Some levels in Angry Birds can be accomplished using one bird very efficiently. Hit a crossbeam at just the right place and the structures tumble one in on one other. In others, it takes all the birds at your disposal just to clear the scene. CIOs need to understand the complexity of a project before selecting the team, or they need to be willing to learn quickly. An apparently simple project may be hiding unforeseen complications. When those occur, CIOs need to reset and invest new resources (or, as in 3 above, restart all together). IT successes hinge on actual rather than abstract complexity.
It has been my experience that the implementation, deployment and adoption side of IT projects are usually the most complex, and are also the most understaffed. CIOs with in-house built systems ready to deploy, or newly acquired systems, often face huge obstacles when it comes to realizing the value of their investments. That's because they haven't admitted that they need more birds to get the end users up-to-speed.
10. There is more than one way to win
A lob or a straight shot. Start from the back and end with the front. Each approach in Angry Birds can potentially result in a solid score. If you get locked into one approach though, you might never discover how to achieve the maximum score. CIOs should be open to new ideas about how to use existing technology, and receptive to suggestions about how emerging technologies could benefit the organization.
Taking the safe route every time is the antithesis of innovation. If you really want to win, you need to take risks. IT can be a competitive differentiator, or it can be a form of just making due. The CIO capable of distinguishing between those two, and selecting the former, will find them, and their organizations, on the leader board.
Daniel W. Rasmus is an IT industry analyst and strategist living in Washington. He is the author of 'Listening to the Future' and 'Management by Design'. He can be reached via Twitter at @DanielWRasmus.