Stories by Jeff Fields

Field-tested ideas from CIOs for CIOs

Two years ago, the IT group at my company, a national think tank on workers' compensation insurance, faced a dilemma. One of the goals we had set for ourselves was to use our website to provide the best internal and external customer support and to deliver high-quality tools to our customers. What made it a challenge was the fact that most of our programmers spent much of their time supporting existing legacy systems, while most of the new product development was being done by external consultants. Our staffers were not getting the chance to build new skills so that they could take over our new Web-enabled platform.
To solve the problem, we adopted a matrix management approach, which essentially involves rotating people based on project needs. This model has brought significant benefits to our organization. I'd like to share with you how it works.