Stories by Thomas Hoffman

Three questions for Charles Feld

The former CIO at Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Delta Air Lines sees a bright 2007, where CIOs and CXOs fuse together to create 21st-century companies.

Three questions for Charles Feld

The former CIO at Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Delta Air Lines sees a bright 2007, where CIOs and CXOs fuse together to create 21st-century companies.

Offer rewards to get happier workers

It's a truism of the workplace: People tend to work harder in organizations where their individual contributions are recognized and rewarded. Companies with engaged employees also generally perform better. According to a 10-year survey of 200,000 managers and employees around the world conducted by The Jackson Organization, organizations that consistently recognize excellence generate a return on equity more than three times higher than institutions that don't.

How to cope with jerks at work

We've all worked with them at one time or another: people who are disruptive, abusive or otherwise demeaning or mean-spirited. In short, they're jerks. Incendiary co-workers are more than a workplace distraction, however. Indeed, a growing body of research is being conducted in the U.S. and Europe that examines the impact bullies have on productivity and financial performance. Thomas Hoffman spoke yesterday with Robert Sutton, the author of <i>The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't</i>, which is scheduled to be published by Warner Business Books on Feb. 22, about his inspiration for the book and some of the lessons that managers can draw from it. Excerpts from that interview follow.

P&G: Toward More Innovative IT

Supporting sprawling business operations seamlessly across 86 countries would challenge any IT group, but at The Procter & Gamble, a company known for innovation, that's not enough. Since the IT organization at the 169-year-old consumer products titan was melded into its shared-services business in 2005, CIO and Global Services Officer Filippo Passerini has challenged the IT team to live up to the company's reputation for creativity.

Squeezing dollars from maintenance

It's a conundrum many IT executives face: how to drive down spending on IT maintenance and operations to free up capital for discretionary IT-business projects.

The evolution of project, portfolio management

As project management and portfolio management disciplines have matured over the years, vendors that support these functional areas have had to evolve along with them -- or die trying. One vendor that has survived is Primavera Systems. With 22 consecutive years of revenue growth and profitability under its belt, the company has adapted well to changing market demands.

Forrester analysts weigh the ROI of blogging

Although the idea may not yet be considered mainstream, many corporate executives and marketing gurus believe corporate blogs are useful tools that can bring companies closer to customers and generate interest in products or services.

Security convergence

In many respects, the physical and information security groups that coexist within companies are as different from each other as J. Edgar Hoover and Bill Gates.

Working with international headquarters

When Russ Finney travels to Japan as the CIO of Tokyo Electron America, he knows that many of the strategy sessions in which the biggest decisions will be made won't take place in conference rooms or board meetings, but in restaurants and nightclubs.

Beating institutional inertia

Nothing is more important to a project's success than buy-in from key stakeholders, so it's particularly exasperating when an IT project aimed at saving the company money meets with resistance from IT and business constituents alike.

Taming IT at the World Wildlife Fund

Prior to 2001, IT governance was a foreign concept at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Business unit leaders decided which IT projects to fund without documenting their requirements or drawing much input from the IT organization. The IT department was expected to support all new applications that were introduced, and modifications to systems were communicated to the IT staff very informally.

Measuring up: meaningful metrics

Tim Stanley and the IT organization at Harrah's Entertainment in Las Vegas have won many awards for their world-class IT operation. Harrah's IT department has constantly monitored hundreds of details such as system uptime and project deliverables to track its performance over the past five years. It even links the success of its IT objectives to the company's earnings-per-share growth.

Squeezing IT dollars from maintenance

It's a conundrum many IT executives face: how to drive down spending on IT maintenance and operations to free up capital for discretionary IT-business projects.

Weighting project risks

Smart companies ensure they have balanced portfolios of low- medium- and high-risk projects.

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