!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Success Criteria for a CIO

Monday, June 23, 2008

Success Criteria for a CIO

The June 23 issue of Information Week has a quite interesting one-page profile of Mike Foley, the CIO of MassMutual. What particularly caught my eye was Foley's explanation of how he and his colleagues measure IT effectiveness. It's a matter of answering four questions:
  • Do our business partners believe they're receiving excellent value for their IT investment?

  • Is there high operational stability?

  • Is there strong project execution and quality delivery?

  • Is the IT plan explainable in a way that parallels the business strategic plan?
On May 28, Nathan Conz, writing for Insurance & Technology, provided an extended account of how the IT department at MassMutual has approached making sure that the answer to each of the above questions is "Yes." Among other things, the company has made a point of helping employees expand their skills beyond technical competencies. To this end, MassMutual is creating a more open work environment:
Dress codes have been relaxed, open floor plans have been instituted and nonhierarchical seating arrangements have been put in place. Meanwhile, the carrier has started to colocate business and IT teams in the same workplace.

Recently, the company went to a federated organizational model that has more closely integrated certain IT teams with individual business units. In some instances, MassMutual execs say, it has become difficult to immediately differentiate IT workers from business workers in meetings.
Beyond the benefit to its operations, MassMutual is looking to its modernization efforts to help in recruiting.

MassMutual's recent intiatives would seem to be bearing fruit. As reported here, statutory net gain from operations before dividends and taxes was up 25% in 2007 over 2006 (which was also a good year, as reported here).


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