This case study is all about a bank by the name of FMB&T. Recently, the CEO and President of FMB&T, Marshall Pinkard, received an e-mail from a Vice President of the company, Ayishia Coles, who also happens to be the company’s Chief Information Officer. Ayishia reported to Marshall with several frustrations. She was having problems with her job because she didn’t have clear cut responsibilities or authorities, which had caused her some trouble in how to deal with people who had come to her for IT solutions. She had expressed that employees from several departments had come to her with problems she could not understand because they were poorly described. She had also expressed that these employees that came to her expected immediate results, but when she tried to be an administrator or facilitator, her efforts were not responded to with open arms. The other departments’ problems seemed to all be very complex and required a lot of time for the IT department to fix, which irritated the other departments in the bank. Ayishia’s last frustration seemed to be that the IT department seemed to simply work in applications development and only had a responsibility to fix the problems of the other departments in the bank. She noted that the IT department had some good ideas for business strategies involving IT developments, but their ideas seemed to be shunned or neglected. Marshall seemed to agree with Ayishia in her request for a formal copy of her authorities and responsibilities, but also pondered the idea that maybe Ayishia had uncovered a major organizational problem throughout the bank.
Ayishia’s main frustrations stemmed from her lack of a feeling of authority, although she was an executive Vice President. It seems as though workers in the bank have a problem respecting her, and the study hints that it might be because she’s still new and the employees aren’t as familiar with her and her duties yet. Ayishia may have asked for a formal copy of her duties and powers because she is new and wants something formal from the President to give her and the other employees throughout the company a feel for what her job exactly is. That way Ayishia will feel more confident in her actions and employees will be more open to her help. If I am Marshall Pinkard, I take the situation one step at a time. On one hand, the feeling that Ayishia, a major leader in the company, is not respected hints that maybe it is time for a massive overhaul in the company’s organizational structure. You can make the argument that the situation will get better with time, but there are other factors that say otherwise.
There are problems within the IT department where they basically believe they are “lab rats” and do a lot of the “dirty work” for the other parts of the company, while their ideas about improving the bank as a whole seem to be ignored. So Ayishia is a new executive and her department seems to be not only neglected but also under a lot of fire for performing under expectations. That situation poses quite the conflict for Pinkard in that maybe it’s just that Ayishia is new and hasn’t fully settled in yet, like Marshall expected before he opened the e-mail. Maybe the IT department is just having a rough patch with the problems recently, which could possibly be fixed with minor adjustments. But, at the same time, the IT department seems to be integrated in a lot of the bank’s functions and they feel like the runt of the bank in that they are underused and their good ideas are going to waste.
Maybe it is time for the bank to give the IT department more power or place them higher up in the order of the business. All of these factors will add to why Marshall will have to gather more information and make a decision very carefully. As far as Marshall’s actions, his first should be to give Ayishia her formal list of responsibilities and authorities as soon as possible. She is the Chief Information Officer, so she should have complete control over the IT personnel and department as a whole, which she doesn’t feel like she has. Next, since the situation is pretty delicate, I would think that the best course of action for right now would be to try the small adjustments for 6 months or so, and then assess the situation again. With that said, the bank has been growing with the way it has been currently organized, and a massive overhaul could result in bad news. Clarifying Ayishia’s roles and duties will hopefully make her life easier, and I would have to see how the bank will react to her after she is given that information. There are several other things that could have been the root of the problems Ayishia described, and now that I am aware of them, I want a trial period to see what exactly she was talking about and how to improve those problems. When reassessing the situation, I would take into account how the work environment changes in the trial period, taking note of how Ayishia works with other employees. I would also take into account what troubles the IT department comes into when helping other members of the bank, and whether or not those troubles are due to the information system currently in place. In general, the main thing to do would be to see how the bank runs after Ayishia feels more comfortable with her job and evaluate the company before making a decision. As far as organization of the IT Department should go, I think that President of the large local branch has a point that individual IT departments would save a lot of time and unnecessary work from corporate.
However, the individual IT departments would need to be checked upon by corporate routinely and corporate should still have some controls over each department. Ayishia’s work scope would expand with making sure these departments are up to standard, but I would go with individual IT departments at each branch. However, instead of getting rid of several employees in Ayishia’s department, I would assign them all to work for the various branches and work as corporate delegates, since they are already familiar with how corporate’s system currently works. They would be the branch’s link to corporate and deal with getting what the branch needs from corporate. That way, corporate still has some control, but each IT department could meet their individual needs faster as well.
Overall, Ayishia’s situation has raised a cause for concern and improvement through FMB&T bank. Ayishia’s troubles with her job will hopefully be fixed once she receives a formal copy of her responsibilities and authorities, which will be given to her immediately. Marshall Pinkard needs to handle this delicate situation carefully, since he has limited information. He needs some time to do a little trial and error to gather more information and test out making small adjustments here and there. Once Marshall has seen what he needs to see, then it is time to assess whether or not a major overhaul of the bank’s organization is actually needed. Ayishia’s e-mail will hopefully bring the company to make the improvements it needs to.