Volkswagen of America: Managing IT Priorities
1. What is your assessment of the new process for managing priorities at Volkswagen of America? Are the criticisms justified? Is it an improvement over the old process? How is it an improvement, if it is an improvement?
This Volkswagen of America case sheds light on a common issue of complexity when it comes to planning. Dr. Uwe Matulovic clearly demonstrates the ‘know-how’ to run an effective Information Technology organization, but the planning process he designed was simply over-complex. Distinguishing an IT Steering Committee within the Executive Leadership Team is critical in determining fair funding efforts for all IT projects; this ...view middle of the document...
This rigid and cumbersome method ensured that each business unit had a voice in the process and could present their case equally amongst their peers. This afforded the ETL and ITSC to fully vet each project without tension or persuasion to come to a more logical “what is good for the company” decision. By simply removing the business unit voices from the room, this process affords each group a fair say as it removes the “loudest voice in the room” conundrum.
2. How should Matulovic respond to his fellow executives who are calling to ask him for special treatment outside the new priority management system?
Given that this was the inaugural planning process under Matulovic’s regime, I believe he should listen to all requests. I do not feel that he should change the current process as all groups were under the same guidelines and all had the same objectives, but I believe these criticisms should be used to render this initiative moving forward. While it may create some initial rifts with those that feel slighted, it is more important for Matulovic to stick to the process in place as any deviation would undermine the ultimate goal at hand: choosing the right projects. He needs to make it clear that all concerns are being investigated and that each issue will be addressed for the next planning cycle, but that no one is getting any special treatment. These issues and concerns need to float up to the ITSC for proper planning in the future. If, however, there was a cancelled project or funding did somehow become available, these special requests should be included with the original pool of projects and a secondary planning cycle should commence.
3. What should Matulovic do about the unfunded Supply Flow project? Why?
Similar to his response to his fellow peers, Matulovic needs to maintain his ground regarding the project as best he can. Making changes to funding to fit this project would undermine the process he put in place and ultimately would probably further anger his peers asking for special treatment. I would suggest that his first initiative is to ensure that global perspective is...