Category Archives for "Operational IT Leadership"

Aug 03

How to Handle Partially Implemented Software?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

It is not uncommon that organisations buy software packages and initially only implement a fraction of the available functionality.

After deployment, business leaders often keep asking for new projects, with new budgets, instead of analyzing the full extent of what has been purchased and what else it can be leveraged for.

Considering how expensive the initial purchase was (and often continues to be due to ongoing software maintenace), this seems utterly wasteful.

How should the IT leader approach such a situation?

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Jul 27

What Role Should The COO Have In Our Project Coordination Meetings?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

We have established regular project coordination meetings between team leads in our company and have had great success to streamline project delivery.

Should our new COO be invited to the project coordination committee (he is currently outside of it)?

Due to the role and the fact that we currently don't have a VP2 leader, should this person become the champion for other VP2 opportunities?

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Jul 26

How Can I Prevent Loss of Strategic Momentum When Critical Staff Members Are Ill?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

There are times when Murphy strikes and more than one key staff member is off at the same time - maybe even for an extended period of time.

As the IT Manager, I am the ultimate escalation and fall-back option, so I find myself fielding technical work.

But now all the strategic initiatives that have been started are in jeopardy. How do I make sure they do not grind to a halt?

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Jun 27

Should IT Sell Services to External Customers?

By Mark Geschke | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

In some mid-sized businesses IT has developed unique insights and services that could, in theory at least, be productised and sold to existing customers as a value-add, thereby creating revenue from a function that has traditionally only operated as a cost-centre.

But just because this is possible and usually puts a smile on the faces of business executives, doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. 

How should the IT leader think about and approach such an opportunity?

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Jun 23

Should IT Seek Responsibility for Non-Core Business Activities?

By Mark Geschke | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

IT Managers and CIOs have become masters at managing complexity.

This has not escaped the notice of senior business leaders who sense an opportunity to use this skill for managing some of the other, non-core business functions such as facilities, maintenance and others.

It is quite easy to see how this could save costs for the business, but what does it mean for the IT leader who wants to grow?

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Jun 21

Who Should Handle IT Procurement?

By Mark Geschke | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

IT procurement is the series of activities and procedures in a business for acquiring information technology (IT) hardware, software and services. It involves both strategic and administrative responsibilities and a frequent question of IT leaders in mid-sized businesses is who in the business should handle which parts of the process.

Due to the complexity of making IT purchases, the obvious answer is to keep this within IT and away from the central procurement function. But is this really the right choice when one considers that procurement in general is a fairly well-defined process and requires many other competencies which are not specific to IT at all?

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Apr 11

What is Digital?

By Mathias Tölken | Digital Transformation , Operational IT Leadership , Strategic IT Leadership

Wherever one looks, the word Digital does tend to crop up more and more. Every business publication will have at least one article concerning some aspect of digital. Often the term is used in conjunction with either Disruption or Transformation, but also derivatives like Digitisation and Digitalisation are becoming more and more widely used. And let’s not forget expressions like going digital. But what is meant by this and what is the difference between all these terms?

In this blog I will have a look at several key phrases and words, what they mean and especially how they relate to each other.  

I will conclude with a short, unified definition of the overarching concept of Digital.

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Mar 14

The Speed of Agility: How IT Is Teaching Business a Lesson

By Mathias Tölken | Digital Transformation , Operational IT Leadership , Strategic IT Leadership

In last week's blog I observed that "strategy as we know it is dead" and that the practice of setting BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that last for the next five, ten or even thirty years, is doomed to fail in this fast-paced world.

I then used a word to describe the new state that every organisation should aspire to: agile.

"Agile" (with a capital A) is a term that originated in software development.

But what does it mean?

And more importantly, why and how should we use it to better manage our businesses?

In this blog I will not only answer these questions but also highlight three lessons any business can learn from IT.

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