Deciding Factors

Von Alice Dragoon

The Mony Group Senior Vice President and CIO E.P. Rogers sees two roles for his IT organization: a utility operation that keeps the lights on, and a business partner working collaboratively with the business to identify and enable new opportunities. "If you don't do a solid job as a utility, you don't get a chance to be a partner or enabler," he says. Since becoming a shared services IT organization in 2001, Rogers says, Mony's IT group has gone from being 90 percent operational and 10 percent strategic to an even 50-50 mix. In other words, the financial services company has shifted 40 percent of its IT resources from utility operations to efforts that grow or transform the business. Meta Group's Rubin concurs that thinking of an IT portfolio in terms of projects that run the business (operational) versus those that grow the business (transformational) makes sense for most companies.

Once you have a portfolio of IT investments, safeguard those investments by making sure they're managed by experts. Project management offices (PMOs) increase the chances of success for IT projects. Expert project managers create and consistently employ best practice project methodologies. Bruce J. Goodman, senior vice president and chief service and information officer of insurance company Humana, says that even if he has no budget, he'll continue to hire project managers. Their skills are in such demand that his PMO "loans" out its project managers to other parts of the organization.

7 Close The Loop With Postmortem Audits

Checking to see whether IT projects deliver on promised value may seem like an obvious best practice, but Rubin says that auditing is relatively uncommon. Among the elite group of this year's CIO 100honorees, however, 65 percent say they do post-implementation audits always or frequently.

GE Industrial Systems tracks project teams' histories of delivering value on time and on budget. This so-called say-do ratio reveals whether a team did what it said it was going to do. If a team spends more than planned, blows the deadline or doesn't deliver promised quality or financial benefits, it gets a zero for say-do on that project. Typically, teams hit all three 80 percent of the time. "If we feel a team has not delivered on prior projects, it has a negative impact on their ability to get funding the following year," Scott says. Rigorous? Sure, but there's a lot at stake. "We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars," he says. "We've got to make sure we're doing it right." By favoring teams with high say-do ratios, GE increases the chances that the capital it invests will payoff.

At hardware retailer Chase Pitkin, CIO T. Christopher Dorsey also happens to be the controller. Not surprising, he and the CEO consider only hard-dollar ROIROI when analyzing projects. Dorsey builds in specific metrics, and checks results monthly against P&L statements. For example, he found employees weren't always calculating special-order delivery charges correctly. After deploying a special-order system that automatically calculates delivery costs, Dorsey was able to determine the value of adding that function when the line item for home delivery income increased by 59 percent. Alles zu ROI auf

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