The CEO’S Ten Step Guide to a Successful IT Project – Step 8

Nothing better emphasises the corporate imperative of a major undertaking than the personal endorsement of the CEO.

While the project sponsor, and indeed the primary beneficiary, may be lower down the corporate ladder, the imprimatur of the CEO at the launch of the activity will do more to ensure success than any subsequent communication.

The content and distribution of the launch announcement needs careful consideration. There may well be confidentiality issues concerning the project’s strategic objectives, both internally and in the marketplace. However, for those engaged in the successful outcome, there should be no ambivalence about the necessity of the team’s whole-hearted participation and the importance of their mission in contributing to the organization’s strategy.

Frequently, project participants need to be drawn from multiple business units. They may not have worked together before, or even know of each other’s roles, strengths or objectives. Under the aegis of the CEO, the team members’ line managers should endeavour to emulate the coaching team of a major sports franchise – to best utilize the individuals’ strengths while creating a culture where ‘passing’ is encouraged.

There is even room for cheer leaders, water boys and medical support in a strong team. On-going communication is critical to maintaining encouragement and orientation towards the next goal. Simple logistical and emotional ‘health’ supports can play a crucial role in maintaining peak performance. The presence of the ‘owner’ in the dressing room ahead of a big game completes the sports analogy.

An effective launch befits all the effort expended in the previous planning stages. As well as its show of commitment to the team, it re-emphasises to other stakeholders your commitment to, and expectation of, success.

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