I was recently tagged to share my 2010 Goals by Ted (blog | Twitter) in his 2010 goals post. I want to thank him for that, as I believed I had a good long term goal until I went to write down my goals for this year and realized that all I had was a vision without a plan. The initial act of thinking up a career goal is difficult, and after I completed that goal I fell into the trap that so many businesses do: I forgot to communicate and build plans for that vision. A well communicated vision allows everyone in a company to start facing the same general direction, but only provides a direction to wander towards, not a driving force or well-planned route. I believe there is a similarity with career goals, having only a vision means I will consider opportunities that come to me in light of my future goals, while a plan forces me to build or seek opportunities that will help me achieve my goal instead of relying on chance opportunities.
What this all means is that I am once again using solutions from one problem space (business) and applying them to another (my goals).
To become responsible for a diverse set of business and technology challenges that will require me to develop and implement strategic solutions while continuing to execute or drive improvement at the operational level.
I believe the common career paths that would allow me to reach this vision are the Executive IT and Enterprise Architect career paths, though having concisely worded my vision I now have the ability to go see what other options would satisfy it.
Strategic Goals for 2010
I'm not going to come up with a plan on a Sunday morning while typing a blog article, and randomly creating strategic goals does not help me any more than it did the dozens of companies that have gone out of business recently. Instead I am going to focus on building the steps I need to better understand my vision, my current state, and some potential strategic goals that would help me achieve that clearer state from where I am now. In short, I am going to build the plan I should have built but haven't.
2010 Strategic Goals: Analysis and Planning
- Current State Analysis
- Just as I have done in business situations, determine the current state of my career, skills and experiences
- Revise Vision
- Go through a process of brainstorming, then refine the results back down to a single sentence to create a revised and more accurate vision
- Research and Plan
- I am not the first person that has decided to go down this career route, add a few items to my reading list on the careers of others and on career paths in general
By accomplishing these goals I feel that I will be making a major step towards my long term goals and towards creating the next set of strategic steps necessary to reach those goals.
Process Changes for 2010
An article I read recently describes the importance of staying "tech savvy" as an IT Executive (Fits and starts: staying “tech savvy” as a CIO by Peter Kretzman). I believe this carries further than the IT executive role and really includes any technology role in an organization. Technology is a major business driver and, if your role is to communicate or provide technology solutions, than staying up to date on technology is critical. I also believe that the concepts of Process Improvement, Business Analysis and Business Architecture are important to achieving and executing my goals. My current position has a much narrower scope and area of responsibility (for the moment, at least) than prior positions, allowing me to focus on career and life goals, but I cannot allow myself to stop practicing skills that were once part of my day-to-day environment.
Areas of focus: Business and Enterprise Architecture, Lean and Process Improvement, Business Analysis, IT Management, Management and Leadership
Read 15-30 blog technical or focus articles weekly
Read 6 in-depth books on technology, architecture, lean, or other similarly useful topics
Re-Read 6 previously purchased books from above
The last part is the hardest to consider. If I build some measurements around the items above, then I will know if I am achieving them or how well I am achieving them. And the lazy, procrastinator part of me dislikes the idea of actually having to follow through on some sort of regular scheduled task. With a business or software solution I would be among the first driving to put some measurements or a visual process in place, so my immediate goal for this week is to find a method to track the articles and books I read against my process goals above, and build more defined and measurable goals for the strategic items.
I am going to challenge Alex (blog | Twitter) and Remou (blog) to follow back up with their 2010 goals. I expect to see plans for doctorates and MS Access world domination, so hopefully they won't let us down.