Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Talent And Leadership icon

The First 100 Days As CIO

Partner with Info-Tech for success in this crucial period of transition.

  • You’ve been promoted from within to the role of CIO.
  • You’ve been hired externally to take on the role of CIO.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Foundational understanding must be achieved before you start. Hit the ground running before day one by using company documents and initial discussions to pin down the company’s type and mode.
  • Listen before you act (usually). In most situations, executives benefit from listening to peers and staff before taking action.
  • Identify quick wins early and often. Fix problems as soon as you recognize them to set the tone for your tenure.

Impact and Result

  • Collaborate to collect the details needed to identify the right mode for your organization and determine how it will influence your plan.
  • Use Info-Tech’s diagnostic tools to align your vision with that of business executives and form a baseline for future reference.

The First 100 Days As CIO Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why the first 100 days of being a new executive is a crucial time that requires the right balance of listening with taking action. See how seven calls with an executive advisor will guide you through this period.

1. Check in with your executive advisor over seven calls

Organize your first 100 days as CIO into activities completed within two-week periods, aided by the guidance of an executive advisor.

2. Communicate your plan to your manager

Communicate your strategy with a presentation deck that you will complete in collaboration with Info-Tech advisors.

3. View an example of the final presentation

See an example of a completed presentation deck, from the new CIO of Gotham City.

Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.


Overall Impact


Average $ Saved


Average Days Saved




$ Saved

Days Saved

Billion Automotive

Guided Implementation




I felt this program was valuable and was able to validate things we already had in the process as part of our transition. I think taking the time ... Read More


Guided Implementation




The interaction with Ross was great! We didn't follow a script and we adpted for what my needs and expectations were.

Jewett-Cameron Trading Company

Guided Implementation




Minneapolis Public Schools

Guided Implementation




Seminole Gaming

Guided Implementation




Yolo County

Guided Implementation




This is my first experience being in the role of a CIO. Having a template and a systematic way of going about my first several months on the job h... Read More

Green Brick Partners

Guided Implementation




The First 100 Days As CIO program has been an extremely valuable asset. Even as an internal hire, the initial onslaught of information when I stepp... Read More

BF&M (Canada) Limited

Guided Implementation




Infusion Software, Inc., dba Keap

Guided Implementation




Very clear guidance and discussion. Andy really cut through to some core ideas and processes that I could implement to allow me to focus on success... Read More

Quebec Iron Ore

Guided Implementation




Augusta National Golf Club

Guided Implementation




I enjoyed the conversation with Andy to getting some of his ideas and insights on how I can be more successful in my role, and potential future rol... Read More

Regional Sanitation & Sacramento Area Sewer District

Guided Implementation




Manning & Napier Advisors, LLC

Guided Implementation




Saskatchewan Water Security Agency

Guided Implementation




Talking with Andy was a great experience, the knowledge and advice will help me navigate my transition a lot easier, as well as help to avoid some ... Read More

The First 100 Days As CIO

Partner with Info-Tech for success in this crucial period of transition.

Analyst Perspective

The first 100 days refers to the 10 days before you start and the first three months on the job.

“The original concept of ‘the first 100 days’ was popularized by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who passed a battery of new legislation after taking office as US president during the Great Depression. Now commonly extended to the business world, the first 100 days of any executive role is a critically important period for both the executive and the organization.

But not every new leader should follow FDR’s example of an action-first approach. Instead, finding the right balance of listening and taking action is the key to success during this transitional period. The type of the organization and the mode that it’s in serves as the fulcrum that determines where the point of perfect balance lies. An executive facing a turnaround situation will want to focus on more action more quickly. One facing a sustaining success situation or a realignment situation will want to spend more time listening before taking action.” (Brian Jackson, Research Director, CIO, Info-Tech Research Group)

Executive summary


  • You’ve been promoted from within to the role of CIO.
  • You’ve been hired externally to take on the role of CIO.


Studies show that two years after a new executive transition, as many as half are regarded as failures or disappointments (McKinsey). First impressions are hard to overcome, and a CIO’s first 100 days are heavily weighted in terms of how others will assess their overall success. The best way to approach this period is determined by both the size and the mode of an organization.


  • Work with Info-Tech to prepare a 100-day plan that will position you for success.
  • Collaborate to collect the details needed to identify the right mode for your organization and determine how it will influence your plan.
  • Use Info-Tech’s diagnostic tools to align your vision with that of business executives and form a baseline for future reference.

Info-Tech Insight

  1. Foundational understanding must be achieved before you start.
    Hit the ground running before day one by using company documents and initial discussions to pin down the company’s type and mode.
  2. Listen before you act (usually).
    In most situations, executives benefit from listening to peers and staff before taking action.
  3. Identify quick wins early and often.
    Fix problems as soon as you recognize them to set the tone for your tenure.

The First 100 Days: Roadmap

A roadmap timeline of 'The 100-Day Plan' for your first 100 days as CIO and related Info-Tech Diagnostics. Step A: 'Foundational Preparation' begins 10 days prior to your first day. Step B: 'Management's Expectations' is Days 0 to 30, with the diagnostic 'CIO-CEO Alignment'. Step C: 'Assessing the IT Team' is Days 10 to 75, with the diagnostics 'IT M&G Diagnostic' at Day 30 and 'IT Staffing Assessment' at Day 60. Step D: 'Assess the Key Stakeholders' is Days 40 to 85 with the diagnostic 'CIO Business Vision Survey'. Step E: 'Deliver First-Year Plan' is Days 80 to 100.

Concierge service overview

Organize a call with your executive advisor every two weeks during your first 100 days. Info-Tech recommends completing our diagnostics during this period. If you’re not able to do so, instead complete the alternative activities marked with (a).

Call 1 Call 2 Call 3 Call 4 Call 5 Call 6 Call 7
Before you start: Day -10 to Day 1
  • 1.1 Interview your predecessor.
  • 1.2 Learn the corporate structure.
  • 1.3 Determine STARS mode.
  • 1.4 Create a one-page intro sheet.
  • 1.5 Update your boss.
Day 0 to 15
  • 2.1 Introduce yourself to your team.
  • 2.2 Document your sphere of influence.
  • 2.3 Complete a competitor array.
  • 2.4 Complete the CEO-CIO Alignment Program.
  • 2.4(a) Agree on what success looks like with the boss.
  • 2.5 Inform team of IT M&G Framework.
Day 16 to 30
  • 3.1 Determine the team’s cultural archetype.
  • 3.2 Create a cultural adjustment plan.
  • 3.3 Initiate IT M&G Diagnostic.
  • 3.4 Conduct a high-level analysis of current IT capabilities.
  • 3.4 Update your boss.
Day 31 to 45
  • 4.1 Inform stakeholders about CIO Business Vision survey.
  • 4.2 Get feedback on initial assessments from your team.
  • 4.3 Initiate CIO Business Vision survey.
  • 4.3(a) Meet stakeholders and catalog details.
Day 46 to 60
  • 5.1 Inform the team that you plan to conduct an IT staffing assessment.
  • 5.2 Initiate the IT Staffing Assessment.
  • 5.3 Quick wins: Make recommend-ations based on CIO Business Vision Diagnostic/IT M&G Framework.
  • 5.4 Update your boss.
Day 61 to 75
  • 6.1 Run a start, stop, continue exercise with IT staff.
  • 6.2 Make a categorized vendor list.
  • 6.3 Determine the alignment of IT commitments with business objectives.
Day 76 to 90
  • 7.1 Finalize your vision – mission – values statement.
  • 7.2 Quick Wins: Make recommend-ations based on IT Staffing Assessment.
  • 7.3 Create and communicate a post-100-day plan.
  • 7.4 Update your boss.
Deliverables Presentation Deck Section A: Foundational Preparation Presentation Deck slides 9, 11-13, 19-20, 29 Presentation Deck slides 16, 17, 21 Presentation Deck slides 30, 34 Presentation Deck slides 24, 25, 2 Presentation Deck slides 27, 42

Call 1

Before you start: Day -10 to Day 1

Interview your predecessor

Interviewing your predecessor can help identify the organization’s mode and type.

Before reaching out to your predecessor, get a sense of whether they were viewed as successful or not. Ask your manager. If the predecessor remains within the organization in a different role, understand your relationship with them and how you'll be working together.

During the interview, make notes about follow-up questions you'll ask others at the organization.

Ask these open-ended questions in the interview:

  • Tell me about the team.
  • Tell me about your challenges.
  • Tell me about a major project your team worked on. How did it go?
  • Who/what has been helpful during your tenure?
  • Who/what created barriers for you?
  • What do your engagement surveys reveal?
  • Tell me about your performance management programs and issues.
  • What mistakes would you avoid if you could lead again?
  • Why are you leaving?
  • Could I reach out to you again in the future?

Learn the corporate structure

Identify the organization’s corporate structure type based on your initial conversations with company leadership. The type of structure will dictate how much control you'll have as a functional head and help you understand which stakeholders you'll need to collaborate with.

To Do:

  • Review the organization’s structure list and identify whether the structure is functional, prioritized, or a matrix. If it's a matrix organization, determine if it's a strong matrix (project manager holds more authority), weak matrix (functional manager holds more authority), or balanced matrix (managers hold equal authority).


  • Most common structure.
  • Traditional departments such as sales, marketing, finance, etc.
  • Functional managers hold most authority.


  • Most programs are implemented through projects with focused outcomes.
  • Teams are cross-functional.
  • Project managers hold the most authority.


  • Combination of projectized and functional.
  • Organization is a dynamic environment.
  • Authority of functional manager flows down through division, while authority of project manager flows sideways through teams.

This organization is a ___________________ type.

(Source: Simplilearn)

Presentation Deck, slide 6

Determine the mode of the organization: STARS

Based on your interview process and discussions with company leadership, and using Michael Watkins’ STARS assessment, determine which mode your organization is in: startup, turnaround, accelerated growth, realignment, or sustaining success.

Knowing the mode of your organization will determine how you approach your 100-day plan. Depending on the mode, you'll rebalance your activities around the three categories of assess, listen, and deliver.

To Do:

  • Review the STARS table on the right.

Based on your situation, prioritize activities in this way:

  • Startup: assess, listen, deliver
  • Turnaround: deliver, listen, assess
  • Accelerated Growth: assess, listen, deliver
  • Realignment: listen, assess, deliver
  • Sustaining success: listen, assess, deliver

This organization is a ___________________ type.

(Source: Watkins, 2013.)

Presentation Deck, slide 6

Determine the mode of the organization: STARS

STARS Startup Turnaround Accelerated Growth Realignment Sustaining Success
Definition Assembling capabilities to start a project. Project is widely seen as being in serious trouble. Managing a rapidly expanding business. A previously successful organization is now facing problems. A vital organization is going to the next level.
Challenges Must build strategy, structures, and systems from scratch. Must recruit and make do with limited resources. Stakeholders are demoralized; slash and burn required. Requires structure and systems to scale; hiring and onboarding. Employees need to be convinced change is needed; restructure at the top required. Risk of living in shadow of a successful former leader.
Advantages No rigid preconceptions. High-energy environment and easy to pivot. A little change goes a long way when people recognize the need. Motivated employee base willing to stretch. Organization has clear strengths; people desire success. Likely a strong team; foundation for success likely in place.

Satya Nadella's listen, lead, and launch approach


Industry Software
Source Gregg Keizer, Computerworld, 2014

When Satya Nadella was promoted to the CEO role at Microsoft in 2014, he received a Glassdoor approval rating of 85% and was given an "A" grade by industry analysts after his first 100 days. What did he do right?

  • Created a sense of urgency by shaking up the senior leadership team.
  • Already understood the culture as an insider.
  • Listened a lot and did many one-on-one meetings.
  • Established a vision communicated with a mantra that Microsoft would be "mobile-first, cloud-first."
  • Met his words with actions. He launched Office for iPad and made many announcements for cloud platform Azure.
Photo of Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp.
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp. (Image source: Microsoft)

Listen to 'The First 100 Days' podcast – Alan Fong

Create a one-page introduction sheet to use in communications

As a new CIO, you'll have to introduce yourself to many people in the organization. To save time on communicating who you are as a person outside of the office, create a brief one-pager that includes a photo of you, where you were born and raised, and what your hobbies are. This helps make a connection more quickly so your conversations can focus on the business at hand rather than personal topics.

For your presentation deck, remove the personal details and just keep it professional. The personal aspects can be used as a one-pager for other communications. (Source: Personal interview with Denis Gaudreault, Country Lead, Intel.)

Presentation Deck, slide 5

Call 2

Day 1 to Day 15

Introduce yourself to your team

Prepare a 20-second pitch about yourself that goes beyond your name and title. Touch on your experience that's relevant to your new role or the industry you're in. Be straightforward about your own perceived strengths and weaknesses so that people know what to expect from you. Focus on the value you believe you'll offer the group and use humor and humility where you're comfortable. For example:

“Hi everyone, my name is John Miller. I have 15 years of experience marketing conferences like this one to vendors, colleges, and HR departments. What I’m good at, and the reason I'm here, is getting the right people, businesses, and great ideas in a room together. I'm not good on details; that's why I work with Tim. I promise that I'll get people excited about the conference, and the gifts and talents of everyone else in this room will take over from there. I'm looking forward to working with all of you.”

Have a structured set of questions ready that you can ask everyone.

For example:
  • How well is the company performing based on expectations?
  • What must the company do to sustain its financial performance and market competitiveness?
  • How do you foresee the CIO contributing to the team?
  • How have past CIOs performed from the perspective of the team?
  • What would successful performance of this role look like to you? To your peers?
  • What challenges and obstacles to success am I likely to encounter? What were the common challenges of my predecessor?
  • How do you view the culture here and how do successful projects tend to get approved?
  • What are your greatest challenges? How could I help you?

Get to know your sphere of influence: prepare to connect with a variety of people before you get down to work

Your ability to learn from others is critical at every stage in your first 100 days. Keep your sphere of influence in the loop as you progress through this period.

A diagram of circles within circles representing your spheres of influence. The smallest circle is 'IT Leaders' and is noted as your 'Immediate circle'. The next largest circle is 'IT Team', then 'Peers - Business Leads', then 'Internal Clients' which is noted as you 'Extended circle'. The largest circle is 'External clients'.

Write down the names, or at least the key people, in each segment of this diagram. This will serve as a quick reference when you're planning communications with others and will help you remember everyone as you're meeting lots of new people in your early days on the job.

  • Everyone knows their networks are important.
  • However, busy schedules can cause leaders to overlook their many audiences.
  • Plan to meet and learn from all people in your sphere to gain a full spectrum of insights.

Presentation Deck, slide 29

Identify how your competitors are leveraging technology for competitive advantage

Competitor identification and analysis are critical steps for any new leader to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of their organization and develop a sense of strategic opportunity and environmental awareness.

Today’s CIO is accountable for driving innovation through technology. A competitive analysis will provide the foundation for understanding the current industry structure, rivalry within it, and possible competitive advantages for the organization.

Surveying your competitive landscape prior to the first day will allow you to come to the table prepared with insights on how to support the organization and ensure that you are not vulnerable to any competitive blind spots that may exist in the evaluations conducted by the organization already.

You will not be able to gain a nuanced understanding of the internal strengths and weaknesses until you are in the role, so focus on the external opportunities and how competitors are using technology to their advantage.

Info-Tech Best Practice

For a more in-depth approach to identifying and understanding relevant industry trends and turning them into insights, leverage the following Info-Tech blueprints:

Presentation Deck, slide 9

Assess the external competitive environment

Associated Activity icon

INPUT: External research

OUTPUT: Competitor array

  1. Conduct a broad analysis of the industry as a whole. Seek to answer the following questions:
    1. Are there market developments or new markets?
    2. Are there industry or lifestyle trends, e.g. move to mobile?
    3. Are there geographic changes in the market?
    4. Are there demographic changes that are shaping decision making?
    5. Are there changes in market demand?
  2. Create a competitor array by identifying and listing key competitors. Try to be as broad as possible here and consider not only entrenched close competitors but also distant/future competitors that may disrupt the industry.
  3. Identify the strengths, weaknesses, and key brand differentiators that each competitor brings to the table. For each strength and differentiator, brainstorm ways that IT-based innovation enables each. These will provide a toolkit for deeper conversations with your peers and your business stakeholders as you move further into your first 100 days.
Competitor Strengths Weaknesses Key Differentiators IT Enablers
Competitor 1
Competitor 2
Competitor 3

Complete the CEO-CIO Alignment Program

Associated Activity icon Run the diagnostic program or use the alternative activities to complete your presentation

INPUT: CEO-CEO Alignment Program (recommended)

OUTPUT: Desired and target state of IT maturity, Innovation goals, Top priorities

Materials: Presentation Deck, slides 11-13

Participants: CEO, CIO

Introduce the concept of the CEO-CIO Alignment Program using slide 10 of your presentation deck and the brief email text below.

Talk to your advisory contact at Info-Tech about launching the program. More information is available on Info-Tech’s website.

Once the report is complete, import the results into your presentation:

  • Slide 11, the CEO’s current and desired states
  • Slide 12, IT innovation goals
  • Slide 13, top projects and top departments from the CEO and the CIO

Include any immediate recommendations you have.


I’m excited to get started in my role as CIO, and to hit the ground running, I’d like to make sure that the IT department is aligned with the business leadership. We will accomplish this using Info-Tech Research Group’s CEO-CIO Alignment Program. It’s a simple survey of 20 questions to be completed by the CEO and the CIO.

This survey will help me understand your perception and vision as I get my footing as CIO. I’ll be able to identify and build core IT processes that will automate IT-business alignment going forward and create an effective IT strategy that helps eliminate impediments to business growth.

Research shows that IT departments that are effectively aligned to business goals achieve more success, and I’m determined to make our IT department as successful as possible. I look forward to further detailing the benefits of this program to you and answering any questions you may have the next time we speak.


New KPIs for CEO-CIO Alignment — Recommended

Info-Tech CEO-CIO Alignment Program

Info-Tech's CEO-CIO Alignment Program is set up to build IT-business alignment in any organization. It helps the CIO understand CEO perspectives and priorities. The exercise leads to useful IT performance indicators, clarifies IT’s mandate and which new technologies it should invest in, and maps business goals to IT priorities.


Master the Basics
Cut through the jargon.
Take a comprehensive look at the CEO perspective.
Target Alignment
Identify how IT can support top business priorities. Address CEO-CIO differences.
Start on the Right Path
Get on track with the CIO vision. Use correct indicators and metrics to evaluate IT from day one.

Supporting Tool or Template icon Additional materials are available on Info-Tech’s website.

The desired maturity level of IT — Alternative

Associated Activity icon Use only if you can’t complete the CEO-CIO Alignment Program

Step 1: Where are we today?

Determine where the CEO sees the current overall maturity level of the IT organization.

Step 2: Where do we want to be as an organization?

Determine where the CEO wants the IT organization to be in order to effectively support the strategic direction of the business.

A colorful visual representation of the different IT maturity levels. At the bottom is 'STRUGGLE, Unable to Provide Reliable Business Services', then moving upwards are 'SUPPORT, Reliable Infrastructure and IT Service Desk', 'OPTIMIZE, Effective Fulfillment of Work Orders, Functional Business Applications, and Reliable Service Management', 'EXPAND, Effective Execution on Business Projects, Strategic Use of Analytics and Customer Technology', and at the top is 'TRANSFORM, Reliable Technology Innovation'.

Presentation Deck, slide 11

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.


Overall Impact

Average $ Saved

Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst


Brian Jackson


  • Eric Wright, CEO, LexisNexis Canada
  • Susan Bowen, CEO, Aptum
  • Wayne Berger, CEO, IWG Plc
  • Denis Gaudreault, Country Lead, Intel Canada and Latin America
  • Andrew Wertkin, Chief Strategy Officer, BlueCat
  • David Penny, Chief Technology Officer, BlueCat
  • Erin Bury, CEO, Willful
  • Alan Fong, Chief Technology Officer, DealerFX
  • Gary Davenport, Past-President, CIO Association of Canada
  • Jennifer Schaeffer, Vice President of IT and CIO, Athabasca University
Visit our IT Cost Optimization Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019