kind of technology in a business. The posting is directed towards everyone who has their own applications, servers, blogs, websites, etc.
Special Note to CIOs/CTOs: I understand you run an organization that has many people under you. I understand that you feel you’ve got your resources and you’re doing everything correctly and to the best of your ability. I also understand that you feel your technology is working properly and it has too been properly tested. Let me pose a question to you. Please put aside the pride and ego for a second. A responsible C-Level employee will conduct audits on a periodic basis.
This has nothing to do with your organization, but you can’t always believe the progress reports you’re getting from your direct reports. They get their information from their teams and nobody wants to admit failure. People are scared in this economy. It’s not about a blame game, but at the end of the day, you’re never going to know that something is broken or you’re going to miss the deadline on a critical project until it’s too late. I hate to say it, but the reality is the only person that is going to be held accountable is you.
So I challenge you to accept what I have to say and take it for what it is.. free advice. It is only a fool who is unwilling to listen to all points of view on something / anything when it pertains to you.
Find a competent firm (like mine [shameless plug]) who truly understands technology and can find the skeletons. Every organization has them. Yours included. You just don’t know about it.
The only way to save your job and reputation is to identify the problems before they happen. Your internal team will never be completely honest with you (for fear of losing their jobs).
Let me propose something to you..
Hire a small agile team of consultants who understand enterprise technologies and have them identify and review all of your systems from infrastructure to application. Interview the people (not just team leaders, but the developers as well).
Let the external team give you a full and detailed report of what the efficiencies and deficiencies are in your organization. A completely neutral view.
It’s not about placing blame. It’s about protecting your company, your asset, your profits, your employees, and most importantly yourself.
It’s not about firing the people who can’t do their jobs effectively, but giving them the resources they need to rectify the problems they are having. So that they feel they don’t have to hide things. When you set people up to succeed and I’m sure there are a few people in your organization you’d like to see gone, but give them a chance and the resources to complete the project without fear.
I can promise you that not only will you gain the loyalty of your employees, but they will work harder to please you. The most important thing is they will feel empowered to communicate through their channels to you in a more concise and honest format.
It’s not about ruling with an iron fist, but a gentle hand.
There’s that old cliche, “You get more with sugar than you do with vinegar…” I can tell you that as a 15 year veteran of C-Level and Technology consulting, this works.
Find yourself an audit team. Let them do their job. Let them give you the truth after their audit.
I promise you will find weaknesses and strengths. You’ll find employees that have so much more potential than you knew. Most importantly, you’ll be the hero within your organization because you took the initiative.
It’s a win-win situation. So my question to you is.. Would you like to be the hero or the person who fails, because you didn’t have all the information?
If you’d like to talk to me, and this is something I can’t believe I’m doing, I’m going to list my telephone number in my post. Feel free to give me a call. My advice is free.
I can tell you this is not about selling you something, but about helping you. An audit does not have to be expensive. It just has to be thorough. Look me up on Linkedin.com (Percy Kwong). Browse this site: http://swimminginthought.com
I think you’ll get an idea of my breadth of skills. I have a team that is even more technical than I am. It doesn’t matter if you hire me or someone else. All I’m saying is.. If you haven’t done an audit of your most important projects or your entire IT infrastructure in the last 6 months, you really should consider this.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. No matter how you do it, you’ll be the hero. How do you sell it? Very Simply. You tell your CEO or Chairman that you’d like to make sure everything is on track and the only way you can do that effectively is to hire an external audit team.
Not only will they respect you, but they will see that you’re being extremely responsible. They will have very much respect for you and they know you’re watching their butt.
So do yourself a favor and consider an outside audit. I think you’re going to find at least 2-3 things (some good some bad) that you never thought would be there. That’s an effective CIO/CTO /CEO.
Like I said, I never do this, but I’m posting my telephone number: +1.212.260.7756
Ask for Percy. I can promise you it won’t be wasted time or a sales pitch. Just a discussion and good advice.