Executive Mini-MBA for IT Professionals

A 5-day fast-track concentrated programme developing the high performance IT professional enabling you to link IT, business skills and people performance.

Course overview

Why choose Falconbury’s Executive Mini-MBA for IT Professionals

All IT functions are feeling the pressure of change and fierce competition. ‘New technologies’ emerging at a frightening speed, ‘outsourcing’ and ‘consulting contracts’ are just a few of the issues making the role of the IT professional much more complex to manage. It is simply not enough to merely deliver good customer service. In today’s environment, if you are not aligning decisions being made within your function to the overall strategic direction of your company, then it’s not long before someone starts asking challenging questions about the value-added by the IT department.

Business leaders want more from their IT professionals. They are seeking a more proactive and challenging role that forces managers to think about how they are leveraging people and the organisation for business success. New business requirements demand new business contributions or input focused IT consulting skills and competences.

Aligning people to strategy, creating the right culture and developing future organisation capabilities are critical. Driving excellence and innovation should be on your agenda. The way you reward and manage your people, how you reduce costs whilst improving productivity, how you organise, position and market yourselves and manage the enterprise – these are some of the strategic questions that senior IT people need to be addressing and comfortable with ‘all’ the Elements.
This programme will provide all the necessary insights and information to make this transition.

Benefits of attending the Executive Mini-MBA for IT Professionals

1. Develop a wider business understanding and learn how IT can contribute to the business agenda
2. Consider your current modus operandi against some of the leading edge developments in IT
3. Question the role and contribution of the IT function against a number of key principles
4. Compare the way you operate with the practice of other IT managers from different organisations
5. Examine the issues involved in migrating the IT function from a customer service unit to a strategic business partner relationship

Who should attend?

This unique programme has been specifically designed for busy and experienced IT professionals. If you do not have the time or budget for a traditional MBA, this programme will give you the opportunity to reflect on the way you contribute to the success of your organisation and refine your skills to make a real difference. If you want to develop your business acumen, your strategic management skills and be a high performance IT professional then this intensive programme is for you.

What this programme will do for you and your organisation?

To become a truly effective high value-added business partner, IT still needs to get closer to the business context and understand some of the classic challenges. This specially designed MBA style programme aims to combine both a strong business content – looking at strategy, people, change, finance and marketing communications – with a highly focused IT content. Using core elements of a business agenda to drive linkages to IT’s offering and services. It will return to your organisation a high-value business partner who will be able to make a key contribution to the organisations commercial objectives.

Style of working

We will utilise our highly successful and proven ‘Executive Mini-MBA methodology to ensure the best use of time and balance participants’ experience with expert input.
Please note that during the programme specific sessions may extend or shorten based on the group discussions and needs.

Programme - Day 1

Module 1- Strategy and Strategic Change

In this module participants will explore the core elements of strategy in complex modern business environments, understand how strategic thinking has evolved and examine the challenge of creating strategic coherence across enterprises. Using a combination of classic strategic models, organisational case studies and the delegates’ own experiences, participants will look at the critical success factors in managing strategic change and specifically the role the IT function plays as a driver and enabler of strategic implementation and change.

Strategy – Definitions and Functions

  • What we mean by strategy
  • Why businesses need strategy
  • Strategic layers – Corporate, business unit and functional strategies
  • Classic strategic models and frameworks
  • How strategic thinking has evolved
  • Impact of technology
  • Impact of globalization

Strategy – Methods and Tools

  • External analysis
    • PEST and scenario planning
    • Competitor and industry analysis
    • Five Forces
    • The Value Chain
  • Technology as a strategic driver and enabler
  • SWOT
  • Portfolio analysis

Strategy Choices and Dilemmas

  • Deliberate v emergent strategies
  • How to achieve strategic alignment
    • Seven S Model
  • Translating strategic intent into organisational action from an IT perspective

Managing Strategic Change

  • Core competencies of managing largescale change
  • Models and tools for implementing change
  • Overcoming inertia to change
  • Managing the uncertainty of change
  • Building alignment to change

Applications
Throughout the module delegates will be invited periodically to stand back to review and identify the application of the above content to their IT strategy and change scenarios.

Think Tanks – Module Leader: Paul Blackhurst

Programme - Day 2

Module 2- Mastering Business Engagement

In this module you will examine the key areas for the IT function to successfully engage with the overall business. It will show how to manage the relationship with the ‘business customer’ and how to get Board commitment. It will explain how to measure the results and demonstrate value-added. It illustrates the key drivers of IT strategy and how to mesh them with the strategic goals of the business.

Relationship Management

  • What is relationship management in the context of IT?
  • Understanding the different styles of business engagement
  • The role of relationship management
  • Using relationship management to influence key stakeholders
  • How to engage the business
  • How to influence the Board

Demonstrating Value

  • How to determine value
  • How to deploy the soft skills to identify value
  • What to measure and how to present it

Changing the Culture in IT Functions

  • Orientating IT functions to lever relationships and value
  • Review culture in the IT functions
  • Review typical cultures found in IT functions and consider the impact

Gaining and Maintaining Business Involvement During IT Projects

  • Is there such a thing as an “IT Project”
  • Consider the disciplines required to deliver effective IT projects
  • The different type of IT projects and how business will be involved
  • The programme/project governance

Ensuring Strategic Alignment

  • Developing the strategy
  • The drivers for change in IT
  • How to maintain the linkages between the business objectives/strategy through IT

Think Tanks – Module leader: Clive Taylor

Programme - Day 3

Module 3- IT as the Internal Consultant

This module is designed to help you understand how, by using the example of changes in mobile working, the IT department can move from being a supplier of utility services to being a key enabler of business change. It will clarify what the IT internal consultant can and can’t do, give the ground rules to developing a business case and justifying a project or programme. It will also explore how to leverage excellence in your organisation and provide an environment that encourages innovation.

The Business Opportunity

  • Organisational change and the influence on IT
  • The IT team and how it is evolving to meet the demands of the mobile office
  • The drive towards service improvement
  • Latest technology trends and IT industry developments
  • Developments in standards and architectures

Being the Internal Consultant

  • What consultants can do (and what they can’t)
  • The role of sponsors and advocates/champions of change
  • Covering all the stakeholders (and answering “what’s in it for me?” for each)
  • Developing a response and business case
  • Justifying the project/programme, value for money
  • Facilitating the change

Driving Excellence and Innovation

  • Using Centres of Excellence
  • The three approaches to innovation
  • Linking innovation to the creation of value

Module leader: Clive Taylor

Module 4 – What does an IT manager need to know about it anyway?

These two sessions look at marketing and communication as a strategic management tool and its contribution to the management of successful organisations, followed by how you can use the techniques of marketing to communicate the value of the IT function. We will look at the fundamentals of marketing and communication and how it integrates with the other business functions to support the organisation, addressing how IT functions are generally perceived within organisations. This will include how you can develop a strategy, using marketing and communication methodologies, to enhance the standing of your function within your organisation.

PART ONE
The Fundamentals of marketing and communication Marketing Strategy

  • What you need to know and why?
  • How marketing adds value to the bottom line
  • Segmenting and Targeting
  • Talking to the right customers

The Marketing Mix

  • Alignment and focus
  • Managing the 4ps
  • Customer satisfaction and retention

PART TWO
Marketing the IT function Segmenting and Positioning Internally

  • Who do we need to “market” to?
  • What purpose the IT function fulfils for the organisation
  • How is IT positioned and how do we change that if needed?
  • How does the IT function help the organisation deliver bottom line benefits

Stakeholder Management

  • Getting internal and external stakeholders on-side
  • Internal influencing – push or build approaches
  • Getting into your client’s shoes

Think Tanks – Module leader: Paul Blackhurst

Programme - Day 4

Module 5 – Finance Management and Accounting

IT managers have ever increasing complex budgets to manage effectively. Technology risk and outsourced contracts are just two examples of where budgets start to get awkward and difficult to handle for non-financial managers. In this module we discuss this bigger financial picture as well as covering essential skills of financial management such as managing budgets and how to understand accounts. The module provides a fascinating, practical perspective on finance and will equip you to discuss financial issues with confidence.

The Finance Function

  • Indentiying the links between strategy, business planning and financial control

The Business Finance Cycle

  • How do we account for it?

Financial Statements

  • The annual report
  • What’s important?
  • What does it mean?
  • How can it be used?
  • Where do labour costs recapture?
  • Investigating capital structure and the links with operational gearing

Cash Flow

  • The vital aspects
  • The one fact in all the data

Analysing Company Accounts

  • Traditional analysis

Financial Ratios and Indicators

  • Analysing the numbers
  • Measuring performance

Managing Project Budgets with High Technology Risks

  • Principles and practices of budgeting
  • Capital decision-making for high technology projects

Other Financial Matters

  • Managing outsourced contracts – initial decision-making through to financial control and reporting
  • Getting better deals from suppliers – analysing supplier financial statements, costing and pricing efficiencies, modern financial techniques for supplier management
  • Rent or buy? – how the decisions are made, and the impact of taxation
  • A review of recent IT business merger and acquisition activities

Think Tanks – Module leader: Stephen Brookson

Programme - Day 5

Module 6- Leadership and Managing IT people

In this module participants will examine and practise the capabilities and techniques for leading and managing people in organisations, with particular focus on the challenges within an IT environment. Specifically this will involve looking at the impact of different leadership styles, how to better motivate and engage people to achieve higher levels of performance and how to build and sustain high-performing teams. The module will cover some of the specific people-related challenges faced by the IT professional – managing remote teams, managing performance in a project environment and influencing without formal authority.

Leadership and Management

  • Definitions and distinctions between leadership and management
  • Cross-cultural impacts on leadership and management
    • when to manage and when to lead – the effects of environment
  • Finding time for leadership – leading ourselves
  • Leadership as “Creating Useful Change”

Powerful Communications

  • Leading through change – the change curve and why the right time is a hard time
  • The illusion of communications
  • Powerful communications – consistency in words, music and dance
  • Understanding your leadership style and choices – Situational Leadership (using a diagnostic instrument and personal feedback)
  • Delegation and empowerment

Applications
Throughout the module delegates will be invited periodically to stand back to review and identify the application of the above content to key leadership and people-related challenges in an IT environment.

Module leader – Paul Blackhurst

The expert faculty

Extensive bank of exceptional trainers
Falconbury has brought together our most motivated and forward-thinking trainers to deliver tailored in-company programmes developed specifically around the needs within your organisation. All our trainers have a practical commercial background and highly refined people skills. During the course of the programme they act as facilitator, trainer and mentor, adapting their style to ensure that each individual benefits equally from their knowledge to develop new skills.

Programme Director

Paul Blackhurst is an independent consultant and trainer who has worked in 34 countries. Following an early career in b2b marketing and sales, Paul moved into management development in 1992. He spent 8 years with Management Centre Europe and American Management Association, progressing from Programme Director to Corporate Development Director and finally to Global Practice Leader. Paul has worked on 4 continents and has a track record of designing and delivering successful interventions for both open programmes and custom delivery. He has worked with thousands of senior managers and with blue chip clients such as Nokia, Nortel Networks, Finnair, GSK, BT, Deloitte Consulting, Stora Enso, and Norwich Union. Prior to MCE, Paul worked in a series of executive positions in multinational organisations such as SKF, Milacron and GTE. He has a BSc. degree from the University of Birmingham and an MBA from Bradford University. He has also pursued Doctoral studies at Henley Management College.

Programme Presenters

Clive Taylor specialises in helping merging businesses to integrate their IT. He has done this both from within organisations (as a Chief Information Officer, an IT Director and a Programme Director) and in partnership with organizations (as a director of Sesai Consulting). As CIO for PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting in Europe, Clive integrated the IT of Price Waterhouse across Western Europe and then merged the IT of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand across the whole of Europe. The resulting IT infrastructure supported business growth from 1,000 partners and staff in the UK to a multi-national organisation of 12,500 spanning 31 countries. When IBM bought PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, Clive managed the 9-month, $30m project to migrate PwC staff, back office applications, front office systems and data centres across Europe into the IBM environment. Since 2003, Clive has been a director of Sesai Consulting and worked with FTSE 100 organisations, the NHS and the Home Office to both integrate and improve the performance of their IT. He has also developed and implemented IT strategies, integration frameworks and customer service strategies for large private sector businesses.

Stephen Brookson is a finance consultant who specialises in the provision of finance advice and training. A psychology graduate, he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1980 with KPMG and, after a period in industry, joined a leading organization in the provision of training for chartered accountants in practice. He then joined Ernst & Young for a number of years as a consultant working with many multi-national businesses. He now runs his own finance consultancy business. Stephen’s most recent clients include: HSBC, British Telecom, Sky TV, Orange, Network Rail, National Grid, Lloyds TSB, London Underground, Inland Revenue and Direct Line Insurance.

Think Tank sessions

The programme features a series of interactive Think Tank sessions. Designed for participants to periodically review the interactive case study in the light of what they have learnt, to clarify future goals, pool their combined knowledge and finally to make final key decisions about the case study and present their groups findings to the other groups.

Case study

A central component of the programme will be an IT related business case study that will run throughout the five days. The case study will bring together many of the strategic and change management issues faced by IT professionals in their “real world” businesses. Each day small teams will be given the opportunity to participate in think-tank sessions to address the case study issues. Participants will be encouraged to combine their own practical experiences with the learning gained during the programme, to recommended strategies and potential solutions for the main issues arising from the case study. This will culminate on the final day with work teams presenting their outcomes to their colleagues and a panel of faculty experts.

Continuing professional development

This course qualifies for the following CPD programmes:

  • Certificate

Bespoke training

We can customise this course to meet the requirements of your organisation. Contact us to discuss your training requirements.

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