Project Practitioners > Niel Nickolaisen

Niel Nickolaisen

Niel Nickolaisen

Niel Nickolaisen is the CIO and Director of Strategic Planning at Headwaters, Inc. He has held technology executive (CIO) and operations executive (COO) positions; typically in turnaround roles. He holds a MS in Engineering from MIT and a BS in Physics from Utah State University. He writes columns for the CIO Leadership Network and Search CIO. He is also one of the founders of Accelinnova, a think tank focused on improving organizational and IT agility.

He is passionate about process simplification including strategic planning, Sarbanes Oxley, product development, and IT operations. This includes applying lean concepts to all types of business activities including IT.


PPM, The Final Frontier
By Niel Nickolaisen
I will admit that I am not the smartest person on the face of the earth. Almost everything I have learned about IT governance and project portfolio management (PPM) I... Read More»

What Is The One Thing That Best Determines Project Success?
By Niel Nickolaisen
In my voluminous spare time, I have been polling my network of project managers. My poll question is this: What is the single most important determinant of project success? Each... Read More»

My Role In Reducing Project Churn
By Niel Nickolaisen
At my wife's request, I spent a lot of time with her parents over the holidays. My father-in-law is still not sure - after 28 years of marriage - if... Read More»

Assuming The Worst
By Niel Nickolaisen
In the absence of communication, we humans will almost always assume the worst. Recently, I was on a flight from Salt Lake City to Atlanta. In Atlanta, I had a... Read More»

Making Change Better
By Niel Nickolaisen
Late last week, I got a call from a college student. He is in one of his senior Business Information System (BIS) classes and had the assignment to interview a... Read More»

Pushing Pebbles Up A Hill
By Niel Nickolaisen
A few years ago, our Human Resources department decided to bundle a health screening with our annual flu shot party. I figured that since I had to roll up my... Read More»

Are These Benefits Real?
By Niel Nickolaisen
Have you ever had the experience of watching a peer drive directly for a cliff? You can see where he is headed and know that the result will not be... Read More»

Taking Time To Learn
By Niel Nickolaisen
We have one plant that is a model of lean manufacturing. They are so good at one-piece flow and just-in-time that, from one day to the next, they carry no... Read More»

The Power of 5S
By Niel Nickolaisen
Sort Before You Clutter "How many of you have ever cleaned your garage or storage room?" Everyone in the room raised their hand. "How many of you have had to... Read More»

Nothing Succeeds Like Staff Development
By Niel Nickolaisen
I once had a brilliant senior network engineer named Brian who struggled with the concept of personnel development. Methods were much more important to him than results. As long as... Read More»




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