Colin Ellis: Why Senior Managers Are the Secret Sauce for Project Success
Colin Ellis is a culture change specialist and author of best-seller ‘The Conscious Project Leader’. He brought to this edition of CIO Edge his extensive experience as a senior executive for some of the largest public sector organisations across Australia and New Zealand.
In his presentation he challenged Australia’s top technology leaders to adopt flexibility in their own thinking to encourage innovative ideas from their team.
“Despite its non-hierarchical dynamic, agility within teams still needs guidance. Employees look to CIOs as a role model of what adaptive collaboration looks like,” he said. “Agility in culture is not one that a one-off scrum course can fix. You need to intensely scrutinise your staff’s personal and team work habits.”
To do this, Ellis said CIOs should adopt an owner’s mindset and make difficult calls on dropping projects that are proving unsuccessful. This will ensure that projects progress, even if incrementally. It is also very important to empower senior personnel with information to make decisions, spend money, and communicate directly with the customer.
- If you’re handling more than four IT projects as CIO, you’re handling too many.
- Agility is more than a quick fix. It is centred around changing work habits interdepartmentally.
- Project failure is the result of either poor project sponsorship or poor project management.
- Project managers must take ownership, keep the project moving, and ensure timely delivery.