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CIO by the numbers

CIO by the numbers

Posted by Robert Lilley on 11 Jun 2015 16:40:16 | 0 Comments

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Building a stand for the CIO Summit was going to be a challenge. We are a consultancy and don’t have a product to put on a plinth and say “Buy One, get one free” and whilst the Racing Car and 1990’s Arcade Games were cool, they just weren’t us. In the end we decided we were there to raise awareness of who we were and what we did so we drew a simple line showing the elements we bring to a project and the value our full lifecycle approach delivers. To make it interactive we then decided to invite passers-by to place a business card sized man (nicely branded with the Friday logo) on the subject they thought would be their biggest challenge. What we discovered was very enlightening.

At last count CIO2015 had 550 attendees. Of those 76 visited our stand and placed a Man on our banner, that’s 13% of attendees so we hope this information is a reasonable representation of the voice of CIO NZ.Inc.

The attendees could have chosen from any of the following:

-PMO and Project & Programme Management or Requirements gathering

- Enterprise and Solution Architecture

- Business Structure

- Organisational Change Management or

- Operational Effectiveness

We had also put Business Strategy and Objectives as the precursor to the projects actually happening, and Business Value & Success as the outcomes we hope to achieve from the projects. We were pleasantly surprised when these area’s were also considered a challenge by those who took part in our experiment.

And here are the results we discovered:

-          Organisational Change Management topped the poll with 23% of participants seeing it as a concern

-          Operational Effectiveness was a challenge for 20% of participants, with a third of them being challenged by service providers who don’t step up and deliver (harsh but true), or work to the contact not the outcome

-          Architecture is a challenge for 12%

-          The PMO received 3% of comments, Project Management and Programme Management got 7% and “developers” were seen to be a challenge by one attendee.

-          18% believe strategy is the biggest challenge, with comments such as “lack of clarity”, “changing too much” or “work in progress” being mentioned. We had never intended for this to be part of the scope of our activity so it was interesting how many saw it as a challenge and tagged it!

-          Equally, how strategy is translated into activity was seen by 5% as a challenge. Oddly no one commented about this on Day One, but by the end of Day Two four people had marked it as a concern!

-          And finally where we had put “Value” on the banner where value was customer acquisition, revenue, risk management of compliance. Value was considered a challenge for almost 7% of participants who saw that trying to define this as a challenge.

We had graphics by the side of some of the points, such as a 3 dimensional cube by the side of the word “Scope” for project Management, scope as in time, cost scope . . .interestingly 3% considered that a challenge! Achieving “Success” was also seen to be a challenge by one person: I guess perception is everything!

As for the mood of the participants, well almost everyone put their name on the back of the Man and we thank you for that: we will be in touch. Three people chose to be anonymous and we will respect their requests . . . or did they just not want to be called by a salesman! So most were willing volunteers.

The fine print: Everyone had a story to tell as to why they placed their Man where they did. We didn’t guide them in their decision (and when nine people from the same organisation all choose different points we didn’t comment). This activity was intended to be a fun and interactive so please don’t quote me in any scientific journals or challenge the statistical accuracy of the results. But do call me if you want to talk about your experience.

We hope you found this exercise as interesting as we did.

See you next year at CIO2016.

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