C A S E S T U DY
A New CIO’s 100-Day Plan
Setting The Stage For CIO Success
By Lewis Cardin with Alex Cullen and Lauren Sessions April 23, 2007
EXECUT I V E S U M MA RY
When new CIOs start, they have to immediately create momentum and build credibility. High expectations are held by the business community, senior executives, and the IT organization itself — and starting oﬀ on the rightfoot is critical to managing those initial expectations. To manage this initial roller coaster ride, CIOs should create a “First 100-Day Plan.” In 2002, Maurice Chénier was a newly appointed CIO for a recently formed IT organization in one of the largest departments in the Canadian federal government, and his experience provides an excellent example of using the “First 100-Day Plan” to buildcredibility. Now a Director General in the newly formed shared services organization, Chénier attributes much of his success to the creation and execution of the 100-day plan. TARGET AUDIENCE Chief information oﬃcer YOU DON’T GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION CIOs face several challenges when they ﬁrst start. They need to get a handle on perceptions and expectations, pending businesspriorities, and an understanding of the current condition of IT ﬁnancials and human resources. There is a narrow window of time to get an assessment of what needs to be done in the early days, and stakeholders are impatient for visible signs of action from the new IT leadership. Faced with these challenges, the new CIO needs to determine what steps need to be taken in the short term to get initialmomentum, translate that into a plan, and get consensus among all stakeholders for early action. Maurice Chénier, the former CIO for Public Works and Government Services Canada, provides a great example of how best to do this. In his ﬁrst days as CIO, he knew that he had to quickly get in front of his stakeholders with an IT plan. Spending the ﬁrst few months absorbed in planning activity with notangible visible results wasn’t going to cut it, and conversely, committing to a business plan, a strategic plan, and an enduring organizational and governance model with clear mandates and accountabilities within a few months in the role was impossible and irresponsible. Chénier knew that the ﬁrst 100 days in the position were critical to his success, and he noted, “The First 100 Days initiative isnecessary for CIO success. It is not an option.”
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Case Study | A New CIO’s 100-Day Plan
MAURICE CHÉNIER’S 100-DAY PLAN To ﬂesh out his 100-day plan framework, Chénier conducted brieﬁngs during his ﬁrst two weeks that set the stage forcreating and evolving a 100-day plan. The purpose of these brieﬁngs was to:
· Construct the agenda for the 100-day plan. Drafting the short-term plan template that made
sense to the execs formed the basis for Chénier’s dialogue. Like a plan for a plan, this framework outlined high-level action topics and formed the basis for dialogue during the brieﬁngs. It also set the measures of achievementfor the 100-day plan with stakeholders.
· Ensure that current assumptions were clear and valid. Chénier entered the role with a set of
preconceptions about where IT was, and where it needed to go, in the enterprise. Conﬁrmation of these assumptions with execs upfront meant no surprises during the execution of the 100-day plan.
· Baseline current issues and opportunities. The businesscommunity had perceptions of what
needed to be improved in IT and where the prospects for IT impact lay. These needed to be articulated in the plan as action items. The new IT organization itself needed to buy into and contribute to the plan — they, with the CIO, were a signiﬁcant source of intel on the challenges to be met and opportunities to be identiﬁed and incorporated into the plan (see...
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