A Day in the Life of an ASX100 CTO

It’s our third & final edition of 'A Day in the Life…’ a series breaking into the black box of Dev work by speaking to the experts that live & breathe it every day.

Read on to hear what keeps Bob* the CTO of an ASX100-listed Financial institution awake at night.

Q: What’s your role?

“As CTO I look after everything technology-related; the engineering practices, corporate IT, InfoSec, the platform and some of the delivery, which is shared with Product [team].”

Bob heads up a team of around 260 people, mostly software engineers & developers.

Q: How does your team work?

“We call it stream-based delivery, which is our BAU. We've got a product and we’re building features & functionality.

Every now and again, we do what we define as a complex project, which involves multiple teams: customer support, marketing, etc.”

So Bob’s team of 260 are focused on maintaining & making existing products better [BAU], while occasionally developing new products & offerings [complex projects]. These complex projects need input from every team in the org.

Q: What’s your top priority?

“Everyone's really busy, right? But the number one thing you're trying to do is work out: Are you delivering value from the effort you’re putting in?”

When you’re responsible for 260 people, making sure they’re focused on the highest value activity is crucial.

Q: And why is that so important?

“We have a very large R&D spend. So we've got to know, are we investing that well or poorly?

And the first thing you need to do is track the effort.

The second part is then to track the value, which is the holy grail of all R&D companies.”

Because Research & Development is all about innovation, it’s very difficult to quantify its value concretely.

It’s (relatively) easy to figure out what people are working on, but putting a clear value on what they’re building is hard.

‘Holy Grail’ hard.

Q: What’s one thing that can never be neglected?

Before we hear from Bob, some context.

When you’re in the C-suite of a publicly listed company, the Board of Directors is a key stakeholder group to manage.

They’re kind of a big deal.

“The number one Board thing to solve was delivery [of new products & features].

It wasn't necessarily the team stuck on getting things out the door. There's just no visibility of that work in progress.”

Q: If you could wave a magic wand to Align People, Processes & Technology, what would that look like?

“Move off a bunch of spreadsheets & PowerPoint slides, to a central store of the true activity for the portfolio.”

Lightbulb moment: In previous Editions we heard a Product Manager & Agile Project Manager both explain how reporting progress to the C-suite is a major drain on their capacity.

Turns out, the C-suite feels the same way.

Bob continues with his Magic Wand:

“We'd love to work out the percentage of time we're working on features vs compliance vs support vs maintenance. That gives us our capacity management.”

So there you have it - the trials & tribulations of an ASX100 CTO.

So what does it all mean?

In this series, we spoke to:

  • Tania* - a Product Manager at a B2B SaaS company

  • James* - Agile Project Manager at a B2B SaaS company

  • Bob* - CTO at an ASX100 listed Financial institution

Turns out, they were all facing the same problems from different angles:

How do we keep everyone informed of progress, and make sure we’re getting stuff done as effectively & efficiently as possible?

As it happens, we can help 🙂 

We help Enterprise customers align People, Processes & Technology.

Reply to learn more about our Business Process Consulting offering, powered by monday.com, or read some of our Case Studies.

*customer names changed