Comments are great for me, because they remind me to check out blogs and other content I’ve neglected. To that end, I finally bopped back over to Lui Sieh’s blog (here) and immediately saw a timely post on the role of the CIO and IT in matrixed organizations (here).
IMO, IT is plenty matrixed already in most firms, though I wonder how much thought went into many of these organizational designs. In particular, there is traditionally a ton of emphasis placed on the direct reporting line of the CIO. However, is that reporting line really as important as the relationship of the CIO’s direct reports to the business?
In other words, there are always risks in CIO reporting relationships — e.g., to the CEO can mean that IT gets too detached from day-to-day execution, to the CFO can mean too much emphasis on cost cutting, etc. But a well-designed and well-aligned set of relationships among IT business partners — who should report to the CIO — and senior business leaders can mitigate this risk. It is this second layer of governance that is critical.
In fact, this approach should extend to PMOs, where the IT PMO should be linked into PMOs covering research, marketing, capital projects, etc. to ensure appropriate understanding and prioritzation of initiatives across the enterprise (where via a formal or virtual enterprise PMO).