Project Management

Effective IT Leadership: What is the CIO's Role?

Sreekumar A. Menon, PMP, SSBB, SCPM, is a Senior Manager in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The CIO holds the key in establishing IT as a part of the strategic business plan. They can help drive initiated changes across the organization while collaborating and delegating ownership. However, CIOs must also focus on maximizing outcomes with results in order to dramatically change the perception and actual value of IT in the eyes of the business.

Leadership plays a significant role in the change management process, and organizational change becomes ineffective without strong leadership. We know that changes are constant and unavoidable; successful change must begin with an effective leader who can lead the challenge. CIOs must provide high value to the organization rather than just taking orders from stakeholders. Leaders who manage change must also suggest new initiatives to the business that can provide value beyond just what stakeholders suggest.

Significant steps
The steps that can yield quick results as well as help with a long-term action plan while managing change include:

  • Looking for ideas (pattern) and their origins
  • Evaluating the influence of leaders
  • Checking the flow of approval for those ideas
  • Determining one’s own role in the flow
  • Explaining the goals as unselfish and for better outcome and agility to the business
  • Initiating a positive PR campaign targeting top executives
  • Seeking and asking for a strategic planning role

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