Monday, June 6, 2011

Sponsoring SDM thesis pays off - SDM Pulse Summer 2011

By Lois Slavin, MIT SDM communications director

Jonathan Skvoretz
Jonathan Skvoretz, senior vice president and change management executive at Bank of America Corporation (BAC), learned about the opportunity to sponsor SDM thesis research from a BAC colleague—SDM alumnus Doug Hague, senior vice president for analytics.

Skvoretz and Hague were discussing the need to measure the company's large-scale change process against industry benchmarks. “As an organization, we had grown through acquisitions, mergers, and integration, however we needed to shift our focus to internal operations, deepening customer relationships, and correcting legacy issues,” Skvoretz explained.

He added that BAC executives believed the work would best be done by an outsider who “could give us a fresh perspective” on the inside. “Doug suggested that we speak with SDM Fellow Daniel Wallance about sponsoring his thesis research to tackle this project.”

Skvoretz says that Wallance's research (System tools applied to enterprise transformation at Bank of America) “provided us with the latest in academic thinking in large-scale change management, with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement methods and tools.” For example, Wallance showed how lean concepts are being applied beyond traditional areas, such as manufacturing, to the finance and services industries.

BAC is now using Wallance's research to document and ultimately enhance change management protocol. “We've found several MIT SDM tools and methodologies that can be used in service-based industries. BAC can apply these to new frontiers in finance and reap the benefits.”

To learn about sponsoring SDM thesis research, contact Joan S. Rubin, SDM Industry Codirector,, 617-253.2081.

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