Saturday, December 16, 2017

How can CIOs Set up a prioritization process to survive and thrive from the whirlwind of daily busyness?

IT-driven digital transformation is the journey of continuous delivery and improvement; it is crucial to set the right priority to survive and thrive.

Business transformation or change initiatives today nearly always involve some form of information and technology. IT should be seen by any business as a digital transformer and focus on setting principles and developing the next practices for improving business effectiveness, efficiency, and performance. If CIOs are going to prepare for the paradigm shift, IT has to create some capacity to make changes, manage a balanced “Run, Grow, and Transform” portfolio. CIOs must act as the “Chief Improvement Officer,” set up a prioritization process to survive and thrive from the whirlwind of daily busyness.

Prioritizing to achieve operational excellence: Digital organizations are always on and over-complex, there are emerging issues coming out on the daily basis, and it sucks up as many resources as it can. Many IT organizations suffer from overloaded tasks and overwhelming information, prioritization brings transparency and improve IT management effectiveness and efficiency. To improve transparency, there needs to have clearly defined roles and authority structure, processes, and dynamic prioritization all wrapped up in an adaptive operation plan that turns out to be most critical. Achieving operational excellence is an important step for IT gaining trust from the business and build a solid reputation as the business enabler. To survive the long-term should also involve more planning, more compromise on budget expenditures and changing outlooks on profit margins as a result. Thus, information, technology, and other IT assets need to be centralized, re-allocated, updated, or replaced if needed to optimize “people and process.” A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. So, there are always some constraints for businesses to balance a healthy portfolio of “run, grow, and transform,” to explore the new opportunities or deploy the new ideas. An effective CIO’s job is to improve IT management effectiveness, to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and fast-growing information.

Setting priority to solve significant (either Macro or Micro) problems:
There are too many things on the IT plate today, there are both old problems and emergent issues; short-term pressures and long-term concerns. There is no way to create a definitive prioritized list without more business context. The critical thing for IT leaders is to identify significant problems and set the right priority to solve them smoothly. That could be macro problems which directly impact on the business strategy to thrive or the business’s bottom line for surviving; that could also be the micro problem - with significant impact as well; as the saying goes, the devil is in the significant detail. Sometimes, the small issue can cause the mighty fall if it hasn’t been taken care of timely. Thus, IT leaders need to have the strategic mind and skill set to contribute business problem defining and solving. Identifying what generates the most value for the company and expressing that in strategic objectives help managers keep their eyes on what matters. So the really important thing is to understand the core business of your enterprise and the problem to solve, set IT priority to focus on things matter. IT should play as an optimistic and cautious innovator with an in-depth understanding of technology potential and limitation, opportunity, and risk; take innovative approaches to deal with the right problems and the future issues.

Prioritization is critical to force people becoming more innovative for change and problem solving: Innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something better or something new. When people get stuck in the old routine and comfort zone, they barely survive the whirlwind of daily busyness; they keep their hands full, but often being mindless and lack of prioritization skills to do more with innovation. You have to create an environment where people can be successful. It is important to build up a positive emotional climate, foster positive relationships, communicate relentlessly, cool down stressed people before they stress others, to make sure information and interaction flow in every direction, build up trust by bonding people around clear and benevolent intentions. In line with being open and honest balance the major change, embed it amongst the current perception and comprehension of the overall position and direction, and then relativity will kick in, people will distill their own priorities, take ownership and act. It is only then that there is any real potential to integrate key business factors such as people, process, and technology into differentiated business capabilities to overcome challenges, manage changes, and catalyze innovation.

IT-driven digital transformation is the journey of continuous delivery and improvement; it is crucial to set the right priority to survive and thrive from the whirlwind of daily busyness. Prioritization starts with a right mindset to focus on the most critical challenge business needs to overcome, and also engage employees by co-setting their work goals which are stretch out, but not too stressful, in order to run a high-responsive, high-performance and high mature digital organization.


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