John Wiley & Sons The Accidental CIO Cover An indispensable guide showing IT leaders the way to balance the needs of innovation and exploration.. Product #: 978-1-119-61209-4 Regular price: $35.42 $35.42 In Stock

The Accidental CIO

A Lean and Agile Playbook for IT Leaders

Millett, Scott


1. Edition May 2024
528 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-61209-4
John Wiley & Sons

Further versions


An indispensable guide showing IT leaders the way to balance the needs of innovation and exploration with exploitation and operational reliability

Many books on modern IT leadership focus solely on supporting innovation and disruption. In practice these must be balanced with the need to support waste reduction in existing processes and capabilities while keeping the foundation operational, secure, compliant with regulations, and cost effective.

In The Accidental CIO, veteran software developer-turned-executive Scott Millett delivers an essential playbook to becoming an impactful, strategic leader at any stage of your IT leadership journey from your earliest aspirations to long time incumbents in director and C-suite roles. You'll find a wealth of hands-on advice for tackling the many challenges and paradoxes that face technology leaders, from creating an aligned IT strategy, defining a target architecture, designing a balanced operating model, and leading teams and executing strategy.

After the foreword from Simon Wardley, The Accidental CIO will help you:
* Understand problem contexts you will face using the Cynefin decision making framework, and how the philosophies of agile, lean and design thinking can help manage them.
* Design an adaptive and strategically aligned operating model by applying the appropriate ways of working and governance approaches depending on each unique problem context.
* Organize a department using a blend of holacratic and hierarchical principles, and leveraging modern approaches such as Team Topology and Socio-technical patterns.
* Develop and deploy an effective and aligned IT Strategy using Wardley mapping based on a deep knowledge of your business architecture.

With this knowledge you'll be ready to create an empowered IT organization focused on solving customer problems and generating enterprise value. You'll understand the science behind what motivates teams and changes behavior. And you'll show your skills as a business leader thinking beyond IT outputs to impactful business outcomes.

Foreword xxv

Introduction xxvii

Part I A New System of Work 1

1 Why We Need to Change The System 3

The Age of Digital Disruption 4

Operating in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous Business Environment 6

Leading IT in a Complex and Adaptive World 8

Summary 12

2 Philosophies for a New System 13

Philosophies vs. Methodologies 14

Discovering Value Using Design Thinking14

Eliminating Waste with Lean 17

Managing Complexity in Software Development with Agile 23

Strategic Decision-Making Using Wardley Mapping 28

Summary 34

3 How to Change the System 37

Being Agile vs. Doing Agile 38

Why Only Adopting the Practices of Agile Won't Work 39

Use Systems Thinking to Change Behavior 41

Changing Leaders' Mental Models 46

Instilling Drive through Purpose, Mastery, and Autonomy 50

Summary 52

Part II Designing An Adaptive Operating Model 55

4 The Anatomy of an Operating Model 57

The Anatomy of an Operating Model 58

The Themes of an Adaptable Operating Model 59

Summary 65

5 How We Are Organized 67

Organizational Structure 68

Understanding the Influence of Conway's Law and the Cognitive Load Theory on Team Performance 76

Product-Centric Development Teams 80

Defining Product Team Boundaries 90

Evolving to Business and IT Fusion Teams 100

Managing Cross Team Dependency 102

Summary 103

6 How We Work 107

IT Management Frameworks 108

How to Solve Problems from Discovery to Delivery 110

Problem-Solving Methodologies 112

Discovery Tools for Understanding the Problem Space 118

Approaches to Manage the Solution Space 140

Summary 158

7 How We Govern 163

What Is Governance? 164

Alignment: Linking Work to Strategic Intent 167

Managing Demand: Visualizing Work 170

Prioritization: Focusing on the Things That Matter 183

Measurement: Defining and Cascading Value and Measures 196

Investment: Funding for Outcomes 209

Decision Rights: Empowering People 223

Summary 240

8 How We Source and Manage Talent 243

Sourcing Strategy 244

Recruiting 245

Developing 249

Retaining 253

Summary 257

9 How We Lead 259

Adopting New Leadership Behaviors 260

Embracing Servant Leadership 262

Instilling Intrinsic Motivation 265

Encouraging Growth and Development 269

Focusing on Improving the System 272

Summary 276

Part III Strategy to Execution 279

10 Understanding Your Business 281

Business Anatomy 282

Why IT Leaders Need to Understand the Anatomy of a Business 285

Purpose: Starting with Why and Understanding Your North Star 286

The Business Model: The System of Capturing Value 287

Operating Model: How We Do the Work 293

Business Context: Understanding What Can Impact Us 302

Summary 323

11 IT Strategic Contribution 325

Linking IT Execution to Business Strategy Using Enterprise Architecture 326

Creating an IT Strategy 333

Determining IT Contribution to Addressing BAU Challenges and Achieving the Strategic Objectives 337

Defining Principles to Guide Technical Solutions 349

Determining Strategic Actions for IT Capability Maturity Improvements351

Measuring Contribution in Terms of Business Outcomes 354

Communicating IT Strategic Contribution 357

Summary 371

12 Tactical Planning: Deploying Strategy 375

Planning Considerations 376

Following Hoshin Kanri to Deploy Strategy 380

Creating a Tactical Plan 384

Clarify the Business Needs: Where Do We Need to Focus Our Investment? 391

Review the Technology Landscape: What Do We Need to Optimize? 393

Review the IT Operating Model: What Do We Need to Change? 405

How Wardley Maps Can Help Inform Target Architecture and Operating Model Choices 407

Defining and Prioritizing the IT Initiatives 420

Communicating the IT Tactical Investment Road Map 427

Summary 435

13 Operational Planning: Execution, Learning and Adapting 437

Operational Considerations 438

Operational Planning 442

Feedback, Learning, and Adapting 449

Creating a Clear Line of Sight from Strategy to Execution 458

A Worked Example: From Strategy to Tactics to Operational Execution 459

Summary 477

Index 479
SCOTT MILLETT is a former software developer-turned-CIO. He is the author of Patterns, Principles, and Practices of Domain-Driven Design, Professional ASP.NET Design Patterns, and Professional Enterprise.NET.