Keeping It Real is the Path to Success

The CIO Executive Board has identified what it calls "two critical activities to successfully sustain green IT projects." These tie to our "Keeping It Real" criteria, which are critical to long-term credibility of any green initiative.

The CIO Executive Board's criteria:

"Select performance-focused, initiative-related success measures. As with any IT-related investment, CIOs must measure and compare the benefits of individual green initiatives. Most organisations report only high-level green metrics, such as overall or function-wide energy consumption. To sustain focus and support for a green IT strategy, CIOs must select granular performance metrics that enable comparison and prioritisation..."

"Embed accountability for green into individual roles. To ensure green becomes part of day-to-day thinking in IT, and to secure business support, CIOs must assign accountability to roles across the IT organisation..."

This relates to our 'Keeping It Real' evolution, which advocates a shift from symbolic gestures to meaningful implementation.

Feel Good ——» Do Better
Focus on process Focus on outcomes
Measure inputs Measure outputs
Reward actions Reward results
Soft objectives Specific milestones
Self-report context-free 'accomplishments' External monitoring of transparent goals
"Talk the talk" "Walk the walk"

People need to feel good about what they are doing and it is tempting to substitute superficial activities from the left column in place of carefully constructed early victories from the right. But long-term credibility from a broad range of stakeholders will only occur when we keep it real.