This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Importance of governance

I've run across two article of interest to the topic of good governance as evidenced by (limited) surveys of companies.

The May 3, 2004 issue of Computerworld has an article on Betting on IT Value by Kathleen Melymuka that highlights the importance of well-governed portfolio management. The article focuses on Harrah's, the top company in a survey of Fortune 1000 IT groups by Prof. Mark Jeffery of Kellogg at Northwestern. He has developed an IT Portfolio Management Maturity Model, and found through the survey that a healthy 17% perform at the highest level (synchronized). 54% perform at the "managed" level; 24.5% in the "defined" level; and the remaining 4.5% at the "ad hoc" level.

To get into the "synchronized" level of Jeffery's maturity model, organizations need to have clear governance over their entire IT project process, from initiation through implementation and closure. Projects need to be clearly tied to business objectives and need to be tracked against the stated benefits to the company. A sidebar lists the Key Questions in Harrah's IT Governance Process.

The second article showed up in my mailbox today from McKinsey Quarterly in their "Chart Focus" email entitled Effective change management pays. This note is a lead in to a longer article, but it tells you the important stuff right up front:

Change-management programs can succeed only if employees at all levels -- senior managers, middle managers, and the front line -- share the will and the skills to change. McKinsey studied these programs at 40 organizations and found a connection between good skills for managing change and the value an organization captures from it.

The accompanying chart is a little difficult for me to parse, but the article is saying that the culture of the organization has to support a change up and down the ladder. No top manager buy-in, the change doesn't get out to the organization. No middle-layer buy-in, the change doesn't get the internal momentum it needs. And without the front-line on the scene, there is no chance that the changes will actually take hold.

Changing the walls of 'the box'

Sense of community online