Managing Gaps & Shortfalls When You Are in a New Role

The 30, 60 and 90 day plan is a familiar tool for use at the inception of a new project. In the May, 2006 Leadership Hand issue titled “You Got What You Want–or Do You?” I mentioned it in the context of your professional re-assessment for anything new you have engaged in–a new job, new business or a new behavior.

A value added-twist is to use them specifically to address shortfalls and risk mitigation when you are making an offer.

For example, in the submission of a proposal by a business or consultants in response to bid requests, an offeror can address how experience gaps and weaknesses will be augmented. The acknowledgment of such shortfalls combined with a solid plan to address them engenders more credibility and trust in the offeror’s potential to deliver services or goods based on a realistic assessment of its own capacity. It demonstrates that the business recognizes that risk and accountability are shared. Contrast that with a proposal that either does not address them or glosses over them. The glossing over is usually accompanied by fluff–broad brush narrative about all-encompassing expertise and capability.

Another example is when a candidate for a new position does not have the full depth and breadth of desired experience. The candidate can talk to or present his 30, 60 or 90 day plan to address the gaps–a recommendation by career coach and medical recruiter Peggy McKee.

While the following best practices from a CIO Magazine’s study apply to executives in new roles versus focusing on gaps and shortfalls when making an offer, the top 10 can guide and shape your thinking as you create your own plan.

  1. Understand the corporate strategy and assess how well the department you have inherited is aligned with that strategy.
  1. Communicate your own goals and leadership style to your team.
  1. Identify key success factors for IT from the perspective of all business unit and function heads.
  1. Structure your days and weeks so that you have time to learn, focus and create short-term value while preparing a long-term plan.
  1. Work with each group within your department to get a feel for team dynamics and individual team members.
  1. Establish interpersonal relationships with influential people and lay the groundwork for coalitions.
  1. Understand the history and current state of the relationship between the IT department and each business unit or corporate function.
  1. Target early wins that matter to your boss.
  1. Identify the informal networks in the ­organization (Who has the ear of the boss? Whom do frontline employees really trust and follow?).
  1. Negotiate the terms for success with your boss.

Source: Poll of 67 CIO respondents, published in “A Running Start: Success in Your First 90 Days on the Job,” CIO Executive Council, December 2006.

I love practical applications and hope you find these useful as well!


U.S. Library of Congress ISSN 2164-7240

©2004, 2015 Leadership Hand LLC and Beth Hand  | (+1) 703.820.8018 Eastern Time USA |

You may reprint an article from Written by Hand™ on a non-exclusive basis provided the above copyright and link is included in the credits. Please send us a notice of the reprint along with a copy of the publication.

Comments are closed.