The Courage of the Transparent CIO

By Charles Araujo CIO Insight

CIOs need to be open and honest about IT projects. Otherwise, their customers will not be able to make informed decisions and eventually won’t trust the IT organization.

[It is all about trust]

……I remember working with Sam several months later. He asked us to review the business case that had been prepared by the management consulting firm. It called for a $50 million investment over the next two years. We looked at the business case and told him it was crazy. (Okay, we were a bit more tactful than that, but you get the message.) By our estimate, it was a $150 million project that would take at least four years to complete—and probably closer to five. “I’ll never be able to sell that to the board,” Sam told us. “This business case is what they’ll buy.”

So, Sam pitched the business case. And the board bought it. The project was funded and got underway. Two years later, Sam was back in front of the board. The $50 million had been spent. And he was asking for a three-year extension and another $100 million. Of course, at this point, the board felt that they had no choice, so they funded the deal. But the trust between Sam and the board had been eroded. And before that three-year extension transpired, Sam was looking for a new job. READ MORE