CASE 2: Improving Enterprise Governance of IT in a Major Airline – Steven De
Haes; Wim Van Grembergen
1. Discuss how KLM embarked on the journey towards improved enterprise
governance of IT. If you would be a business consultant, what approach
would you take to launch such an improvement program?
2. In the beginning of the text, Enterprise governance of IT is defined as an
integral part of enterprise governance addressing the definition and
implementation of the processes, structures and relational mechanisms in the
organization that enables both business and IT people to execute their
responsibilities in support of business/IT alignment and the creation of
Structures include organizational units and roles responsible for making IT
decisions and for enabling contacts between business and IT management
decision-making functions (e.g. IT steering committees). This can be seen as
a form of blueprint for how the governance framework will be structurally
processes refers to the formalization and institutionalization of strategic IT
decision making and IT monitoring procedures, to ensure that day to day
outcomes are consistent with policies and provide input back to decisions
(e.g. IT balanced scorecard).
relational mechanisms are ultimately about the active participation of, and
collaborative relationship among, the board, senior corporate executives, IT
management, and business management. They include mechanisms such as
announcements, advocates and educational efforts.
Revisit the case and identify the structures, processes and relational
mechanisms applied in this case. Make sure you can clearly explain each of
these practices and its role in the context of enterprise governance of IT.
3. Discuss the motivation and criteria behind the “staying on the surfboard
principle”. Explain how you think this framework could / should evolve over
4. The case describes the portfolio management process which begins with
an identification off the business drivers. Explain why KLM developed a
specific approach for capturing business drivers. What could be a point of
critique in this process?
5. The journey towards better enterprise governance of IT has been, and
continues to be an enriching one for KLM, and many challenges have been
overcome. However, as with any journey, there are still more challenges
ahead which must also be overcome to ensure that the journey will be
continued in a positive way. What according to you are the important areas
that needs to be improved in the coming period?
6. Although all organizations, including KLM, face some unique challenges,
concerns around effective governance of IT, and the realization of real
business value from today’s significant and increasingly complex
investments in IT are a universal concern. Other organizations can certainly
benefit from the experiences and lessons learned by KLM in this area. After
reading the case, what according to you the factors that have been key to
KLM’s success to-date, and could as such be recommended to other
organizations with an interest in improving their governance of IT?