Mid-Year Staff Performance Reviews

July is our mid-year review. It is an important time to make sure employees are tracking their goals. I am reviewing my staff in 4 areas.

1. Corporate Goals:
Are they meeting the mission of the organization?

2. Departmental Goals:
Are we meeting the goals of the IT departments- KPIs, uptimes, service?

3. Functional Goals 2013:
Areas of individual responsibility. For example – is my helpdesk manager meeting time to resolution or my server manager meeting server uptime? All of which are quantifiable via various metrics.

4. Personal Goals:
This area is general development and fall into the following areas:

Communication
1. Communicates openly & confidently
2. Influences and convinces others in a way that results in acceptance and agreement
3. Shapes Conversations to ensure focus & understanding
4. Speaks frankly, debates at the table, not afterwards
5. Engages in Constructive Confrontation
6. Is a supportive listener
7. Provides clear directions to give desired results

Team Work
1. Works to coordinate efforts/resources within and across teams to deliver on goals
2. Recognizes the importance of teamwork to achieve objectives
3. Brings in ideas, information, suggestions and expertise from others outside the immediate team
4. Proactively supports colleagues and collaborates with the, to help achieve targets
5. Involves the right people (colleagues, vendors, subcontractors,…)to ensure the best decisions are made in a timely manner.
6. Goes out of the way to support other efforts when they notice a gap.

Leadership
1. Carries out systematic and rational analysis to identify the root cause of problems.
2. Provides feedback, input and support to the other parts of the organization for overall organizational improvement
3. Seeks continuous improvement by considering solutions that make novel use of existing ideas, approaches technologies or products.
4. Is able to effectively enlist others in accomplishing a common goal because they want to not because they were told.

Performance review
1. Actively participates in midyear and annual performance reviews with supervisor in a timely manner
2. Ensure development plans are completed as required
3. Identify development needs and take advantage of the training made available
4. Identify processes that could be improved or implemented and head up its development and deployment
5. Actively participate in mentoring of peers outside of core work group

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A CIO’s Christmas List

Dear Santa:

2011 has been an average year. The economy is still sputtering along and budgets are still lean. I have been a good CIO this year and have met my budgets and finished all my projects.

I have tried to be really good by being the best CIO I can. So Santa, this year, I would like the following:

  •  A low-cost cloud service solution that can be secure with a SLA that I can work with.
  • How to get my data to provide accurate business intelligence and analytics.
  • A migration plan to Windows 7. It is time we move away from Windows XP. Really it is time.
  • Applications that can be deployed to mobile devices. These iPads are popping up everywhere.
  • More Siri voice activated devices. I love having conversations with electronic devices.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – #1 game of the year.
  • A lower golf handicap. Okay maybe you cannot help with that, so throw a few lessons in my stocking.

 Thanks Santa and Merry Christmas.

P.S. I left cookies and milk for you on the SAN. Please help yourself but please don’t drop any crumbs. The server manager hates picking up crumbs off the array.

Key Performance Indicators

Every department needs to develop key performance indicators to measure performance. IT is no exception. In fact, it is probably more important for IT to have a set of KPIs to show overall performance in the business. This supports the mission of IT to add value to the organiztion. For my department I have been tracking the following KPIs. I have been tracking on a weekly basis to keep an eye on trends that may develop. Your organization may be different but I would recommend that you track with more frequency then less.

Financial Management:

  • Percent of IT cost vs. total revenue of the
    organization
  • Percent of keeping the lights on cost compared
    to the total IT cost
  • Dollars saved due to productivity improvement
    initiatives
  • Average seat/resource cost trending over (Month
    to Month)(Quarter on Quarter)(Year to Year)
  • Actual spend vs. budget (Month to Month)(Quarter
    on Quarter)(Year to Year)

Project Performance:

  • Percent of projects completed within schedule
    and budget
  • Percent of projects exceeded their original
    schedule and/or budget by xx % (we use 10%)
  • Percent of project time consumed by rework due
    to defect fixes and scope changes
  • Number of known defects released to production
  • Percent of projects initiated without an
    approved business case

Operations Management:

  • Business critical system/application uptime
  • Average turnaround time for fixing production
    incidents
  • Number of production incidents by severity
  • Percent of service requests/tickets closed
    within the SLAs
  • Average time to resolution for service tickets
  • Business time lost due to unscheduled downtime

Information Security:

  • Number of security breaches/incidents in systems
    and infrastructure
  • Percent of systems/applications compliant to
    security policies/standards
  • Percent of security patches applied within
    timelines/deadlines

The above KPIs have been graphed in Excel using the raw data collected. Again I track on a weekly basis which make it easy to slice and dice the data when asked. We have now started the process of incorporating this information into a dashboard format. We are using a product from iDashboard to help convert this data. It is recommended that a developer be involved to write scripts to interpret this data. Taking raw Excel data and importing in iDashboards was not clean and required additional coding. The end result will be to see this information in a clean graphical format wit the push of a button.

CIO Blogs for July 2011

CIO BlogsReinvent Your Training Methods by Chris Curran

Available does not equal best by Eric D. Brown

Transitioning IT from a technical focus to a business focus by IT BS Watch

How to Kill Projects and Develop Agile Programs Part 1 by Isaac Sacolick

Free Answers From Google On How CIOs Can Be Better Managers  by Jim Anderson

Freshman CIO – Transformation in 365 Days

I have reached the end of my one year as a freshman CIO. Having been in IT, managing projects and IT departments for the past 12 years those 3 letters in my title carries the burden of either succeeding or failing miserably. In my case, the last year has been a success.

I was hired to guide my firm through strategic changes. Having the depth of knowledge of working in start-up environments and working through a few M&As, I was able to transform a weak department and set it on a path towards value. This was not easy. The department lacked confidence and direction. I came in with new ideas on how IT should be managed. My philosophy as a CIO is simple. “It’s all about people and processes. Technology is last.”

I had a Two-Phased Plan. I wanted IT to have transparency, accountability and accessibility, I restructured everything we do to align IT with those themes and to deliver a much more customer service-oriented solution.

Such an alignment calls for change, and you cannot make fundamental change without a strategic plan.

With a greater emphasis on IT management I initiated a portfolio-management process. Using my experience working in the financial sector where streamlined IT approaches are common I took each project and developed a cost/benefit analysis showing what the business will gain from these projects. This was a victory. For the first time, the business can see and measure tangible information that IT can and will deliver.

The second phase of the strategic plan was to build a road map for what IT will do over the next year.

Projects focused on strategic and operational initiatives. I had to rebuild my environment and the only way to move forward strategically was to have a stable and scalable operational environment.

In implementing this plan the pace of change was rapid. I set organizational processes, stopped doing some things, got better at others, and started new initiatives. At the end of the day I had to balance business needs with technology needs.

The Difficulty of Being CIO

The Dirty Dozen was a movie from 1967 starring Lee Marvin as a US Army Major assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them on a special mission in World War II. Lee takes a rag tag bunch of misfits and transforms them into a cohesive fighting unit.

Being a CIO is similar to being the Lee Marvin role. As a CIO, it is our responsibility to take a group of people each with their own strengths, weaknesses, experiences, egos, geekyness, and attitudes and transform them into a cohesive team able to manage all aspects of information technology and to ultimately support the business.

Accomplishing such a task is no easy feat for any manager. I am constantly evaluating and reevaluating my staff to utilize their strengths in the best possible manner and compensate for their weaknesses.

While it is easy to replace staff and hire the best and brightest. That is not always the answer. Why? Well, at some point even the “best and brightest” will eventually show their weaknesses. No one can be a superstar all the time. Eventually all stars begin to dim.

To be successful as a CIO, one has to know their staff and understand what they can and cannot do and leverage this knowledge to build a team that can handle anything that is thrown at them.

And like Lee Marvin, not  only do you have to train them; but you have to get them to start acting like a unit.

Season’s Greetings and New Year Wishes from “A CIO’s Voice”

Season’s Greetings:

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy and Warm Holiday Season, and all the best for a prosperous New Year. 
As we close this chapter on 2010, a new chapter begins. Thank you for reading “A CIO’s Voice” and making it a success. I hope you will continue to enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

Very Warm Regards,
Arun Manansingh