Having a 90 Day Plan to guide your first 90 days in a new job is the difference between a successful start to your new job or giving your new boss concerns over hiring you. Don’t worry though, creating a 90 Day Plan doesn’t take a lot of effort especially if you use the sample CIO 90 Day Plan Kit of templates I provide here your starting point.
90 Day Plan for your First 90 Days
Candidates for CIO job will likely find employers looking for candidates to present at least a basic 90 day plan as part of the selection process. Even if they don’t ask for a sample, it is an absolute must that you have one ready to go on day one in order to avoid the 5 Signs Your New Job May Be A Disaster I covered in my last post.
A 90 Day Plan for new CIO job is not all that complicated as it is more of a structured set of tasks to keep you focused on what matters most in your new role. If you are taking an internal promotion, avoid the temptation to not create a 90 Day Plan since it will help you separate from your old duties and begin seeing things from a different perspective.
CIO 90 Day Plan Templates
I have gathered 90 day plan templates and 90 day plan samples from previous 90 day plans I have used myself and with clients and packaged them here so that you can use them in setting yourself up for success.
The CIO 90 Day Plan Kit offered here has now been used by over 1000 first time CIO’s and experienced CIO’s starting a new job.
The model I use relies on a simple task list you should amend as appropriate that takes you through affirming the guiding principles for your first 90 days, updating your professional contacts, and assessing your organization. The assessment relies on you making the assessment through the eyes of your key stakeholders and customers, your new staff, and directly through examinations of critical areas.
A sample questionnaire for use with stakeholders and your executive peers is included along with a sample for presenting the results of your assessment at the end of your first 30 days.
Reporting out is critical and should be done first to your staff, then to the executive committee followed by department heads, and other constituents – really anybody who will listen. This is so you can validate your findings before moving into developing your plan based on your findings.
The CIO 90 Day Plan Kit includes two files containing:
- CIO 90 Day Plan Checklist
- CIO 90 Day Plan Assessment Questionnaire
- CIO 90 Day Plan Executive Questionnaire Supplement
- CIO 90 Day Plan Assessment Finding Presentation
90 Day Plan Getting Started
Schedule 30 minute one-on-ones with key stakeholders and all IT staff. Ideally you can have this setup for you before your first day. Use the questionnaire to guide the conversation focusing on what they would do if they were in your shoes using the Stop-Start-Continue approach.
Summarize what you hear and compare the IT staff perspective to the customer’s perspective. For executives, use the Supplement to gauge the where your peers see your focus along the continuum of being strategic versus tactical.
Examine everything in the most efficient way you can. Think like an auditor, not a new CIO. You are trying to do your own SWOT of your organization and develop your knowledge quickly. Avoid letting yourself get pulled into operational issues in the first 30-days. This is your time to learn and connect with stakeholders. Summarize the main themes and findings. But do not make any recommendations yet – not even a hint.
Present your findings and open up for validation. Amend for anything you got wrong or overlooked. Congratulations, you have just completed assessing the current state. Now begins the process of determining what the desired future state should be. Again, rely heavily on your questionnaire results because it represents the voice of your customer.
90 Day Plan Resources
Begin discussions with your management team on your conclusions and the likely initial outline of the desired future state. Consider the suggestions from this blog on how to focus this activity so it doesn’t get out of hand. Review the following:
- 5 – S’s to IT Strategic Planning
- Chainsaw Theory to IT Management and Governance
- YES – The New IT Strategy
- BYOPC – (Part 2) The New IT Strategy
- Developing an IT Service Strategy (Part 1)
- Developing and IT Service Strategy (Part 2)
Once you have the Desired Future State solidified or as solid as it can be by day 60, share it. Share it with everyone and anyone. Internally with peers and stakeholders, externally with partners, suppliers, distributors, and the community. You are looking for any signs of resistance, holes, and support.
Then start executing and looking for feedback. This is easier said than done. I realize large numbers of professionals believe in riding out the honeymoon period. I don’t. We are hired because of the results we will deliver and our expertise, not to sit idly by for 6 or 12 months to get a feel for things.
If you were hired to “maintain” the status-quo, maybe that is another sign your job will be a disaster. Especially if you think of yourself as a leader more than as a manager.
Your first 90 days are the best and possibly only shot at making big strides on old issues. If you followed the process in the CIO 90 Day Plan with an open mind, you should have everything you need to begin executing. Now share your progress – successes, failures, and adjustments. Write a campus blog and get out of your office.
As a final thought: CEO/presidents or CFO and HR who find they have a struggling CIO, consider offering this post as a lifeline to help your new CIO achieve success. If you are a CIO who may have started your new position a while back and need to get things on track, it is never too late to regroup and get things back on track.