What is CTO?

I found these very interesting notes while was reviewing my records.

  • The technology product visionary needs to do the following:
    • Understand the marketplace and its direction.
    • Develop the technological solution possibilities.
    • Select the technological direction in a timely manner.
    • Define a pragmatic and generally understandable architectural solution.
    • Cause the organization to enthusiastically support the solution.
    • Identify and procure the necessary purchasable technologies (thereby eliminating the tendency of building everything).
    • Define the technologies that need to be built.
    • Resolve technology issues as the building process encounters technology obstacles.
    • Guide the technological and architectural evolution through the building process.
    • Be the prime advocate of the solution to sales, customers and employees.
    • Increment through the above steps to adjust to market changes.
    • Be the face of the product strategy to the customers in marketplace.
  • The technology manager needs to do the following:
    • Deliver high quality to the market place the timely manner.
    • Hire a good people.
    • Create good teams.
    • Organize the teams for efficient execution of the solution.
    • Train people do their jobs well.
    • Establish and re-enforce an engineering culture that motivates and energizes the team.
    • Assure the product is adequately tested.
    • Establish an efficient decision-making processes, driving for fast conflict resolution.
    • Create an environment that balances the urgency with the need to produce quality product.
    • Cause the development environment and tools to be in place to assure efficiency.
    • Provide an environment that frees the individual engineer from the political winds of the organization.
    • Provide career opportunity for the individuals within their organization.
    • Advocate and inform the rest of the organization about the progress of the product.

The most common problem is the technology CTO who spends too much time on the first list and not enough time on the second list. Often, the CTO will initiate many of the right activities but not manage them with sufficient detail to ensure their success. Each half of the job requires more attention to detail than one individual has time for.