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Transforming a Company, Project by Project: The IT Engagement Model

Nils O. Fonstad, David Robertson

Abstract


Information Technology (IT) organizations have long struggled with achieving company-wide strategies while simultaneously responding to urgent requests from business units to implement solutions for local projects.

Our studies suggest that successful approaches address two fundamental goals: alignment between IT and the rest of the business and coordination across multiple organizational levels. Our IT engagement model describes these successful approaches. We define our model as the system of mechanisms that brings together key stakeholders to ensure that projects achieve both local and company-wide objectives. It consists of three general components: company-wide IT governance, project management, and linking mechanisms. This article focuses on the linking mechanisms because they are crucial but not well understood. We illustrate the model with two case studies: BT plc and Toyota Motor Marketing Europe (TMME). Both companies have distributed the risks and responsibilities of achieving company-wide objectives across multiple stakeholders and have incrementally achieved company-wide objectives on a project-by-project basis.

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ISSN 1540-1960