3 Minute Read

You may have noticed the pace of my blog articles have slowed a bit in the past month, and that has been somewhat intentional. When I set out on my blogging journey over a year ago, I made a goal to release at least one article per week. I did pretty well (for the most part) and have kept true to my goal over the past year.  I typically write on plane rides and while waiting for the plane in the airport. Believe it or not, you can get a lot done in your traveling downtime. However, lately I have been preoccupied with revising and re-writing my IT Governance, Risk and Controls course at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. This has taken up much of my free time and will continue to occupy my plane rides, evenings and weekends until classes begin in September.

This year marks the 7th year I have taught this course and the topics we cover today have never been more relevant and important to future business leaders. When I began teaching in the masters program, I built a case-based course that challenged students to work in project teams to solve complex challenges such as IT governance, vendor risk management, business continuity management, cybersecurity, incident response, IT audit and compliance, and many others. When I took over the course, it was strictly an IT audit course so I broadened the aperture and examined the question of “How can the IT organization manage its risk – in all their various forms – to ensure it achieves its IT strategy?” It’s no secret that the role of IT and the CIO is changing from “operators” and “doers” to “overseers” and “governors.” (see related articles: The CIO and the T-Rex: Adapt or Die and Doers and Reviewers: Management Versus Governance) It’s less important to be able run the bits and bytes and more important to architect and govern the ever-changing and integrated landscape of enterprise technology.  I see IT GRC as a vital component of a company’s IT and business strategy so I always approached the class from this perspective.

My theory has proven out over the last decade. I have personally seen my students graduate and take on roles where they are successfully applying the concepts learned in the class and I am more convinced than ever before that this topic must be a core competency in all masters level business programs.

In most courses, we turn over 20% of the content each year, supplementing the course with new readings, new perspectives and new assignments.  But this year is different…

I am wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch.

Well, mostly…

While many of the topics will stay the same, there are a number of enhancements I am going to make:

  • Flipping the classroom – Lectures and foundational concepts will be conveyed through videos students will watch in advance of class. Then class time will be used for discussion, activities and interactive topical debates. It’s a new and innovative concept and I think it will make our time in class more meaningful.
  • Shortening the cases – Longer is not always better. Cases will be focused on the topic at hand. We’re moving away from cases that ask teams to “solve world hunger” and focuses them on mastering an aspect of the topic at hand.
  • More individual assignments and accountability – Team projects are great but we are infusing more individual accountability through quizzes, an individual final exam and class participation grading. No more free-riding! 🙂
  • Building current challenges and emerging risks into the curriculum – Emerging technologies and trends introduce new risks; we will explore cloud, mobile, social, analytics and IoT and their impact on business. No longer are these topics after-thoughts; they are now core to the frameworks and case studies we explore.
  • More class discussion and interactive activities – Class is a time to sit back, relax and take it all in, right? Wrong! Get ready to discuss and voice your opinion or experience the wrath of the dreaded cold call.
  • Refreshed readings – The readings will mostly be current events and will highlight examples and perspectives related to the topic.
  • A new course website – Two years ago, I designed and deployed a class website to distribute material. The site was fantastic but it created work for me to maintain it. This year I am rolling out an exciting new website with new capabilities and robust features. It’s mobile-enabled, app-friendly, easy-to-use and a powerful collaborative learning tool. It’s called ClassActive and it’s almost ready for prime time.  More to come on this in the near future.

I have a few more tricks up my sleeve that I don’t want to ruin for incoming students so I will spare the details for now.

All this to say, my blogging will be a bit sparse for the next few months. my new goal through September is 1-2 articles per month so bear with me as I get my class on-track for the upcoming semester.