Saturday, 20 February 2010

Brandon Lane CIO - Episode 2

Taking Stock


Episode 1


"It could be worse"

It seemed to newly appointed CIO Brandon Lane that he was the only person who knew how bad the news really was.

Only a couple of hours ago his deputy, Sally, had greeted the news of his sudden change of role with those same words, and now it was Yssabel, his wife, saying them.

"It will mean more money won't it, and a bigger team and budget  to manage, and you like a challenge, you turned around the audit team"

It really was worrying that Yssabel and Sally appeared to be working from the same script. For a moment the thought crossed his mind that Hans might have briefed them both in advance.  Only the fact that he knew they both equally detested Hans kept the thought at bay.

"It isn't the same at all as taking over the audit team.  It was easy to get rid of the unqualified tick and turn  auditors  and bring in people who were already qualified or who really wanted the qualifications. All the team understand what we need to achieve and how to get there In IT all the teams hate each other. In IT nobody knows if anybody is really an expert or just making it up. For years Henry was considered untouchable because everyone thought he was the only person who knew how the PRISM system worked, then when it failed it turned out he didn't have a clue either."

Yssabel pouted. Brandon had to admit she was good at pouting.

"Anyway" she said, pointedly "You've got all those wonderful audit reports the sainted Sally has produced. Surely they must give you an idea of what needs to be done? You are always saying how wonderful they are"

"Well that is part of the problem. The excuse for getting rid of Jaques, apart from the slightly dubious files found on his laptop, is that he hasn't actioned any of the critical audit recommendations Sally has made in the last two years."

There was something about the way Yssabel snorted and  dragged her heel across the floor that reminded Brandon of a bull about to charge.

"Oh well, that will be OK then. Sally can help you sort it out"

"Sally is going to be busy enough doing my old job, as well as her own.

"Oh, isn't that a shame."

Having made her point Yssabel softened.

"So go on then, what are you going to do? I know you well enough to know you've been thinking it through since the moment Hans told you, and you've probably had a plan in your head for the last two hours."

He smiled, and took the chance to pour himself a glass of wine. He would have slumped down in a comfortable chair but they were all occupied by the dogs, and he was feeling guilty about shouting at them when they'd jumped up to greet him coming through the door. That was the trouble with dogs. The poor things got shouted at because they happened to be there at the wrong time doing what they thought was the right thing to do. A bit like IT, he mused, everybody in IT thought they were an expert doing a great job and couldn't understand why no one else could see it.  Very briefly he thought that the next few months might be easier had some one thought to have Dimitri 'done' before he'd developed his aggressive territorial habits.

"OK, yes, I have some ideas."  He couldn't quite shake the image of Dimitri being taken to the vets, but he carried on.

"I need to get the balance right between telling them what they need to do, and them working it out for themselves. I need to shield the techies from the business, and the other way about as well. So I'm going to set up a proper service management team. There are a few things out there that might help. Sally builds all the computer audits around something called COBIT, but it isn't very sexy"

Brandon noticed Yssabel computing the spin to be put on his use of the of the words 'Sally' and 'sexy' in the same sentence even with negative connotations and decided against mentioning her again.

"There's something called ITIL as well. Gartner like it, and if Gartner like it Hans likes it. If Gartner and Hans like it I like it. So ITIL it is."

"So let me guess what you are going to do." Yssabel  paused.

"First of all you are going to cook me a wonderful dinner, and then you are going to call in a team of consultants to tell you how to do ITIL in exactly the way you want them to do it."

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