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  • CTO/CIO Perspectives - Page 15 of 15 - Intensely practical tips on information technology management, by Peter Kretzman
    they re useful insights for every worker not just executives They boil down to these two questions Read more Tweet Filed Under Role definition By Peter Kretzman Leave a Comment The Pillars of Purview of the Successful CTO CIO Tweet So as we ve now discussed you the CTO or CIO brought in to oversee the technology areas of your company are paradoxically not really there predominantly for technology Even if you like to think of yourself as a technogeek and most of us do frankly if you want to be effective in the overall role of this chief information technology officer you ll need to broaden your approach Then what is your purview as CTO CIO Call it marketecture if you want but I ve found it useful to separate my role into five major areas all of which happen to begin with P I call these the 5 Pillars of Purview and they represent for CTO CIO responsibilities in general a model or framework that I ll be referring back to in this blog People Career path evaluations coaching hiring firing compensation public relations to the rest of the company communicating motivating rewarding Process How are projects spawned and prioritized and appropriate resources allocated Is the way that you bake and release software clearly understood and fully under control How is your quality assurance What do your internal users think Product How are you progressing your company s products or services What s around the corner that you ll need to deal with Projects Which projects are on track Which are lagging Why and what can you do Performance How are your systems performing Response time Bugginess Stability How do you know Read more Tweet Filed Under Pillars of Purview Role definition By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment The title issue CTO vs CIO and why it s the wrong question Tweet CTO has got to be one of the most overloaded to use a development geek term titles around Depending on the industry the company and the individual in the position the Chief Technology Officer may have entirely different responsibilities and purview from other similarly named positions And what in heaven s name is a CIO anymore In many companies the CTO title seems to have supplanted what ten or twenty years ago would have been referred to as the CIO which sadly tends to spoil the old joke that CIO stood for Career Is Over As an article in ComputerWorld pointed out ask what a CTO does and you re likely to get a variety of responses In some companies the CTO heads research and development In other companies the CTO is just like a CIO In still others the CIO reports to the CTO And there are also CTOs who work in IT departments and report to the CIO I m going to reveal my bias here up front it doesn t matter really what you call the position The important part is to recognize two

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/page/15/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Book reviews Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    for a book that was both reasonably engaging as a novel and one that accurately portrayed a broad swath of the inner workings nuances and personality types that are typically part of the landscape of IT in today s world Reading the book should provide a window into common dilemmas and disagreements regarding IT issues lending perspective and insight into all parties motivations and interests See my earlier posts on Chris Potts FruITion and John Hughes Haunting the CEO Again my views aside I should emphasize that all three of these novels of IT are worth reading and forming your own opinion Adventures of an IT Leader comes by far the closest to meeting the criteria I had outlined for a novel of IT It opens with an executive Jim Barton being unexpectedly tapped as CIO by the new CEO of his firm after long and successful stints managing other areas of the company In short Barton isn t an IT person by training or experience In fact one reason for his selection as the new CIO is that he has long been the foremost critic of the IT function at his company And now unexpectedly he has to walk a few miles in IT s moccasins so to speak The novel then follows Barton and his numerous IT challenges and crises for about a year Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Overview Pillars of Purview Recommended reading Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Novels of IT Part 2 Haunting the CEO Tweet Last time I introduced this series by pointing out that reading what I call novels of IT could serve a few very useful purposes for those of us who work in and around information technology In fact I presented a number of criteria that come to mind when answering the implicit question of why anyone should bother to read a novel of IT Ideally it s because such novels at their best can do the following provide a degree of engagement and entertainment in making their points provide a realistic insight in a show not tell kind of way into what motivates the typical players in these business scenarios help all factions inside and outside IT come to see the other side s perspective and arrive at deeper understandings of common problems and disagreements allow the CIO to hand the novel to his or her CEO or CFO and trust that everyone s reading of it will help reach common ground in how to collectively and collaboratively approach the company s goals There are of course pitfalls involved in constructing such a novel the foremost of which is falling into blatant stereotypes most notably the nerdy CIO who clings to technology and can t see a larger role for himself or herself The book I covered in my first post on IT novels Chris Potts FruITion not only fell into this trap in spades but took it to a whole new dimension painting

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/book-reviews/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Education Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    the time Let me share my thoughts on why Read more Tweet Filed Under Anecdotes Education Industry trends By Peter Kretzman 5 Comments Must read books on the human factors of IT part 1 the 70s Tweet What is it that sets apart a top notch IT executive from others of his calling To my mind one mark of today s true professional especially at the senior executive level is to be deeply familiar with the seminal books in his or her field The dilemma for an IT professional though comes from the ongoing and increasing flood of books to choose from and trying to figure out how to walk the fine line between focus on the intensely tactical and focus on higher level concepts and ideas The tactical books do have their place on your shelf actually and it would be a mistake to ignore them simply because you ve moved beyond daily application of your development configuration and technical trouble shooting skills judicious selection and absorbing of nuts and bolts techniques and new approaches will keep your insight into technology and its possibilities fresh I started in IT as a developer and I remain fascinated by the endless possibilities and techniques of the world of software In the last decade or two though I ve become even more intrigued by a metalayer above the more tactical concerns True to my ongoing insistence that the biggest challenges in IT aren t purely technical I am ever more convinced that t he greatest difficulties are presented by psychology of IT issues the human factors in how software and systems are conceived built tested deployed maintained and eventually decommissioned Here are just a smattering of the eternal non technical questions that go far beyond the computer language du jour or the latest hot methodology How do teams actually create and complete information technology projects What works what fails and why Why are some software developers supposedly ten times as productive as others Why do some software teams gel and others don t Why do small companies with very few resources often beat out large well funded efforts in the marketplace How technical should managers be So starting with this post let s embark on a multi part survey of the groundbreaking timeless books on such issues I m going to pick what I consider to be the top three books from each decade starting with the 70s Each of them deserves not only a place on your bookshelf but to be read and reread every few years And contrary to what one might think their insights remain not only valid after all these years but have become all the stronger by having been confirmed by the history of the industry since their publication Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews Education General Overview Recommended reading Tagged With books classic human factors IT must read mythical man month By Peter Kretzman 17 Comments Fits and starts staying tech savvy as a CIO

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/education/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Financial Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    out the window by February Sure this can and does happen in fast paced Internet companies in particular but the rankling thing was that no one really was tracking the changes against plan or could envision how funds were shaping up for the year Even if a plan has undergone radical changes there still needs to be a current plan Walking in any executive not to mention any auditor should be able to see one or two core documents that detail that current plan as well as the progress against it If that s not there then the technology area and by extension the whole company is just operating by the seat of its collective pants and that s not acceptable Here are the minimum elements of responsible CapEx stewardship in my view Read more Tweet Filed Under Financial Pillars of Purview Process Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 4 Comments Financial metrics for IT the holy grail of ROI and how it misses the point Part 2 Tweet As I promised in my previous post on this and along the lines of the intensely practical goal of this blog we ll now take a look at the financial cost analysis for a specific project This is only an example with details changed or obscured but it is based on a real proposal from a few years back analyzing whether to swap out an existing infrastructure element a storage array for a newer and more capable unit As I ve argued before any proposal like this should really analyze and present several alternatives e g sticking with the status quo changing to vendor X or changing to vendor Y This example covers only one of those analyses but I think you ll get the point Here s what I see a lot of IT people forget your goal here is to analyze and communicate and recommend the best choice for the organization not just to justify what you already want to do in your gut You need to be your own devil s advocate in this process If you can t clearly understand all the benefits and outline all the costs you ll make poorer decisions no matter what your gut tells you So let s dive into the practical Here s the process if you ll recall we want to look at hard benefits and hard costs of the proposal and look at these over a five year time horizon to get the big picture On the benefits side we talked about how benefits break down into increased revenue and decreased costs Of course the notion of actually increasing the company s revenue based on an infrastructure change is unlikely so we ll leave that aside in this case The whole purpose of this particular example proposal is to decrease costs both in real terms and in terms of making personnel more productive So let s look primarily there for the benefits that will result from the proposal Read

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/financial/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Humor Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    pages unnecessarily Documents that don t have titles dates authors identified clearly on every page Whenever I bring this one up to someone passing around an unlabeled undated document I always hear Oh that s because it s only a draft you see That s all the more reason to make sure it s labeled since there are bound to be later revisions floating around Excel and Word both have excellent header footer functionality Use it While you re at it page numbers are also nice Spreadsheets with empty tabs 90 of the spreadsheets I get sent have three tabbed worksheets one with data Sheet1 and two with nothing Sheet2 and Sheet3 I then exercise my unavoidable and infamous anal retentiveness by diligently bringing up all three tabs to view just to be sure I m not missing anything and every once in a while sure enough I discover data in one of the tabs I d assumed was probably blank Come on everyone the three tabs are the unfortunate Excel default yes you can and should change this instantly with any new Excel installation put in place by Microsoft marketing which spent no doubt countless meetings arguing over the best way to make sure people knew that tabs were a feature Count your blessings the default for a previous release of Excel was 16 tabs for every workbook Get rid of empty tabs they add no value If you need a new tab add it then While you re at it if you do use extra tabs please name them something meaningful Email without clear subject lines Email is my knowledge repository often representing an important trail of decision points and the reasoning history behind them I need to be able to find stuff in that haystack Fill out a clear and specific header For example when I m sifting through that haystack for a particular nugget a vague subject line of Question isn t nearly as good as Question on CRM functional requirements deadline Email from close business associates people I see at least once an hour that still have to begin with Hi Peter It s a business email not a personal letter Salutations aren t really necessary I promise I won t think you rude for omitting one Email that doesn t copy the thread of discussion when germane at all See above point about the need for subject lines When I m cruising quickly through email I don t want to have to pull up other messages to retrace the flow of discussion on the topic Little things minor irritations all of these so why not avoid them Tweet Filed Under Communication Humor Personal By Peter Kretzman 2 Comments Is there any CIO CTO out there who is still inclined to answer a desk phone Tweet Just a quick one this time in what may become an ongoing motif of describing some of the pet peeves I ve developed in this role For years now

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/humor/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Metrics Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    Performance Pillars of Purview Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 4 Comments Financial metrics for IT the holy grail of ROI and how it misses the point Part 2 Tweet As I promised in my previous post on this and along the lines of the intensely practical goal of this blog we ll now take a look at the financial cost analysis for a specific project This is only an example with details changed or obscured but it is based on a real proposal from a few years back analyzing whether to swap out an existing infrastructure element a storage array for a newer and more capable unit As I ve argued before any proposal like this should really analyze and present several alternatives e g sticking with the status quo changing to vendor X or changing to vendor Y This example covers only one of those analyses but I think you ll get the point Here s what I see a lot of IT people forget your goal here is to analyze and communicate and recommend the best choice for the organization not just to justify what you already want to do in your gut You need to be your own devil s advocate in this process If you can t clearly understand all the benefits and outline all the costs you ll make poorer decisions no matter what your gut tells you So let s dive into the practical Here s the process if you ll recall we want to look at hard benefits and hard costs of the proposal and look at these over a five year time horizon to get the big picture On the benefits side we talked about how benefits break down into increased revenue and decreased costs Of course the notion of actually increasing the company s revenue based on an infrastructure change is unlikely so we ll leave that aside in this case The whole purpose of this particular example proposal is to decrease costs both in real terms and in terms of making personnel more productive So let s look primarily there for the benefits that will result from the proposal Read more Tweet Filed Under Financial Metrics Pillars of Purview Process Tools By Peter Kretzman 2 Comments Financial metrics for IT the holy grail of ROI and how it misses the point Part 1 Tweet Let s talk some more about one of my favorite topics project portfolio management PPM A lot of literature on PPM tends to focus on evaluating risks and returns An excellent article on IT governance last week in The Wall Street Journal had the following sage advice Create an IT portfolio by evaluating risks and returns Just as an investor balances risk and returns in constructing a portfolio of investments management should analyze the costs benefits and risks of all IT projects to determine how to get the most benefit from the dollars invested in technology I can t argue with that But I also

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/metrics/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Overview Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    addition to the collection of works in this category Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Overview Recommended reading Role definition Strategy By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Novels of IT Part 3 Adventures of an IT Leader Tweet My long quest for an insightful broad and practically applicable novel of IT finally met with resounding success once I got my hands on the outstanding book that is the subject of this post Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert D Austin Richard L Nolan and Shannon O Donnell To recap I was looking for a book that was both reasonably engaging as a novel and one that accurately portrayed a broad swath of the inner workings nuances and personality types that are typically part of the landscape of IT in today s world Reading the book should provide a window into common dilemmas and disagreements regarding IT issues lending perspective and insight into all parties motivations and interests See my earlier posts on Chris Potts FruITion and John Hughes Haunting the CEO Again my views aside I should emphasize that all three of these novels of IT are worth reading and forming your own opinion Adventures of an IT Leader comes by far the closest to meeting the criteria I had outlined for a novel of IT It opens with an executive Jim Barton being unexpectedly tapped as CIO by the new CEO of his firm after long and successful stints managing other areas of the company In short Barton isn t an IT person by training or experience In fact one reason for his selection as the new CIO is that he has long been the foremost critic of the IT function at his company And now unexpectedly he has to walk a few miles in IT s moccasins so to speak The novel then follows Barton and his numerous IT challenges and crises for about a year Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Overview Pillars of Purview Recommended reading Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 20 Comments Can a CIO be successful without IT experience Define your terms Tweet Yes it s déjà vu certain topics crop up again and again on IT related blogs The age old question does a CIO really need to have IT experience I ve touched upon this before here and here but it s time for a full column covering the standard arguments posed in this debate I ve gone through every article I can find on this topic most of these are listed at the end of this post read all the associated comments and culled out the arguments that are typically cited in support of a CIO s ability to be successful without IT experience These are A non technical CIO can surround himself with a capable team who can support him in all technical matters It s the ability to lead that s really needed whereby the issue of technical capabilities becomes secondary After all there are some successful business CIOs without technical background Even supremely technical CIOs have been known to fail Considering today s rapid pace of change past IT experience can be a hindrance to many CIOs today as often as it is a help that experience can make a CIO unduly resistant to the possibilities As I looked at these arguments though I found them all strangely uncompelling I felt truly puzzled how could anyone argue vehemently in favor of a lack of experience as a job qualifier for anything But as I thought about it I realized it s a matter of basic definitions As in so many debates this topic has been seriously hampered by many parties failing to define clearly the basic terms what does IT experience or technical mean and what does it mean for a CIO to be successful Without a clear and common understanding of what is meant by those phrases advocates on both sides tend to drift into straw man postulates where they reach a strong and usually quite self righteous position based on divergent definitions Read more Tweet Filed Under Overview Role definition Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 6 Comments IT tall tales and why they re told or why I stopped going to conferences Tweet Most senior technology executives have a good sense of the huge value that comes from comparing notes and impressions with one s peers about industry trends techniques project approaches even vendors Networking appropriately handled can enable you to find out all sorts of lessons learned without having to go through the pain of learning them the hard way But as with most things there are effective and less effective ways of going about that sort of networking For a long time I looked to industry conferences to provide this sort of connection and exposure to a wider and wiser set of peers But despite a few positive experiences I ve changed my mind in general about the utility of conferences Aside from technical exposition and tutorials most industry conference sessions revolve around case studies And oh what cases they are according to the presenters Quite typically everything is golden nothing has ever gone awry or possibly could Their own approach is the only one conceivable for success This one goes to 11 seems to be their slogan The presenters seem to think that the more enticingly they portray their project and approach the greater value they ll provide to their audience Read more Tweet Filed Under General Overview Personal By Peter Kretzman 5 Comments Must read books on the human factors of IT part 1 the 70s Tweet What is it that sets apart a top notch IT executive from others of his calling To my mind one mark of today s true professional especially at the senior executive level is to be deeply familiar with the seminal books in his or her field The dilemma for an IT professional though comes from the ongoing and increasing

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/overview/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Performance Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    much more business value So what s wrong with a time honored metric like the system was 99 83 available The number is deceptive Few people can mentally translate 99 83 availability into a more meaningful real number such as system was down for 1 3 hours last month Even fewer can tell you the real difference between 99 3 uptime also sounds pretty good right and 99 8 uptime Both 99 3 and 99 8 look to the vast majority of business people at first glance like pretty good numbers for uptime but the first represents more than three times the number of down hours of the second Read more Tweet Filed Under Metrics Performance Pillars of Purview Top 25 posts Contact information for Peter Kretzman Ph 425 835 3487 Email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com Social media Blog post categories Anecdotes 21 Book reviews 7 Communication 23 Education 6 Estimating 9 Ethics 1 Financial 7 General 31 Humor 7 Industry trends 23 Metrics 5 Overview 10 People 12 Performance 1 Personal 20 Personal R D 2 Peterisms 4 Pillars of Purview 43 Process 38 Projects 17 Recommended reading 8 Role definition 29 Stakeholders 15 Strategy 9 Tools 6 Top 25 posts 25 Vendor management 10 Blogroll 10x Software Development Steve McConnell s blog Archimedius Greg Ness always interesting blogs on networking security and virtualization Bridging the Gap Bridging the Gap between Business and IT Laura Brandenburg s excellent blog on crafting business analyst practices to solve business problems CIO Dashboard Chris Curran blogs on IT management issues CTOvision com Bob Gourley s excellent blog looking at things from a lens of enterprise technology E commerce Wisdom Sally McKenzie is a former colleague of mine who writes a great blog that covers what we ve seen heard

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/pillars-of-purview/performance/ (2016-04-28)
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