As a former CIO and Digital Executive, I understand and empathise with any technology executive when it comes to balancing their time. Time Management is part art and science.
To ensure I was balanced and engaged where I needed to be, I would sensor check with my business manager weekly in five key areas.
My goal was to achieve 20% every month across each of these areas, in order to maximize the outcomes that I was responsible for.
Here are those five key audiences:
Business - allocating time to where the customers are is critical. Visiting, observing or listening to how the company operates will improve your questions and influence.
Executive - understanding the perspectives of your peer group and board, their area's vision, and their objectives will enable greater value to be delivered by technology function. Using this time to explain aligned technology initiatives and progress will result in meaningful connection.
Internal - attending selected technology team meetings, steering committees, and scrums to show support and build the community. Take the time to build relationships within your broader team, so when something goes wrong, it isn't the first time a colleague speaks with you.
Team - your direct reports, understanding their objectives, perspectives, and broader career aspirations. Be present in these conversations and truly listen by applying the “one mouth and two ears” ratio.
External - consciously choosing to spend time with key vendors and industry forums to broaden your perspectives and keep your thinking contemporary, all will benefit your employer and sustain your career.
My business manager and I developed an A, B and an "Other" list of relationships. The As and Bs aligned to the above would result in priority meetings scheduled. The "Other" relationships would be discussed weekly, accommodated if possible, and respectfully managed.
Finally - remember to treat everyone the same when you meet with them; your priorities determine when you can spend the time.