The more transparent the CIO can be about their deliverables the less chance they will be a scapegoat if it fails.
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How do you get more transparent? In my years in a large urban school district, I created a wiki to document everything that I was doing. Knowledge management, I thought, was critical in case something horrible happened to me. When I started in my role as Technology Director in another school district, I realized that I needed to make everything my team was doing, not just me, available for others to look at. Although it took serious time up front (2 days, constant connection and updates), I was able to build a wiki site that approached transparency and I’ve tried to add onto it over time. You can find it online.
At the TCEA 2014 conference, a colleague introduced me to a web site built by another CTO, and it immediately caught my attention. It epitomizes what I eventually hope to achieve in terms of organization. Seeing it organized this way makes it so obvious.
Being transparent has its own rewards. Some of those rewards include the following:
Reward #1 – Everyone knows what you are working on. This eliminates made-up stories about who you are and what you are about. While what others think about you may not be your business, you have tools available to ensure they have all the information they need.
Reward #2 – Everyone has access to information they need to make decisions. This is very important and means that you are empowering others in your organization to make better decisions.
Reward #3 – The needs of the organization are front-n-center. There is no better advertisement for your department than when you put the needs of the organization in front of people. They realize that something they couldn’t do is of primary concern to you as a CTO.