IT leaders should determine how much capacity the IT department has and limit the number of open projects to what IT can handle. Expect the amount of projects to be smaller than you want, says Baschab, but "be rest assured that projects will actually get done on time and on budget for once."
Manage Vendors Better
The recipe for keeping your vendors in line, says Baschab, is to insist on favorable contracts and aggressively manage your vendor relationships after the sale is done.
More specifically, you must continually "determine which vendors are producing well and which are sapping IT budgets with inflated fees and unproductive timelines," says Baschab, who adds that IT managers and CIOs should not hesitate to drop bad vendors and migrate business to productive vendors.
When negotiating with a vendor, IT should demand the best pricing or threaten to open a new RFP (request for proposal). They should also ask vendors how they measure their client satisfaction internally.
"Require a report card from each vendor each quarter, and hold them to a set standard," says Baschab.
Improve Fiscal Management and Budgeting
Every IT leader needs to be able to explain to senior management any budget irregularities, and have a clear understanding of costs versus revenues.
"CIOs must recognize that most companies must generate $10 in revenue to cover every $1 spent on IT," says Baschab.
It behooves a CIO to get a reputation for saving the company money by "making do" and by holding capital expenditure requests for must-have projects.
"CIOs must become a business resource for the senior management team by suggesting ways to lower the company's overall cost through the use of IT," says Baschab.
Mend Fences Between Business Users and IT
A CIO must do whatever possible to reduce finger-pointing across departments, says Baschab. Members of the IT department need to get along with business users (or try very hard) and collaborate with them regularly. If you don't engage with business users, you should not get promoted, says Baschab.
"Effective business user relationships should be part of the appraisal and promotion process for all IT team members," he says.
What's a good way to bring the business side and IT together? Well, food of course.
"CIOs should have two lunches per week with business unit managers and members of the senior management and steering committee," Baschab says.