We recently spoke with Lance Giles who leads the team that won the 2020 ITAM Excellence Award for ‘Implementation, Team or Project of the Year’. Lance spoke with us for the Change Makers podcast series, which features ITAM leaders who share their stories and top tips to help elevate the ITAM profession and give inspiration to all of us.
Lance has worked on the vendor side, the publisher side, the end-user side and the consulting side so he has a great and refreshing perspective. In his current role, he started the organisation’s ITAM practice from the ground up.
Here are a few things we spoke with Lance about.
How did you go about finding the right people for your team? That is, people who have the ability to consult, who can see the bigger picture, who can ask the right questions and lead?
I wanted some veteran presence from inside the organisation. I needed someone who understood the history. How did we get to this place? What bumps have we experienced along the way? I also wanted a good writer, someone who could communicate efficiently and effectively. Someone who could take a 500-word email and cut it down to 100 words. So, really, I wanted my own marketing team. We needed to sell who we are and what we do to get buy in. We needed to get our point across quickly, to be precise and to communicate well.
How did you identify stakeholders and build relationships so your team could deliver true business value?
Step 1. Day 1. Understand the scope of what you’re managing. From there, associate operational accountability to what’s being managed. There will be a human being. There will be a first and last name. Look for repeat names.
The one event that opened up more doors was when I started to work with Finance. Who is spending the money? How is it being spent? How does something get purchased? What is the process? I aligned with Finance and the Global Procurement team. I wanted to partner with them, to enable them. Let’s determine if what’s being requested is exactly what’s needed. Also, let’s put fact to paper rather than estimating and forecasting.
Regarding senior management, why do some get it while others don’t? Why do some ITAM professionals struggle on their own without recognition, resources or a team while others flourish?
You need to close the loop. This is the challenge of ITAM. It can be so broad and so vast. Some individuals over simplify or over complicate matters. Pick initiatives that you can complete. There has to be a deliverable. If that means you simplify what you set out to do, that’s fine. You have to finish.
What gives you the greatest sense of satisfaction and achievement in your role? What makes you say, wow, that was a great day?
When my direct reports feel they have contributed. When they are happy with themselves, and they feel part of the team and the greater good. That’s all I need. It’s about them and about seeing people grow and do well. That speaks for itself. Anyone I’ve been able to bring on board, watching them succeed and grow, that outweighs any deliverable or presentation. It always boils down to people.
What advice would you give someone who is starting an ITAM program? Do you have one key tip?
Be great at one thing. Don’t get bogged down with trying to know everything. Pick a sweet spot. ITAM is very broad. Have your go to. I’m a mixed martial arts fan. The parallel I’m drawing is that to be successful, you need to be grounded in a discipline, whether that’s wrestling, karate, boxing, jujitsu. Have an area you’re comfortable in. You don’t have to understand everything. It’s not humanly possible. Pick an area that interests you.