by Georgina Swan

Five things I’ve learned – Barry Wiech

Oct 30, 2010
CareersIT LeadershipIT Management

1. Right size your team

It is so important to success that you have a good team that suits the environment you are creating. When arriving in a new environment not all staff will immediately fit your plans or direction, so it is important to make a true assessment of how you can help these team members to fit and make a real difference. A cohesive team can definitely be the difference between success and failure, so spend a lot of time on getting it right.

2. Share the vision

It all starts with a vision of what the end goal is and what type of IT environment you want to work towards as the business grows and evolves. It is extremely important to continually share this vision over and over again so that everyone is working with the same goals in mind. When your own team begins to share with others the vision you know they have finally got it. The vision will change over time so it is critical that sharing become entrenched within the team.

3. The three Ls — Listen, Learn, Live

When coming into Domino’s, I made a point of going out to the leaders in our organisation (not necessarily just the managers and executive) to find out what IT meant to their role. It was all about listening, not interrupting, not providing solutions or ideas, just listening. Learning about what people did and how technology played a part gave me a lot of understanding of where IT needed to head in the future. In Domino’s, we have a great program in place that allows head office and support staff to experience our core business activities. Pizza Prep was created to help understand our store environment and the challenges faced in our core business. Living the store culture and operations really prepared me for my journey in Domino’s and shaped how I needed to think about IT vision, strategy, and execution.

4. Communication is a two-way process

Many CIOs have said it before but it can never be reinforced enough — communication is critical between IT and the business. It is a two-way process, not just communicating to the business about IT programs, projects and issues but also listening and receiving valuable feedback from all levels of your organisation. Without effective communication failure is inevitable.

5. Be commercial

It has to be said that many project failures can be attributed to building the ‘Taj Mahal’ solution rather than the ‘three bedroom brick veneer’ which was actually all that was needed to do the job. It is certainly important to ensure that any solution fits in with the overall strategy you are laying out for IT but not at the expense of being commercial in your organisation. Assess risk carefully and balance any approach to problem solving with technology to ensure a good fit for purpose, and always involve the business in your decision making process where possible.