AIM IT Leadership Academy: Strategic Planning

Friday December 7th was the second session of the AIM IT Leadership Academy on Strategic Planning. The session was the AIM institute downtown building.

The meeting was on the second floor Combine Community Meeting room.

Like the first meeting. I had an assigned seat with the agenda for the day was laid out at the table.

Strategic Planning

The morning started off with a talk about, What is Strategic Planning?

The three things the presenter wanted us to know:

  1. What is Strategic Planning?
  2. Tell how you would do it?
  3. Motivate to develop and Embrace.

Today’s IT Leader is similar to other roles in leadership.

Relationships & communication give you a credibility mindset.

Having a vision of Operational Excellence starts with Strategic Planning.

We teams are:

  • Visionary + builds operational plan
  • Communicator + own the numbers

Don’t break what works today?

How do you measure? Which is hard?
Is what you are changing a strategic enabler?

  • Know the Business
  • Know your business
  • Create a plan & effectively communicate that plan
  • Execute, measure, adjust

Employees want to know how to help the plan?
What do I do with the plan?

IT can help:

  • Grow Revenue
  • Reduce Operating Expenses
  • Manage Risks

Know the business:

  • Read company newsletters
  • Read announcements
  • Read about industry
  • Face to Face with business
  • Business Initiatives

Know your business

  • Products and services
  • Assets and Resources
  • Talent Development
  • Technical Investments

How to communicate a plan?

  • Obstacles and how to overcome them
  • Timeline
  • Measure Success

Why we choose to “not” be strategic?

  • Not good
  •  To busy
  • Value in it
  • Not my job
  • Nothing to show

Why to embrace Strategic Planning?


  • Career Advancement
  • Work life Balance
  • Budget Done
  • Happy


  •  Limit Career
  •  Up late at night
  •  Budget issues
  •  Not happy

Omaha Companies

The rest of the day involved hearing strategic plans from different CIO’s of Omaha based companies.

Farm Credit Services of America
Werner Enterprises
Nebraska Furniture Mart

The presenter would take time telling the group about their company. Then tells us about that companies strategic plans. The final part of the their presentation was to tell us a strategic problem their company would like each table to attack. The table would then spend 30 minutes to build a 3-minute presentation using what we learned from the first presentation of the day.

The 30 minutes was challenging. The ability to get our table to gather ideas, create a solid talking point, then determine how it would be presented.

After each table gave their presentation to the board which were the three CIO’s. The board would ask questions.

How do you measure you request?
What’s going to go wrong?
Where did you get a proposal?
What is your contingency plan?

Years ago, Information Technology was seen as overhead. The current state of a business is IT is core to the business. How will your language have IT engage in a recommend when presenting a strategy? Are there ever objectives to educate other parts of the business? Are there costs to get up and running? Then be careful in numbers? What is a timeline to the proposal?

Awesome ideas start with words that get to the point.

If you did a good job in presenting your strategy. The response to your proposal should be “What do you need from me?”

Presentation Skills

The last hour of the day was working on Presentations Skills. Members of the Omaha Chapter of Toastmasters International.

Tips for presenting or speaking:

  • There are no rules
  • Let things go
  • Talk about self
  • Prepare
  • Transitions
  • Remove distractions
  • Audible Level
  • Eye Contact
  • Visual Aids
  • Tell the best story, then keep telling the story.


This class made me get “It” when looking at levels of leadership. I know grasp the roles of different levels of leadership in terms of planning and leading an organization. The acts of planning are the same at any level, but it is the breadth of responsibility of the planning on why people are chosen to lead from a organizational level.

Improving Enterprise Architecture skills for the Omaha area professionals.

Improving Enterprise Architecture skills for the Omaha area professionals.

I found a Enterprise Architecture group on I have been wanting to improve my skills, but also get a better understanding what others in the community see in terms of Enterprise Architecture.

The meeting was at Mutual Omaha. I have driven by the building for years, but never physically been in the building.

I was given a tour of the area under the doom. There are four restaurants and lots of opening seating.

On the tour there was a area that is marked as collaboration area of the future. It was interesting to see how it was laid out.




We made our way to one of the conference rooms to start the meeting.

The start of the discussion was a eye opener. It was the difference of Enterprise Architecture vs Software Architecture. I cam to the group looking at the approach of Software, but thinking about how the Enterprise ties to the business was more compelling to me.

Different Discussion Points

Enterprise Architecture is about solution at a larger scale. Architect your enterprise to meet the business.

Disciplined Agile 2.0 YouTube video
•Goal Driven
•Disciplined Agile Delivery Framework

Togaf Architect: First time ever hearing of this solution.

Challenge of recreating or how do I get something for Free. Who pays for it? How do you get businesses to build application where technology is talked in terms of business.
•Value of EA gives guidance to let teams provide value.
•How do you engage different technology teams?
•Mutual of Omaha uses three week sprints?
•Following standards vs guidance.
•Complete visibility in the work
•Business team hearing what there systems does.
•Service Catalog

•Talking to Business Owner about the features of what a system does not the application.
◦Business Capability model.
◦Why do we teach people to talk features applications or technology?
◦Capabilities of the system for the business
• Should enterprise architects give solution to software teams.
◦Does this that impedes business from success.
◦Are you meeting business objectives?
◦Support Delivery teams
◦Finding individual success on teams and how can others use it.
◦Be the team people wants to call.
◦Negations of technical dependencies.

2018 Fall UNO College of Business Capstone Cup Finals

The University of Nebraska-Omaha College of Business Capstone Cup finals took place on Friday, November 130th on the first floor of Mammel Hall, located at 6708 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68182.


This was a second time attending the finals of this event, but this time I was going to be a judge. Since Farm Credit Services is a sponsor of the event there was a reserved table for the networking event portion of the event lasting for about an hour before the finals started. It is a great opportunity to speak with our students and attendees.



The finals were held in the auditorium. I was glad with the sponsorship money ($500.00) I had a judges seat in the first row.


Our logo with company name was recognized during the finals.


The format of the afternoon was going to be the following:

1:00 PM Welcome by Associate Dean Harland

1:10 PM Presentation 1

1:30 PM Presentation 2

1:50 PM Presentation 3

2:10 PM Presentation 4

2:35 PM Judges Deliberate

2:45 PM Awards Presented

The presentations were treating the judges like a Board of Directors. The groups were pitching how they can transform the YETI company. I took a lot of notes, but I personally did not have many questions. The team that won had recommended a YETI fridge targeting hunters and fishermen: from the field to the fridge. This was the same group that had reached out to me about blockchain.

The sponsorship was for the FALL 2018 and Spring 2019 years. So I look forward to do this again next semester.