A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for May 2011

A Lesson in IT Management – A Confession (Part 1)

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As a consultant CIO and a CEO/Investor of a company producing the next generation IT Governance tool, I am going to make a confession. Eventually I will produce a You Tube Video as well, but for now this confession blog  is in three parts as the results of my mistake are still unraveling.


The story resolves around my backyard.  I purchased a new home about an year and a half back, and the Home Owners Association was after me to complete the backyard – a covenant that I had unwillingly signed when I purchased the home.  Like all CIOs, I went through the RFI/RFP process (proudly displaying my procurement skills to my wife). Estimates came in, but the range was not in my reach, at least not with the market uncertainties.  So I decided to manage it myself .  I request the reader not to jump to conclusions yet.


I sought help from the builder and gained access to a landscape guy they knew – of course, the builder would not give their names officially.  The miracles of networking worked and I had this unlicensed contractor start work (again do not jump to conclusions as yet).  The proposed cost structure was fixed price with 25% advance and payment for materials on-demand.  The process was going smoothly till I decided to save further by sourcing directly from the contractor who knew the manufacturing centers as opposed to distributors.  To make a long story short, the materials were delivered at half the price and I was gleefully bragging about it to my wife, when I discovered they were the wrong colors (wives do not forgive such mistakes), so I paid for reshipping the right product – a small price to pay for the huge savings I had reaped.  But disaster struck. Before the right product arrived my landscape guy disappeared from the scene. I was now stuck with a partially done backyard and a non-trivial loss.  How did I recover from this? How many mistakes did I commit?  Am I the first CIO to make a mistake in sourcing?  What would you do?  Running away for a month on a business trip to avoid my wife is not the right answer.   Please wait for Part 2.

Written by Subbu Murthy

May 1, 2011 at 8:53 am