Sunday, June 8, 2008

Some stories from the road

It feels like summer here in New Hampshire. It’ll be over 90F (32C) today and pretty humid, making me long for the cold of winter. Of course, one way to avoid the weather is to go on the road - spending time in air conditioned airports, airplanes and hotels.

While on the road over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at and facilitating a number of executive roundtable events across the US. It’s been great meeting some new people, learning about their businesses and the challenges they face.

Here are three things that I’ve learned recently:

  • Whether companies are publicly saying so or not, IT budgets are getting cut. This has been confirmed by everyone that I’ve spoken to in the past few weeks. In some cases I have heard of explicit cuts of 5% or more. In other cases, additional levels of approval or scrutiny, delay spending beyond the budget “window” – causing a “de facto” budget cut.
  • Many feel “stuck” in their ability to drive Performance Management (EPM) initiatives within their companies. I spoke to one woman who felt completely hopeless in her efforts to inspire management to move forward with an EPM initiative. My advice was to try and partner with Finance to break the logjam. However, sometimes that’s not possible – e.g., politics, lack of CFO vision.
  • The inclination to buy “yet-another-tool” remains strong – even though most acknowledge it’s the wrong thing to do. Of course, vendors like to sell more technology. However, most organizations already have plenty. What they lack is a roadmap and the vision to properly deploy it. But, buying another tool is so much easier than addressing the real problem: a lack of management commitment and organization dysfunction.

Next week I’ll be off to Copenhagen for IM2008. I’ve checked the weather forecast and it’s supposed to be much cooler than home, making it possible to be outside and cool at the same time. I can’t wait!

All the best,


Check out my website for details on where I'll be speaking, presentation abstracts, articles, my book and more!