Today, GM announced some drastic steps of its Viability Plan, undertaken in a bid to restructure the company. Among other things, GM is looking to:

  • reduce its hourly US workforce from 61,000 to 40,000 by 2010
  • focus on four core brands – Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC
  • reduce the number of US plants from 47 to 31 by 2012
  • reduce the number of US dealerships from 6,246 to 3,605 by 2010

The change is drastic, as nothing less would do, and will affect every division, department and group within the organization. The IT management at GM and the CIO Ralph Szygenda are seeing their fair share of change.

What would I do if I were the GM’s CIO today? I think my three top priorities would these:

  1. Dedicate all of my experience, knowledge and talents to the Viability Plan. Participate actively in its development and implementation and endorse it.
  2. Ensure that my IT strategy and my project portfolio are fully aligned with the direction of the company.
  3. Support my people more than ever. Communicate clearly and timely, avail myself to questions. Instill the feeling of unity and a common purpose.

I would also take a realistic look at the new requirements for this job and assess whether I am the best person to lead the GM IT at this point.