When dealing with higher ups I've learned some do's and don'ts. Unfortunately, I did not have this site at the time as my resource and I learned through experience. Which I wish I did not :-(
I am hoping you can avoid some of my pitfalls. Since this can be a lenghty post, I'll just try to give additional points on the one that I took to heart. These are a combination of observation and comments from my CFO (who I used to regularly meet before he retired -- Miss ya Bob).
- Don't go in the meeting airing out personal opinion of your IT director.
This will automatically seen as a 'rant' rather than productive criticism. My previous CFO asked said to me one time "what part of your issues are your own personal struggle and which ones are organizational?". I realized that I was in front of the CFO for 30 minutes ranting how I don't get things done my way. Not saying this is you. But this what happened to me.
- Don't say things you can't prove without actual facts.
- Don't say things that hooks your other team members into liability. Such as "Erick, Brad and Sandy feels the same way". Focus solely on you. If the VP want's their opinion, he will set up meetings with them. Also, this doesn't put your other team members on a platform that they don't want to be in.
- Focus on facts that affects your productivity. Provide clear and positive samples. Provide the emails/sign offs as evidence. Don't try to bring in verbal confirmation because it becomes a "he said / she said"
Here's some samples of my approach:
Project 1( Aug - Sept). Delayed 2 weeks due to miscommunication of requirements from director. Not sure what happened but this affected our team my 2 weeks.
Project 2(Sept - October). Unclear direction from the start and vision of the project wasn't there. Therefore, our staff didn't know what to do. Tried raising this as a concern but director said this in an email XYZ.
Project 3(October). Successfully got a vision and requirements but unable to deploy properly due to XYZ.
- Provide solutions that VP can act upon. Not hypothetical.
Be prepared to offer solutions on what could be done better. For each of the areas you bring in. Be prepared to talk about the possibility of having your IT director being full time on IT or not in IT at all. Possibly hiring another IT director that's more qualified in order to improve ABCD etc.
There's a lot more to be said but I think you can figure out where I am going. Please try and really sit down and understand where issues are coming from. Separate opinions of your IT director and focus on areas where lack of leadership really affects your team.
Maybe in the end, with all the facts that this may not a lack of leadership issue but rather just a perceived one . The issue may also be in you and your teams attitude towards your director and not really an organizational one(happened to me and it I had to own up to it).
Good luck. I hope this helps you.