Journal of Information Technology vol:25 issue:3 pages:323-332
In 2003, Rob Carter, CIO of international express courier FedEx, launched the 'Six by Six' (6 x 6) IT transformation program: a major rationalization and centralization effort to improve FedEx's IT service delivery to its business partners. This teaching case deals with the 6 x 6 efforts made by the IT department for Europe, Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Africa (EMEA). The case focuses on two objectives of the 6 x 6 program: (a) creating a consistent IT environment and (b) increasing delivery bandwidth to the business. Historically, FedEx Express in EMEA had granted high levels of empowerment to local business and IT people. Moreover, FedEx had always supported a 'can-do' mentality in both business and IT people. Consequently, the IT department was expected to keep the enterprise systems architecture resilient and supportive of longer-term enterprise growth, while keeping the IT development pipeline aligned with the often unpredictable stream of requests from empowered business constituents. The story begins in 2007, when a new Vice President for IT was appointed for the region. Part A deals with the IT department's efforts to set up a central systems architecture and IT resource estimation review process. Part B deals with demand-side prioritization issues. The suggested teaching plan assumes that Part A is discussed before the students receive Part B. Instructors can use this case to introduce their students to a realistic view on the complex puzzle of establishing enterprise-wide business-IT engagement patterns through IT governance in an empowered and operations-focused business environment.