Leading Digital Transformation? Ask this question -> What is Everyone Working On?

What is Everyone Working On
The most simple of questions easily exposes the messiness of running IT organizations. The larger the organization, the more likely this simple question will lead to others that expose larger business, execution, talent, funding, process, governance and other issues.

It's the first question I ask as a new CIO and it's one that I repeat through monthly project portfolio reviews. It's particularly important to do in the months leading into budget season so you have the means to update roadmaps and promote new investments. It's a more critical discipline for organizations that are executing a digital transformation program, growing revenue rapidly, exploring strategic positions, or driving a business turnaround.

Why Portfolio Management is Important for Digital Transformation?

Portfolio management is a boring topic. Many CEOs loathe the bureaucracy and have a tainted view of the practice based on failures by the "Project Management Office", investments in management consultants, technology investments and other mechanisms to organize and prioritize initiatives.

So why is it critical for CEOs, CIOs, CFOs and CMOs to address this challenge? Here are a few reasons

  • Some of the best ideas come from employees and are not top down driven from strategic priorities.
  • Organizations need to pivot, speed up, slow down and stop initiatives with more frequency and agility as market conditions change, new customer opportunities are discovered, and competitive threats become disruptive.
  • Most strategic initiatives can no longer be executed well in silos and require staffing, expertise, and operational changes in multiple departments.
  • Improving customer experience is not just about front end customer interactions. Organizations also need to consider how to make operations more responsive, how to make data more accessible, how to address security or compliance requirements, and how to drive out costs in order to succeed at transformation.

So, if you have a portfolio practice are you updating it for the digital speed? If you don't have one, are you looking for a nimble way to implement it?

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.