I was interviewed by a reporter from Network World this afternoon on what I thought was an interesting subject: knowing what technology to apply where and how to get good technical feedback from your staff.
I think one of the most important things that technical leaders can do to ensure that they get good technical feedback is to be technically literate themselves. You have to keep up with the technology to make technical decisions. I think any CIO or IT manager who thinks that they can just make business decisions and leave the technical decisions to the staff is kidding themselves. I've had plenty of experiences where understanding the technology let me ask better questions which led to a better end result.
I was asked to name a time when I've received good technical staff support. My answer was from the recent past: eREP. eREP is a multi-million dollar eligibility system that we're building. It is the largest of our cross-agency enterprise projects. The technical work on the RFP and subsequent vendor evaluation was superb and left me with a great understanding of what we were doing and why we were doing it. The eREP team and the support crew from ITS did a outstanding job.