CIO Update guest columnist John DeBenedette of INTTRA.">

Managing Technically Oriented Executives - Page 2

Sep 5, 2007

John DeBenedette

Using Budgets as a management tool: When the CIO ensures the budgeting process and tracking is tight, it is far easier to align management behind goals and fewer surprises are likely during the year. If one or more functions are not provided clear goals, managers have an opportunity to promote their own projects at the expense of the rest of the organization, creating functional silos that can destroy value and hamper reaching company-wide goals.

The CIO needs to bring tech-oriented executives into a transparent process where each department or team's budget is the subject of open discussion, reducing the potential for "silo" behavior.

Managing the executive's next great idea: The next “Big Thing" is always exciting to think about, but the CIO needs to establish a framework that can help the tech-oriented manager assess opportunities while sticking to long-term strategies that end up delivering to stakeholders on the business side.

After all, the business is relying on IT to meet their objectives. The CIO shouldn't fall into the trap of stealing from big, long-term projects to meet an untested new initiative with the notion that he or she will make it up in the end. When that happens three or four times the CIO will find themselves lagging significantly behind stated goals by the end of the year.

Resolving conflicts: And, of course, being part of a team of very smart people will inevitably lead to conflicts. By having established organizational norms, an operating tone and culture, the CIO can navigate conflicts and assist his or her techie executives to play by those same rules.

A team of technically-orientated executives can bring it's own special challenges for CIO's, but equipped with the right organizational strategy and personal strategy, the CIO can thwart potentially negative behavior and focus the team on the broader issues of organizational productivity and creating value for customers. This all adds up to building a high performance company.

As VP of IT for INTTRA, John DeBenedette is responsible for the technology that powers INTTRA's e-commerce industry platform and the work processes to create and sustain it including R&D, design, engineering and development of the product and channel solutions, as well as the core platforms for messaging, transaction processing, analytics, and web-services.

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