No two roles are exactly alike, and even titles vary from organization to organization. However, most IT chiefs of staff should have responsibility over the following areas:
Key Activities for the IT Chief of Staff
1. Communicating IT Strategy and Performance
Understanding and managing each stakeholder’s level of support or resistance to the IT strategy can reduce barriers to strategy execution.
Leading IT chiefs of staff identify and isolate influential individuals or small stakeholder groups based on their understanding of each strategyic initiative, as well as their interpersonal influence. They then manage the individuals based on the effort required verses their risk to the strategy, using customized communications and focused interactions to identify personal and emotional connections.
2. Strategic Planning
Less than 25% of business partners rate IT’s strategy and planning efforts as effective. Many IT organizations struggle to clearly define a strategy, tie it back to business goals, and establish credible execution plans.
Leading IT chiefs of staff ensure their goals are informed by business strategy and look for creative ways to bring new and innovative ideas into the planning process.
3. IT Performance Measurement
IT performance measurement requires metrics that are predictive, proactive, and strategic. Unfortunately, most of the attention and investment devoted to performance measurement goes toward IT measurement systems and scorecards built around retrospective, operational metrics.
Leading IT chiefs of staff move from a balanced, equally weighted view of their performance to an unbalanced scorecard to highlight business enablement and value creation efforts. They use the IT scorecard for more than just data reporting, including looking for new opportunities for value creation, not just value demonstration.