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2015

As you may have seen, I have accepted a new role with the Technology Business Management Council -- General Manager. This means I'm now responsible for its entire mission which spans delivering Standards, Education and Collaboration for CIOs and their peers on managing the business of IT. It's a very exciting time in my career, and I appreciate everyone's words of encouragement.

Taking this step caused me to think back to how it all began. One moment stands out for me: shortly after our founding the TBM Council as a non-profit organization back in 2012, I assembled a crack team of our principal members to discuss the TBM book and the TBM framework (see picture above). We had 18 PMs there: Chuck Niethold (VP of TBM at First American), Rob Webb (then CIO of Hilton Worldwide, now CIO at Etihad Airlines), Majid Iqbal (principal author of ITIL v3), Joe Rafter (now Sr. Director of Enterprise Change at PG&E), Chris Levitt (formerly CFO of IT at Con-way and now with Apptio), Tony Bishop (now VP of Global Enterprise at Equinix), Josh Sparaga (now VP of Technology Governance at Univision), Dan Cavey (now TBM Consultant at PNC), Susan Blew (then Senior Business Leader at Visa) and many more.

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We had a very productive meeting. But what I recall most was the shared sentiment, that we're all in this together. In fact, during our introductions at the start of our two days together, after several executives shared their reason for participating in the TBM Council, Sue said, "I feel like I found a home. This is my band of homies." Of course, we chuckled, but we all felt it rang true: everyone in the group was in a similar situation.

What was that situation that brought us together? They said things like:

  • Value is elusive -- it's not only hard to show value but it's also hard to make the tradeoffs that are needed to improve it.
  • We're a shared resource, but the business consumes IT as if there weren't any limits (i.e., unchecked demand is a problem).
  • After years of cost-cutting, it's getting very hard to find increased efficiencies and yet we're facing top-down budget cuts.
  • We don't have the capacity to innovate so we're seen as the department of no.

 

To my group of PMs, these weren't just problems for their companies; they were problems they personally wanted to solve. They had (and still have) a passion for fixing them.

We're still working on these problems, but we've accomplished a lot. We ratified and introduced the TBM Framework, published a first-of-its-kind TBM iBook (with lots of videos and rich media tools), launched the TBM Index to measure TBM maturity, and delivered the first ever TBM taxonomy to provide a "Rosetta Stone" that translates between finance, IT and business.  We've also launched a series of work groups for CFOs of IT, infrastructure leaders, strategy and planning professionals and executives in key vertical industries. And after two global annual conferences (plus regional summits), we've grown our general membership to more than 1,650 IT, finance and business leaders.

All of this has made a difference. To see it, just watch the videos of our past TBM award winners. You'll hear how CME Group used facts to reduce the cost of peak demand; State of Washington signed TBM into law to drive the efficiency of agency IT spending; Nationwide Building Society improved innovation and the delivery of shared services to its business and its customers. We've also heard how Kaiser Permanente shifted money from infrastructure to improving teleneurology and neonatal intensive care and First American shifted money to customer-facing technologies as the real estate market picked up again. You can see it's not just about cost-cutting; it's about value for the money and managing both the supply of and demand for IT.

So I'm super proud to be part of this group and to be named the General Manager. I will do everything in my power to keep connecting smart people, capturing the collective knowledge, and helping others apply TBM to address their own challenges. After all, when you join the Council, you join our band of homies.

Membership in the TBM Council is free and open to any qualified IT, finance or business leader who wants to learn more about TBM or contribute to our mission. Please contact me if you want to participate.