Westjet: Cheryl Smith

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1. When Cheryl Smith, the new CIO, arrived at WestJet she was asked by the CEO to advise whether the company had adequate IT or not. What aspects did she assess? What is your view on the strengths and weaknesses of this assessment? What is your view on her resulting priorities? One of the first things that Cheryl Smith did when she start to work at WestJet, was to bring two performances expects to carry out a benchmarking study with similar companies in the transportation industry. The objective of this study was to compare WestJet’s IT cost, resources and budget to the industry standards. With the results of the study, Cheryl was able to find out that the IT group of the company was technically competent and mostly were since the…show more content…
Because of the limitations and failures of this process, VPs were frustrated with the fact that everything with IT took longer than promised. On the other side, IT blamed the business for their lack of prioritization and planning about the projects. The lack of coordination in this situation was not sustainable in the future because the stability of the relationship between IT and the business units was in danger. The major strength of this assessment is that Cheryl was able to identify the issues that are key for WestJet to maximize and align IT with the business strategy as well as to add value to the company. Furthermore, Cheryl has started to act and take wise decisions without letting herself to feel overwhelm by the situation or by other person’s decision so she can have a clear picture of the business as well as the impact of its actions. A clear example of this situation was her decision to stop the PMO recommended by IBM. Also, she has focus on managing and improving current IT processes performances, adding tangible value to the organization Additionally, the actions proposed by Cheryl have the goal to update and upgrade IT according to the challenges of the industry in order to take WestJet into a higher level, moving people out of their comfort zone so they can increase their contribution to the company’s strategy. Besides, she found out that the IT group has excellent technical

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