Case Number: 5-407-752(A), Year Published: 2007, Revision Date: February 04, 2015
HBS Number: KEL366
Business process improvement, Information technology, Innovation, Knowledge management, Organizational design, Project management, R&D, Technology management
The (A) case describes the evolution between 1999 and 2005 of an unusual innovation team within the office of the chief information officer at oil and gas giant BP. This team helped business units conceive, develop, and implement novel, value-added applications for emerging information technologies. The team leader, vice president and chief technology officer Phiroz Darukhanavala (“Daru”), eschewed a large group and venture budget in favor of a small, lean team intimately engaged with BP’s business units. The case describes several mechanisms created by the CTO office during its early evolution: “Blue Chalk” events that expanded executives’ appreciation of emerging technology capabilities, a network of relationships through which emerging technologies were scouted and vetted, a structured technology transfer process, and annual “game-changer” projects.
The (B) case describes how the CTO office team members in 2011 again solicited advice from their ecosystem of thought leaders and held workshops to significantly enhance their impact. As a result, they began developing solutions for broader, more fundamental business problems that came to be known as Grand Challenges: extremely difficult business problems whose solutions could potentially create hundreds of millions—or billions—of dollars in business value.
After reading and analyzing the case, students will be able to:
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