How Many Hero Points Do You Have In Your Portfolio?

IT leaders need a seat at the table. But getting the organizational credibility to be accepted as a strategic colleague is an art. Of course you need to build relationships with the C-team. And you need to pull your weight strategically.

Here’s a non-scientific, self-test you can take to assess whether you’re on the right track:


Question Scoring your answer
1.       What percentage of your budget is devoted to projects with no visible upside? (Think post-merger integration, security, infrastructure refresh or enhancement, data center and network enhancements, backup and recovery, software version upgrades, help desk and support, etc.)


0 – 50% ………..  0  hero points

51 – 75% ………. -1

76 – 100% …….. -2

2.       What is the likelihood of a serious glitch, slippage or costly overrun in one of your downside-only projects in the coming year?


0 – 25% ……….. 0

26 – 50% ……… -1

51 – 75% ……… -2

76 – 100% ……. -3

3.       Are you operating the organization’s voice, video, and email systems?


No …..    0

Yes ….   -2


4.       How much direct impact will your team have on the organization’s [profitability / growth / reputation / ability to accomplish its mission]  in the next year? (Don’t count cost cuts that also reduce services.)


 Little or none …….  0

Some ………………… +1

Notable impact ….  +2


5.       How significantly will your team enhance the enterprise’s secret sauce in the coming year? Little or none …….  0

Some ………………… +1

Notable impact ….  +2



When you add up your hero points, you’ll recognize a few of the challenging aspects of IT leadership. You can work very hard and do a lot of excellent, important things for the enterprise, and still be a zero. Further, the central score in the range is -3. In other words, a solid, if not exemplary performance can take you backwards in your journey toward credibility. Finally, to offset the %&*#)!  that IS  going to happen, you must make sure your project portfolio always has some hero points in it.

Case in point, a regional bank CIO I know has been buried in post-acquisition integration for years because of his organization’s aggressive growth agenda. He’s certainly doing his part, but his project portfolio is crammed with no-win work. If he transitions the acquired organization to the corporate core processor effectively and on time—a challenging project by any standard–well, that’s what everyone expects. No points.

What this savvy executive did was to launch a parallel effort to build an analytics database to pull together a 360 degree view of the customer. In the same time frame as the current integration, this wow project will put dashboards in the hands of line bankers to help them improve revenue and cultivate customer relationship. Two points. He’s a hero.

By | 2017-09-19T13:35:17+00:00 November 7th, 2016|Project Management|0 Comments