The role of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is one of the least defined and understood. The duties and capabilities of the CTO position is often tied directly to the adherence of technology in a given business. A CTO is generally responsible for defining the technical vision of the business and managing all facets of technology, companywide. Effective CTOs develop strategy and processes that will align this vision according to business direction and growth objectives.
Specific duties include leading the strategy for technology platforms and procedures, partnerships and external relationships with partners and vendors as well as building and managing the technology capabilities of the internal or external technology team. Establishing and enforcing standards and processes. A CTO will often collaborate with other members of the executive team to assess and recommend technologies in support of company goals.
Our Communication Philosophy and How It Is Different
Communication – Clear, Concise and Effective We here at Leale Solutions differentiate ourselves by demonstrating our ability to provide clear, concise and effective communications. This is a pillar of strength at Leale Solutions. As contributors to our mutual projects and success, each member of Leale Solutions is an effective communicator. We speak business and technology, people and process.
Communication is defined as the imparting or exchanging of information or news. From our perspective, the key element of this definition is the word ‘exchanging’. Exchanging information or dialogue is critical for clear, concise and effective communications. This involves listening, reiterating documenting and verifying information during dialog. Below we outline our philosophy and communications strategy.
You can read much more on our communications philosophy and how it relates to real world solutions: Leale Solutions Communications
Expectation Management – This DOES NOT mean lowering your expectations The CTO needs to act as a sounding board and conduit for other executives, business stakeholders, vendors and employees. A CTO has his finger on the pulse of what is attainable for the business from a technology perspective. A CTO needs to be able to determine if company initiatives that require technology interaction are actually attainable with the given resources. A CTO will provide strategies to solve problems regarding technology. The answers may not always be yes, yes, yes, but they are realistic. A CTO should offer suggestions to facilitate sound solutions. A good CTO will be able to elaborate and detail on what implementing those solutions will cost. A great CTO can calculate the ROI of a requested solution based on the business conditions. We here at Leale Solutions consider ourselves great candidates for CTO because we regularly perform these duties with an emphasis on ROI. As fellow business stakeholders, ROI is a key element for our decisions. You can read more on our ROI philosophy. This does not dampen our expectations. Application of this philosophy details what it takes to accomplish projects, what it will cost and how quickly you can expect a return on your investment.
Measuring Throughput – Capacity measurement and planning Measurement is a philosophy that permeates every nook and cranny here at Leale Solutions. One of our most effective measurements is throughput. Measuring throughput is critical to understand what is possible with the available resources. We can’t fit more than 5 lbs of sugar into a 5 lbs bag. Effective management techniques dictate that it is important to measure how much sugar we really have before we gain access to another bag. Measuring the throughput and capacity of the IT team is a critical step in understanding if business vision and goals are attainable with current capacity. Informed decisions can be made once a solid understanding of throughput is attained. Our philosophy for measuring throughput is gleaned through our use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You can read more about our KPI philosophy.
Ever Changing Priority – The most important items when they are needed The 500 BC philosopher Heraclitus stated that ‘The only thing that is constant is change’. This is just as true today as is it was when he uttered these words more than 2500 years ago. An effective and successful CTO knows that the business landscape is always evolving and changing. Often there are urgent tasks and projects. There are even emergencies and game changing opportunities. An effective CTO can help filter out the ‘white noise’ and help business focus in on the most important items that are needed NOW that facilitate accomplishing the goals to enable the business to meet its objectives. This extends well beyond technology. A business’ most important asset is the right people. A business must have appropriate processes. Technology is the ribbon that binds people and process. Here at Leale Solutions we have the CTO level experience to effective guide your business through the ever changing priorities to ensure that your business goals are accomplished through the clutter.
Effective Project Management – Plan the work then work the plan We take a very practical approach to project management that can be summed up in one phrase. We plan the work then work the plan. To round the corners and produce more fluid solutions we have expanded on this philosophy. We have adopted a 10 point system to ensure effective project management. Our system includes:
- Plan the work then work the plan. Documentation is key.
- Create a planning horizon. We use workplans and estimations.
- Define project management procedures up front. And communicate them to the team.
- Manage the workplan and monitor the schedule and budget. We stay on task, on budget.
- Constant vigilance. We measure progress.
- Manage scope. Changes require sponsor approval, deadlines change.
- Communicate and mitigate ‘scope creep’ through proactivity.
- Identify risks up front, documentation.
- Assess potential risks throughout the project.
- Resolve issues as quickly as possible.
You can read about our detailed effective project management philosophy.