Fixing the “Malfunctions” of the CIO

Malfunction Stamp

Malfunction StampI just read “The Four Malfunctions of a CIO” by Joe Scherrer and wanted to expand a but on what Joe writes about.   Before I do that, let me share the ‘four malfunctions’ that Joe highlights. They are:

  • Not knowing yourself.
  • Not communicating well.
  • Inability to communicate the business value of IT.
  • Not being organized.

These are definite malfunctions but they are ‘fixable’.  Joe provides some good advice on how to go about resolving these particular malfunctions. I won’t rehash his solutions here but I recommend you jump over and read them yourself.

I shared Joe’s post earlier today via Twitter and quickly had a great question from @zach_g about any ‘additions’ that I’d add to the article.  I was already thinking about writing something but Zach pushed me over the edge to get this post published.  Thanks Zach! 🙂

While I agree with Joe’s “malfunctions”, there’s a few more that I’d like to add to the list.  They are listed below and a discussion of each follows.

  • Not understanding the user base within your organization.  This is a difficult thing to ‘solve’, but it is a must for any CIO to address.  If the CIO (or IT) doesn’t truly understand the users within the organization, no technology solution can possibly deliver what the business needs.
  • Focusing on the ‘solution’ over the ‘problem.’  Many times, we within IT tend to focus on the solution rather than the larger problem we are asked to solve. We call something ‘complete’ once we’ve met a set of requirements and then we move on to the next solution to implement. We move from one project to the next without looking at the bigger picture of the business, which includes the larger business problems that cannot be solve with piecemeal solutions.
  • Not pushing ‘agility’ as a core capability of IT.  The modern (and future) IT group must be an agile one. It’s no longer good enough to focus on processes and systems and keeping the lights on…the IT group has got to be able to work at the pace of business today, which is not the pace that we are used to working within the IT group.  Agility will bring rapid change for the better to both the IT group and the organization as a whole.

What are some additional ‘malfunctions’ that see with CIO’s today?