The Business Need
A County Children’s Services Agency asked their CIO to resign due to performance issues. Ill-equipped to find or train a CIO quickly, they sought a temporary solution. Centric was engaged to manage the IT organization while coaching and evaluating the existing, relatively inexperienced, top candidate for the position. Should this candidate prove unable to fill the position in 6 to 10 months, the Agency would work with Centric to recruit a permanent CIO.
Centric’s High-Impact Approach
Centric placed a senior manager with past CIO experience at the Agency as a temporary CIO. Immediately a “CIO College” was initiated that included training, coaching and mentoring for the CIO candidate.
Centric also enhanced existing project management to include much more rigorous processes and methodologies, resulting in a best-in-class IT organization. Key capabilities included team management, detailed project implementation consulting, strategic planning and effective project management.
In addition to recruiting and ultimately hiring a permanent CIO, several other major issues faced the IT organization. First, the State Government mandated the use of a new State-developed automated child welfare system. This was a multi-year undertaking requiring massive systems and data realignments. A well conceived and detailed plan needed to be formulated and followed to successfully put the new system into production. Second, the department had few processes and procedures for operating as an efficient IT organization. To achieve smoother operations and dramatically increase efficiencies, department processes had to be re-evaluated and re-designed.
The CIO mentoring project was a success on multiple levels. The Agency was able to roll out the automated child welfare system and became a model that other State Counties followed in their own implementation processes. Additionally, many IT processes such as matrixed team management, improved IT support of HR processes, core IT production operations, custom software development and project management were put in place and are operating well today.
The coaching was successful and all responsible parties gladly accepted the newly trained candidate as the permanent CIO at the end of the consulting engagement.