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PROJMGNT 7040 Portfolios And Programs Management

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PROJMGNT 7040 Portfolios And Programs Management

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PROJMGNT 7040 Portfolios And Programs Management

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Course Code: PROJMGNT 7040
University: The University Of Adelaide is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


1. Carry out a review of business and academic literature to identify key transformation case studies. Describe the approach adopted for selecting and implementing the transformation program, its advantage and disadvantages.
Key transformation studies would be where portfolio, program and project management techniques have been applied to change / transform an organisation. It does not need to be the one you have selected for assessment 1 and 2. There is plenty of academic research and business literature on business transformation. Many global organisations have been transformed. Apple, IBM, Volkswagen or here in Australia, Vodafone and Telstra has been through a major transformation in recent years. To ensure there is an effective research element to this assessment, please make sure you compare at least two transformations to draw your conclusions.
2. You may provide by way of evidence of learning (using your program management plan and closeout report for this subject Techcomm 7040) showing its connection to and relationship with your personal program for the masters course MPM and other personal and career programs. You will also need to demonstrate how these activities and plans relate to your personal portfolio management, including as evidence your strategic objectives, prioritisation and evaluation methods. A reflection on changes you may make as result of the benefits realisation from this course should also be included. Examine what you would have done differently and the lessons learnt.
This one is a little trickier. Apply the portfolio, program and project management techniques from this course to your own personal experience through MPM, or other career development programs. You will need some creativity to apply course concepts to your personal development. Think about all elements that have contributed to your career development are you choose for this assessment. At least you should have all the information you need (it is about you).

Portfolios and Programs Management
Business transformation is one of the inevitable aspects of business management in the current market. Many different companies have currently undergone transformation to adopt modern technologies. This has resulted in re-organization and restructuring of the company’s management to accommodates these changes. The two main criteria that have influenced the business transformation are digital transformation and program or portfolio management system. Organizations have reorganized its business units into programs or portfolios that are majorly accompanied by the technological application of the digital system to enhance these transformations. One example of companies within Australia that has undergone business transformation is Telstra Corporation Limited. The company in the past few months has announced major changes to its structure and organizational hierarchy. There are many different transformation selection criteria that assisted in selecting business transformation model. In addition, the implementation of these business transformations is also peculiar to the specific organization following the development of a strategic plan for transformation. The following paper explores business transformation case of Telstra.    
Overview of the Organization
Telstra Corporation Limited remains one of the major company within Australia and regionally being Australian largest telecommunication company. The company provides mobile network, internet access services, market voices, pay television and other mobile services and products. The company was founded in 1975 and has undergone a major transformation to serve the international market. At the time of inception, the company has few products and service which it has since then diversified to provide more products and services. The organization is currently offering fixed lines and mobile telephony, network service, internet services, data services and pay TV services. In order to adapt to current changes in the business environment, the organization has transformed its product and service lines. The organization has in the recent past undergone a major transformation that aims at changing the organizational structure, management, and programs or portfolios (Quinlan 2011). The company restructures its organizational units to introduce new forms of organizational units and systems. These units are meant to reduce complexity to enable the company to realize its core mandates and functions. Management has also been affected as the company introduces a new management system and reducing some other management aspects. Telstra has since then re-organized the human resources to hire some new employees while also firing other employees. An example of hired employees is management staffs that will manage the newly created units. At the same time, the organization has also reduced the number of its employees by more than 1400 staffs (Crozier 2018).      
Business Transformation of Telstra Corporation Limited
Telstra has undergone many different transformations that enable the organization to restructure its programs and portfolios. These business transformations are grouped into pillars that assist in the implementation of these structures. 
Organizational simplification
Digital simplification of products to reduce the organizational complexity that increases management cost. The organization announced that it replacing its initial business program with 20 core portfolios that aim to utilize the digital system to increase transparency, accountability and reduce the effort of many customers. This is similar to Birudavolu and Nag (2011) account of digital transformation that indicates the evolution of companies into portfolios. Many companies have in the recent past evolve their structure to introduce digital enabled portfolios system and this is an example of Telstra that also changed its structure into 20 portfolios. To simplify the management of the organization means a significant cost reduction and increase efficiencies that the organization needs to perform within the market (Safrudin & Recker 2013).
Organizational restructure
Another area of the transformation of the company’s business is on operations where the company has developed a new model to enhance end-to-end operation. According to the Safrudin and Recker (2014), the company removed nearly 2 to 4 layers within the organization’s hierarchy system. The main aim is to reduce the complexity of organizational management and instead set an operational model with shorter hierarchy.  In addition, Telstra introduced an expanded system of Product & Technology, Networks & IT, GBS to help simplify the customer service delivery process. The organization structure is connected to the ease of operational management that contribute to management complexity and cost. Changing the business structure enables the company to reduce some redundant business units that do not directly contribute to the success of the organization but add more cost of operation (Cruise 2017).
Standalone infrastructure business
The company also introduces a standalone infrastructure business that is separated as a new business portfolio with a different management. The organization created a wholly owned infrastructure unit called Telstra InfraCo that manages data centers. The business infrastructure unit will operate and manage some data related infrastructures such as fiber, HFC, copper, international subsea cables, poles, exchanges, ducts, and pipes. The overall aim of the unit is to control high-quality service delivery center that improves telecommunication as this is the main target in the current business environment. The business unit will also help single manage the facilities without adding its management tires to the major business management. Furthermore, the business through its restructuring has also added the new business unit to its product portfolios aiming at easement management (Shanks, Bekmamedova & Willcocks 2013).
Cost reduction portfolio management
The company embarks on program and portfolio cost reduction transformation that target to reduce cost and increase profitability. The company reduces the cost of management by bringing business close to the customer as compared to the previous structure. This is also important for ensuring that services are offered effectively and with high efficiencies. In addition, the company simplifies its product sets to ensure that customers are transferred from the old organizational system to newly created programs. The organization also has proposed to reduce the number of employees and increase the digital application of technology in the management of the business operations. This cost reduction strategy aims to bring transparency and reduce the complexity that attributes to the high cost of managing the business (Telstra Media Release 2018).
Selection of the transformation
Selection of business transformation remains one of the most technical aspects of organizational changes. Telstra is not exceptional when it comes to the selection of business transformations. The organization uses various criteria to select the transformation pathways and some of the criteria that the organization used include cost-benefit analysis, market trends, stakeholders requirement, and research.
The company applied its cost-benefit analysis criteria to reach the decision to select various changes that are experienced within the organization. The organization indicated that the cost reduction was one of the drives to transforms the whole system as the organization needs to cut cost and increase management benefit of the new structure of the organization. The benefit of business transformation outweighed the expected cost of adopting and implementing changes. Moreover, the organization cited various cost reduction process and the actual benefits in terms of profit that will be obtained from the transformation (Trad & Kalpiü 2014).
Marketing trend has been one of the motivating factors that drive the transformation of the business to ensure that the organization does not lag behind. With the current digital transformation and programs redefinition trends in the business environment, companies need to change their structure to enhance service delivery. This is the case of the Telstra that selected business transformation following these two market trends. In order to match the market trend, the company adopted program and portfolios system and digital transformation as core pathways for business transformation (Muller, vom Brocke, von Alm & Uhl 2012).
Another area that was used to select the transformation pathways was stakeholders requirements. The company has major stakeholders that include customers, shareholders, and management. Customers as one of the classes of stakeholders require a quality service that is near to them as compared to the complex organizational structure that reduces efficiencies (Palermo, Bogard, Hexter, Hinze & Skinner 2012). Shareholders, on the other hand, require a more profitable business model that ensures that their share gains more value. This enables the company to look for a business structure that will increase profitability reduce cost and work with flexibility.  The last stakeholder is the management and plays an important role in the selection of the business transformation. The management of the company has been working to serve customers and this has been faced with challenges that needed to be improved. In addition, the management wanted to increase closeness with clients or customers to reduce inefficiencies and this assisted in selecting transformation (Oswick, Fleming & Hanlon 2011).
The intensive research is another aspect of selection criteria that largely contributed to the digital transformation of Telstra. According to the management of the company, the intensive research conducted on the business requirement and market trends enables the company to make a decision on the type of business transformation to use (Trad & Kalpic 2014a). This was also conducted by the management that cited some modern technological advancement that the business needs to adopt. The result was selected business transformation model with its benefits to both the company and stakeholders. As cited by Bak (2016), research acts as major selection criteria as many companies conduct research before developing a strategic plan for transformation.
Implementation of the transformation
The implementation of the changes within the organization caused numeral changes that include restructuring of various departments into portfolios. Some of the areas that the company restructure during the implementation of changes include human resource, technological structure, and organizational hierarchy.
The organization restructured its human resource portfolio through hiring and retrenching of employees to meet its strategic plan. The organization upon implementation of the new business transformation strategy hired many new staffs to take the position that has been created with the new organization structure. For instance, the organization hired Michael Ebeid to run the Enterprise team servicing Australian and international business and government customers Advantages of transformations. The company also hired Nikos Katinakis in mid-October to lead Networks & IT with the focus of extending the company’s network superiority and enabling digital experiences (Trad, Kalpic & IMRAUSA 2014).
The organization also adopted various technological systems that aim to digitally transform the organization programs. To implement various changes within the organization, Telstra acquired technologies that help in organizing the organization programs and portfolios. Some of the key technologies that the organization used to implement these changes include a customer service system, data centers, and other new technologies. For instance, the company’s CEO indicated that the company has to adjust its technological capabilities with the use of telecommunications, robotic technologies, virtual reality technologies, and other modern technologies. Moreover, the management insisted after retrenching many employees that the digital revolution is inevitable and therefore, the company was actually reacting to current technologies (Chaffey, Ellis-Chadwick, Johnston & Mayer 2008).
Organizational restructuring is another area of implementation that the organization has used to foster its transformations. The organization re-aligns its structure to form its 20 portfolios that mainly consist of simplified core business layers. The organization implements this new structure that largely has technology at each level to help in simplification of customer service. This restructuring involves combining various small programs into portfolios and each assigning to a new management unit. A good example of the unit that has been created in the restructuring of the organization is Telstra InfraCo that plays an important role in the management of data centers and other facilities. The organization is also developing other business units that aim to re-organize the structure of the organization so as to meet the current digital transformations. (Lyytinen & Damsgaard 2011)
Advantages of Telstra business transformation
The business transformation of Telstra has enabled the company to realize many different advantages. Some of these advantages include increasing production, reducing the number of customer plans to speed service delivery and improvement of performance. Firstly, the organization aims to increase production by more than 100% by 2022 and these will be from $1 billion to $2.5 billion. These are done through customer service plan changes that aim to improve the legacy of the company within the country and internationally (Ulrich 2014). Secondly, the company reduces the number of customer plan that enables the company to increase its efficiencies hence increase service delivery. The company has reduces the number of customer plans form the initial 1800 to 20 portfolios that are highly efficient to manage. The number of consumer plans enables the company to manage its consumer plans into portfolios that each is managed by a specific staff as this makes it easy to realize the performance of. Thirdly, the digital transformation enables the increase performance of the organization’s service delivery process hence the company success portfolios (Norizan 2014).
Disadvantages of transformations
Despite positives improvements that accompany business transformation of Telstra, there are many disadvantages that are also associated with these changes. Firstly, business transformation has resulted in the retrenchment of many employees. During the announcement of these changes, the next course of action was to remove many workers within the system in the bid to reduce the cost of hiring human resources. For instance, on the eve of the technological transformation of the company announced in June 2017, more than 1400 employees were retrenched. Secondly, the company has to incur the cost of acquiring these technologies that are used to transform as the company had to acquire the required technologies. Telstra was reported to have used more than $1billion during its transformation and there is even more when new technologies are applied within the organization. Moreover, maintenance cost is another aspect of the transformation that brings a high cost to the organization as the maintenance cost normally recurs over a period of time (IBM, Service Oriented Architecture 2014).
Comparison of major business transformations
Changes that have been adopted by Telstra are not peculiar to the company alone as many different companies have also undergone similar business transformations. Telstra restructures its departments as compared to Apple Inc another telecommunication giant company which was transformed to start making different products. Though Telstra has remained within its operation area, Apple Inc introduced more products that particularly touch software and other products. For instance, Apple Inc introduced MacOC Mojave as a new version of the software to add to its existing product. This shows that Apple Inc is also transforming its product line through the introduction of the more improved product as compared to Telstra that majorly concentrated on the transformation of both organizational structure and product and service. Telstra transformed its customer plans through re-organization its service delivery platforms (Trad, Kalpic & StarAcademy 2014).
Another company that has also witnessed changes in the recent past is Vodafone a telecommunication company that has also undergone some serious changes leading to business transformation. Vodafone, unlike Telstra that came up with some small units, Vodafone has transformed its business through the incorporation of other business into its portfolios. One way through which the company has been expanding its operations is through the acquisition of other businesses that perfectly match its product portfolios. In addition, Vodafone has also transformed its business structure similarly to Telstra by developing a single platform with 20 operating companies. Furthermore, the Vodafone also addresses the problem of organizational service complexity similar to Telstra which reduce complexity through re-organization of the organization structure (Trad, Kalpic & IGI 2015).
In conclusion, business transformation is an important aspect of business evolution that enables the business to respond to changing business situations. Telstra has undergone a major transformation that has enables the organization to bring new organization structure that also has other introduced units. The organization has wholly transformed its business structure to enable the organization to takes control of its customer service delivery. Moreover, the organization has created some new units to help control its valuable assets. The company is comparable to other organizations such as Vodafone and Apple Inc that has also undergone numerous business transformations to better their business operations.     
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Birudavolu, S., & Nag, B. (2011) A Study of Open Innovation in Telecommunication Services: A Review of Literature & Trends. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, India.
Chaffey, D., Ellis-Chadwick, F., Johnston, K., & Mayer, R. (2008) Internet Marketing, Strategy, Implementation, and Practice. Pearson, USA.
Crozier,  R. (Jun 20, 2018) Telstra completely changes how it sells enterprise services: Confirms it took ‘too long’ to revamp enterprise core. Available at [accessed on October 14, 2018]
Cruise, D. (14 Sep 2017) Business Transformation. Available at [accessed on October 14, 2018]
IBM, Service Oriented Architecture. (2014) Smart Service Oriented Architecture: Helping businesses restructure. Where are you on the Service Oriented Architecture adoption path? The USA.
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Palermo, J., Bogard, J., Hexter, E., Hinze, M., & Skinner, M. (2012) ASP.NET Model View Control 4, in Action, Manning. The USA.
Quinlan, C. (2011) Business Research Methods. Dublin City University. Cengage Learning. Ireland.
Safrudin, N., & Recker, J. (2013) Identifying the Triggers for Management Services in Business Transformation Management. Paper presented at the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS2013). Jeju Island, South Korea. Available at [accessed on October 14, 2018]
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Trad, A., & Kalpiü, D. (2014) The Selection, and Training Framework (STF) for Manager’s in Business Innovation Transformation Projects – The Mathematical Model”. 2014, EUROPMET; Interlaken. Switzerland.
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Ulrich, D. (2014) The future targets or outcomes of HR work: individuals, organizations, and leadership. Human Resource Development International, vol.17, no.1, pp 1-9.

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