A challenge facing many new CIOs, CTOs and other technology leaders is the need to change their organization’s culture and reputation. Fairly or not, technology leaders are often saddled with the perceptions (or misperceptions) that their team can’t deliver projects on time or on budget.

This was the situation I faced when I became CIO of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in 2001. Over the next seven years, we succeeded in transforming IT’s performance and perception – reducing IT spending by more than $800 million annually while dramatically improving service levels.

I’m often asked how we did it. Although numerous factors contributed to this success – like beginning with a great team that had significant potential – one of the most important was a metrics-driven approach to managing IT. Those familiar with process improvement methodologies, such as Lean or Six Sigma, recognize the need to continually measure performance to improve it.

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