Written By: admin
It is November, the 11th month of the current calendar year, 2nd month of Q4. How are you doing on budget for October and September? How are you doing on budget for the year? We need to take some time today to review our recent performance to see what we can work on and improve.
Step 1 – Where is you dashboard?
Dashboard? Thats in my car outside in the parking garage. Wrong, kind of dashboard. We are looking for perfrmance metrics in a simple to locate, always in front of us location. How are you tracking all of your performance metrics, and how are you doing overall?
Step 2 – Where do I look on the budget first?
Look at ever item that has gone over budget. This are areas where as an IT manager you will get roasted on. Lets take a moment and check out every major budget area that we have gone over, and determine why that happened.
Step 3 – Create a budget report
A budget report isn’t the numbers itself, it is the commentary that goes with the budget explaining every major item. What is major? If you are over budget by any amount, thats major. Put together a paragraph that is right to the point, explains the situation, and deflects any options for your companies leaership to look down on you. If you are over budget by 1% and don’t know why, you are a bigger idiot then the manager next to you who ran over by 10% but has reasons for it.
Step 4 – What are good reasons to go over budget?
The best reason is someone elses fault. If it is someone elses fault, document it. In a professional business manner so that they would agree with it and think that you were in it with them holding hands. No finger pointing here. If you fail to keep this at a high level, you most likely will get flack back at you. And then you look like an even larger idiot. Not only did you run over by 1%, but your own project co-workers still cannot agree on what happened. Who is running the show? As an IT manager we expect you to steer the ship and know where we are going. Heck, we expect you to know what the destination is, and make positive and proactive decisions and suggestions to get us there cheaper. You get bonus if you get us there on time or under time. And with all the features, or even more. But generally in that order.
Step 5 – lets work on improving what we did bad
If we dont spell them out, we can’t learn from them. Taker a moment and go over the above excerpts and ask yourself “Would I buy this if someone told me this excuse?” If not, work on it.
Step 6 – learn from what we did right
If you came in under budget, either you had a project cancel, some requirements change or you over budgeted. Or did you do a really good job all around? Lets get ready to learn from those successes.
Review your budget history and justify your errors and study your success to repeat it. Like history, if you do not learn from it, you are doomed to repeats its failures.