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Fostering Innovation How to Build an Amazing IT Team

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2022-03-09
  • Publisher: Wiley

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Proven and practical strategies for leading IT teams and departments

In Fostering Innovation: How to Build an Amazing IT Team, accomplished technology strategist, executive, and leader Andrew Laudato delivers an eye-opening exploration of how to design, build, staff, and run a high-performing IT department. The book is filled with universally applicable strategies and techniques that can transform any IT team into an all-star cast perfectly aligned with your organization’s objectives.

Incorporating proven and practical processes throughout the narrative, the book offers useful continuous improvement concepts the reader can apply to their team, company, and professional development. Readers will also find:

  • Foolproof ways to put people before technology
  • Detailed discussions of perennially important topics, like the importance of uptime, how to deploy redundancy, and creating the perfect organization chart
  • Strategies for managing and motivating the wonderfully unique individuals we refer to as "technologists."

The perfect resource for newly minted Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers, Fostering Innovation will also earn a place in the libraries of non-technical professionals who work closely with IT, and business leaders seeking a better understanding of how to lead an IT team.

Author Biography

ANDREW LAUDATO is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the health and wellness retailer, The Vitamin Shoppe. He leads operations across e-commerce, information technology, enterprise portfolio management, supply chain, strategic sourcing, quality, and commercialization. A leader in digital transformation, he is passionate about the fusion of people, process, and technology. Learn more at andrewlaudato.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction xxv

Part I Become an Empathetic Leader 1

1 Hey, What Do You Know? 3

Build Your Skillset 3

Grow Through Listening 4

A Proactive Mindset 5

2 An Amazing IT Department? What’s That? 7

3 Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong 9

A Tale of Two Projects 10

The Downward Spiral of Micromanagement 11

Part II Four Steps to Innovate 15                                          

4 The Right Foundation 17

Set Expectations 17

Build Trust 18

Share Your Values 19

5 The Laudato Hierarchy of IT Needs 21

6 Keep the Lights On (KTLO) 23

7 Lean and Efficient IT 25

8 Create Value 27

Cost Reduction 28

Increase Revenues and Enable Opportunities 28

Reduce Risk 29

9 Let’s Innovate 31

Develop the Mindset 32

Dedicate Resources 32

Embrace Risk 33

Idea Generation 33

Rapid Prototyping 34

10 CIO Report Card 35

Part III Develop a Winning Culture 37

11 Culture Eats Eggs and Strategy Eats Bacon, or Something to that Effect 39

The Wrong Way to Develop Culture 41

Building a Strong Culture 42

How Can a CIO Influence Culture? 42

The Blue Bloods 43

12 The Boxes, the Lines, and the Dashes 45

Step 1: Identify Your Functions and Business Needs 46

Step 2: Create an Org Chart 46

Step 3: Run Use Cases 46

Step 4: Identify Skills 47

Step 5: Review Your Team 47

13 Org Design—Just Show Me the Answer 49

Support 49

Cyber-Security 50

Portfolio Manager 50

HR Partner 51

Finance Partner 52

Executive Assistant 52

14 Organizational Design and Culture 53

15 It’s Not the Play, It’s the Player 55

16 Take Care of Those Peeps 57

Ask People What They Want from Their Career 58

Spend the Most Time with Your Best People 58

Provide Career Development Planning 59

Always Support Your Team, Even When They’re Wrong 59

Be a Diode 60

Have a Real Open-Door Policy 60

Listen 61

Only Make Changes that Are Necessary 62

Provide Fair and Timely Feedback 62

Be Kind Enough to Let Someone Go 63

17 Hire the Best 65

18 The Best Team Is a Diverse Team 69

19 Using Mercenaries—I Mean, Consultants 71

Management Consultants 71

Project-Based Consultants 72

Offshore, Nearshore, Onshore 74

Staff Augmentation 75

Boutique Firms 76

20 The Power of Experts 77

21 Build that Network 81

Formal CIO Networks 82

Navigating a Cocktail Party 83

Social Media 84

22 Good Advice Doesn’t Come Cheap; It’s Free 87

Part IV Deliver to Delight: a Collection of Usable Tips and Tools 89

23 The Written Word—a.k.a IT Strategy 91

Align Your Strategy 91

Create Your Strategy 92

Put Your Strategy into Action 94

24 It’s the Uptime, Stupid 95

Measuring Uptime 96

Nuances of Measuring Uptime 97

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) 98

When You Have a Problem, Proclaim It Loudly 98

Troubleshooting 99

Let Them Eat Cake 101

Change Management 101

Daily Meeting 101

Annual Readiness 102

25 If It’s Important, You Better Get Two 103

Redundancy and Probability Math 105

The Only True Test 106

Does Any of This Matter in the Cloud? 106

26 Lock It Down 107

27 Lean and Efficient IT 109

Software 110

Legality 111

Cloud Services 111

Telcom 112

Professional Services 113

Capital Expenses Drive Operating Expenses 114

The Small Stuff 114

Reduction in Force 115

Less Is More 116

28 What Should I Work on First? 117

29 Limit Your Work in Process (WIP) 121

30 One List to Rule Them All 123

Create Your List 124

Rank Your List 124

Create a Standard Deviation Report 125

Communicate Priorities 126

Cumulative Total 126

Operationally Required Projects 127

Be Ready for Line Jumpers 128

Moving Forward 129

31 Portfolio/Program/Project Management 131

Consistency Creates Speed 131

Ranked Project List 132

A Unified Calendar 132

Big Room Planning 133

Project Charter 133

A Project Schedule Is Not a Project Plan 134

Kanban 134

Agile Mindset 135

Keep Teams Intact 135

Part V Develop Key Business Proficiency for Maximum IT Efficiency 137

32 Love Your HR Department, Just Don’t “Love” Your HR Department 139

Compensation 140

Employee Relations 141

Learning and Development 142

Payroll and Benefits 143

Organizational Design 143

Talent Acquisition 143

33 If I Wanted to Be a Lawyer, I Would Have Gone to Law School 145

Licensing Models 145

The Cloud 146

Indemnification 147

Limitation of Liability 147

Breach/Litigation 147

Force Majeure 147

Accounting Considerations 148

Data Ownership and Preservation 148

Cyber-Security 149

Unsavory Practices 149

End-User License Agreement (EULA) 150

Changing Terms on an Invoice 151

Virtualization 151

Hyperlinks 151

Relationships over Contracts 152

Software Audits 152

Other Involvement with the Legal Department 152

34 Let’s Make a Deal 155

35 Accounting, My Worst Subject 157

Chargebacks 158

Showbacks 159

Remedial Accounting Starts Here 159

General Ledger 159

Accruals 159

Balance Sheet 159

Income Statement 160

Statement of Cash Flows 160

Capital Expenses (CapEx) vs Operating Expenses (OpEx) 160

Capitalized Internal Labor 161

Depreciation 161

Write-Off 162


Return on Investment (ROI) 162

Lookback ROI 163

36 Learn Your Business, Inside and Out 165

Part VI Straighten Up and Fly Right 167

37 What You Should Have Learned in Kindergarten 169

38 Professionalism Isn’t Just Wearing a Suit 173

Complain the Right Way 174

Don’t Allow Gossip 174

Make Your Word Gold 174

Keep a Secret 175

Don’t Yell, Curse, or Pound the Table 175

Assume Everything Will Get Out 175

Remove Stress from Your Boss 176

Just a Little Bit Better 176

39 What You Do Matters—You’re Always on the Clock 177

40 Vendors and Frendors 179

41 A Word to the Vendors 181

42 Be a Cool Customer 183

43 Get Your Butt in Shape 185

Sleep 185

Weight Management 186

Nutrition 186

Exercise 187

Part VII Final Tips and Advice 189

44 When Something Goes Wrong 191

Step 1: Leap into Action 191

Step 2: Assess Things 192

Step 3: Plan Your Response 192

Step 4: Communicate 192

Step 5: Monitor the Situation 192

Step 6: Learn from It 193

45 When Others Come Knocking 195

46 What’s Wrong with Outsourcing? 197

47 Switching Jobs 199

Should I Stay, or Should I Go? 200

Make the Move 200

On-Board Yourself 201

48 Technology Matters 203

49 Conclusion 205

Notes 207

Index 213

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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