Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Drabenstadt is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in Information Technology, Information Governance, Compliance and Audit. She has achieved an MBA, and BBA. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Insurance and Financial Services. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Her program will initially be available in the following cities: Madison WI; Minneapolis MN; Chicago IL; Atlanta GA and Denver CO. Her personal achievements include: Developed Trusted IT-Business Relationship; Delivered Increased Business Value/Time; Decreased IT Costs; Re-tooled IT Staff; Increased IT Employee Morale. Her service skills incorporate: IT transformation leadership; process improvement; change management; program management and information governance.
IT transformation is not limited to a single department or a single business function. It usually involves and impacts several areas of business. People from multiple departments of the organization come together in teams to help with the digital transformation. Since This transformation has such a wide scope, there are generally several projects ongoing simultaneously covering different areas. Program management is the process of managing several such related projects with an aim to improve the efficiency of the digital transformation process. In IT transformation, there will always be certain projects that are interrelated or interdependent. Such related projects can be grouped into a single program. Say, one project deals with the design of the company website, and another team is working on creating content for the company’s online portal. Both of these projects would be closely related. So they can be clubbed into a program. Programs deliver ongoing outcomes, unlike projects that usually deliver a specific output. Program management is the management of all the related projects that make up the program. There are four key aspects of program management. To start with, it oversees complete governance of the projects such as defining the roles and responsibilities, processes, and metrics related to the projects. Next, it is supposed to manage the entire program monitoring the progress, conducting regular reviews, and ensuring stakeholders’ engagement. The third key aspect is cost management that tracks and controls the spending on a project. Lastly, it ensures that the available infrastructure supports the specific projects and the overall program.
01. Establish Baseline: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Supporting Infrastructure: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Stakeholder Engagement: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Cost Management: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Resource Allocation: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Monitoring Progress & Defining Metrics: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Roles & Responsibilities: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Project Prioritization: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Quality Management: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Benefits Management: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Risk Management: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Issue Management: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Establish Baseline: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Supporting Infrastructure: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Stakeholder Engagement: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Cost Management: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Resource Allocation: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Monitoring Progress & Defining Metrics: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Roles & Responsibilities: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. Project Prioritization: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Quality Management: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Benefits Management: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Risk Management: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Issue Management: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Establish Baseline.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Supporting Infrastructure.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Stakeholder Engagement.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Cost Management.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Resource Allocation.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Monitoring Progress & Defining Metrics.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Roles & Responsibilities.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Project Prioritization.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Quality Management.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Benefits Management.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Risk Management.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Issue Management.
Leading IT Transformation initiatives transform how businesses utilize people, processes, technology, and physical infrastructure to generate capabilities that help them achieve their goals. These initiatives are motivated by a sense of urgency, have a broad scope and influence, and are usually carried out in tandem with continuing operations. IT transformations necessitate customizing typical project and program management methodologies to address the unique problems of managing the human side of change and fostering ownership among key program stakeholders. This workshop highlights key success elements for implementing successful program management that yields long-term effects. This workshop also demonstrates how management processes and structures may aid in the achievement of these crucial success characteristics.
Leading IT transformation programs, as you may know, are often developed to produce a step function rise in organizational performance and to develop new capabilities that did not exist previously in the firm. These projects usually have a strong feeling of urgency and a compelling case for action. They usually cover a large part of the company and have a substantial influence. Major organizational reorganization, considerable changes in business processes, major technology or application installations, and consolidation or streamlining of facility infrastructure are all examples of transformative endeavors. All of these efforts may be addressed by IT Transformation programs.
The majority of transformation projects are categorized as programs because they necessitate centralized, coordinated administration in order to accomplish the strategic advantages and objectives. To achieve the desired results, transformation programs often include many efforts that require priority, sequencing, and coordination.
Effective program management is made more difficult by the nature of IT transformation programs. The first challenge is frequently referred to as “rebuilding the airplane while flying it.” Transformation efforts run concurrently with continuing operations, which invariably take precedence in terms of staffing and resource allocation. Understanding and managing the impact of the transformation on the organization’s personnel, many of whom will be participants in the transformation process, is a second difficulty. Changes to the organization’s structure, human capital system, workforce, business processes, technology used, or workplace location or approach are all possible outcomes of IT transformations. Humans have a natural aversion to change, particularly when it is viewed as frightening. Addressing the human side of change is critical to assuring the transformation’s long-term success. The scale and magnitude of transformation programs is a third barrier. They are bound to have a variety of stakeholders, both within and external to the company, who have varying and occasionally conflicting interests.
The structures and methods used to manage the transformation program, as well as the approach utilized to carry out the change, can help to solve these issues. The benefits management, program stakeholder management, and program governance topics of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) Standard for Program Management are employed as a framework for presenting and comprehending the important success elements for successful transformations.
Benefits management is defined as “activities and techniques for defining, creating, maximizing, and sustaining the benefits provided by programs”, (PMI, 2006). Establishing a burning platform for change, articulating a clear end-state vision, addressing all aspects that build an organization’s capabilities, and developing a change roadmap utilizing a life cycle approach are all critical success factors for IT transformation efforts.
Establish the Burning Platform
Understanding, validating, and conveying the “burning platform” for change must be developed early in the transformation program to lay the groundwork for benefits management. The term “burning platform” (Conner, 1995) conjures up the sense of urgency associated with most transformation efforts, much like a person caught on a burning oil platform at sea must decide whether or not to risk diving into the water. The nature of the burning platform will differ from company to company, and it may contain both external (consumer happiness, market share) and internal criteria (needing to reduce costs, technology obsolescence, and employee satisfaction). The events of September 11th, 2001, and the ensuing anthrax attacks, for example, presented a fertile ground for the development of new national capabilities (i.e. the forming of the Department of Homeland Security). The presence of a compelling burning platform should be considered a pre-requisite for starting a transformation effort. If there isn’t a compelling justification for action, a transformation program is unlikely to be necessary; instead, a succession of less intrusive (and less expensive) improvement projects may be the better option. Once the burning platform has been defined and validated, it should be incorporated into the program charter and used as a constant theme in stakeholder communications.
Set a Clear End-State Vision
Early in the program, a clear end-state vision for the total IT transformation endeavor should be defined. This end-state vision should include a high-level description of the end-state organization’s capabilities as well as the predicted overall advantages of the transformation process. This end-state vision will be used to inform program governance and decision-making (e.g., which of the numerous design alternatives will best achieve the end-state vision?), as well as to communicate program advantages to stakeholders. Once defined, the end-state vision should be incorporated into the overall program charter and used to create a work breakdown structure for the program.
Address People, Processes, Technology, and Physical Infrastructure Concurrently
The transformation program’s advantages, vision, and overall scope should be developed to address all important variables that enable the organization’s capabilities. Because the scope of the transformation program was set too narrowly to focus on a single dimension of change, such as technology upgrades or process modifications, the expected advantages from transformation initiatives are frequently not realized. Too often, the human side of change is either ignored or inadequately addressed. The transformation program’s scope should include the set of changes that need to be made in the organization’s people, process, technology, and physical infrastructure dimensions, as well as the relationships between these dimensions. People, process, technology, and infrastructure changes should all be assessed and matured at the same time, so that trade-off decisions may be made as the transformation program develops, avoiding costly rework (for example, if a technology solution is implemented without adequate consideration of changes to staff roles and responsibilities). The overall program charter, as well as the work breakdown structure, and the design and scoping of specific projects, should reflect the requirement for multi-dimensional thinking in transformation programs.
Use a Life Cycle Approach to Develop a Roadmap
A roadmap should be prepared to indicate how the organization will move from its “as is” state to the desired end-state vision once the clear end-state vision has been established and the scope of the transformation program has been outlined. The broad life cycle phases that will be utilized to structure the overall transformation effort (e.g., imagine, define, design, develop, deploy) as well as the sequencing of the various initiatives or projects that make up the program should be included in this roadmap. Because individual roadmap tasks are likely to have an impact on one another, and each has its own requirements and timeframe, the life cycle approach is essential to time-phase benefits realization. Early creation of benefits should be given special consideration when developing the roadmap in order to build support and ownership for continued program implementation. The roadmap should be written in such a way that program stakeholders can understand the overarching strategy. It should guide and inform the development of the program’s overall Integrated Master Schedule, as well as detailed work package schedules, as the program progresses through the phases.
Program Stakeholder Management
Program stakeholders are “individuals and organizations whose interests may be affected by the program outcomes, either positively or negatively.” (PMI, 2006) Stakeholder ownership, communication, and supporting organization involvement are all critical success criteria for effective stakeholder management in transformation efforts.
As previously stated, IT transformation programs face a unique problem in dealing with the human side of change. By guaranteeing knowledge and understanding of the burning platform for change, the end-state vision, and the roadmap for getting from the present state to the future state, successful transformation initiatives foster ownership. Change management, communications, and training are common work streams for establishing ownership. However, the structure and methods of program management play an important role in promoting ownership. Individuals and organizations will have a natural feeling of ownership for the program strategy and outcome if key program stakeholders are included in governance/decision-making bodies. Another strategy to increase ownership is to involve front-line employees and managers in the transformation’s design and implementation. Many successful transformation programs incorporate the work of a designated transformation program office, staff from the business owner organizations’ engagement, and inputs from external transformation experts. While the requirement to “keep the plane flying while rebuilding it” will limit employee availability to participate in the transformation, active participation should be regarded vital and may be a limiting factor in an organization’s transformation capabilities.
Communicate with Stakeholders
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of excellent communication in IT transformation efforts. Throughout the change, effective two-way communication with each key stakeholder group is necessary. Key program stakeholders, as well as their interests and concerns about the transformation end state goal and path, must be identified early in the program. Two-way communication should be developed, including outbound communications from the program to its stakeholders as well as incoming communications from program stakeholders to the program. Early in the program, a communication plan and stakeholder engagement strategy should be devised, and communication activities should begin as soon as the end-state vision is determined.
Involve Support Organizations
In the implementation of transformation, all aspects of the business should contribute and have defined roles. Too often, only the business owner organizations and/or the Chief Information Officer organization are actively involved in transformation projects. Treating internal support organizations like Policy, Human Resources/Personnel, the Chief Financial Officer, Facilities Management, and Security/Assurance as key stakeholders and involving them directly in transformation planning and implementation will help to create broad ownership of the transformation vision, align the transformation with ongoing operations and other initiatives, and possibly reduce the need for duplicate support capabilities within the transformation office. Staff from support organizations can be members or leaders of design/implementation teams or issue/risk management teams, and they can be given membership in governing bodies.
Program governance provides a “framework for efficient and effective decision-making and delivery management focused on achieving program goals in a consistent manner, addressing appropriate risks and stakeholder requirements.” (PMI, 2006) Engagement of senior leadership, the role of leadership (as opposed to management), and a data-driven approach are all critical success elements in promoting good governance for transformation efforts.
Engage Senior Leadership
For a successful IT transformation, senior leadership sponsorship and involvement are required. Senior leadership input is required to guarantee that the final vision meets the organization’s objective and addresses the transformation’s “burning platform for change.” Leadership sponsorship is required to guarantee that the program obtains the resources it need to achieve its objectives and that it is aligned with other corporate priorities. Leadership engagement is required to guarantee that the program is on track and that ties with key stakeholder groups are maintained. A significant duty of senior leadership in large organizations with scattered budget responsibilities is to “discipline the organization” by rejecting programs or activities that do not align with the transformation end goal or roadmap. Senior leadership involvement in the transformation program management method can be achieved in a variety of ways. Senior leadership should write and approve the overall program charter as well as project team charters, define and own the program vision and roadmap, and serve on a program governance board/executive steering committee.
Lead and Manage
To manage the transformation and assure integration and coordination of the numerous projects and initiatives that make up the program, a competent and dedicated program management office and/or program office is necessary. There are no shortcuts to adhering to the PMI Standard for Program Management’s framework and processes. Successful change requires effective program management, but it is insufficient on its own. When there are competing stakeholder interests, resource disputes, or performance difficulties, successful transformation management necessitates leadership to make difficult decisions. To guarantee that the anticipated benefits are delivered, the transformation program office must drive the transformation while staying faithful to the end-state goal. They must also aggressively manage risks and concerns. Many program management processes, including formal governance decision making, identifying employees and resources to participate in the transformation, and monitoring and controlling transformation program development, are used to fulfill this leadership function.
Use a Data-Driven Approach
One of the most difficult aspects of effective IT transformation governance is ensuring that the appropriate decisions are taken, particularly when different stakeholder groups advocate for different options. The huge number of decisions that must be made might put a burden on the governing system. Requiring that the foundation for important decisions be recorded and data-driven would encourage good decision-making, and the consequent transparency in the governance process will encourage general ownership among program stakeholders. Diverse stakeholder groups may not always agree with decisions, but they will at least understand why they were made if they have access to the decision foundation and evidence. Furthermore, recording the choice will facilitate its implementation in subsequent phase transformation activities, and documenting the decision rationale will allow for changes in position if circumstances alter or new information becomes available.
Organizational transformation is a common theme and requirement nowadays. Transformation initiatives confront unique obstacles in terms of effective management; nevertheless, these issues can be solved by improving the management procedures and structures, as well as the program’s methodology. This training will focus on variables that have shown to be effective in IT program management. While addressing these factors will not guarantee future performance, they should be taken into account where possible.
The Role of a Program Manager In Digital Transformation
Despite the fact that the role of a program manager in IT transformation has always been critical to business digitization, many organizations are stumbling due to a lack of planning and management for their efforts.
Companies have progressively sought to improve their operations and competitiveness by integrating new technology and procedures over the last decade, and this importance has only grown.
Businesses have been demanding to put up IT transformation programs in order to replace aging systems with future-proof technologies, which are generally cloud-based.
But what about a program manager’s responsibility in leading an IT transformation?
How significant are they to the success of your transformation?
This is what we’ll look at in this workshop to help you understand why having the correct direction isn’t just helpful, but essential for successful change management.
Most Businesses Fail at IT Transformation
It’s an unfortunate reality that many firms that try to implement digital transformation (DX) fail.
This isn’t for a lack of trying: business technology investment is at an all-time high, and the current situation, following a tumultuous pandemic and its economic consequences, has prompted even more adoption of technology to fill the gaps as large numbers of the population are confined to their homes.
How Does a Program Manager In Digital Transformation Help?
To succeed in IT transformation, you simply must have your project management up to par with the influx of technologies that are coming into your firm.
Many businesses make the mistake of believing that IT transformation is a decision that begins and ends with the CEO or the IT department.
While executive buy-in is critical, most digitization projects should prioritize project management to guarantee that your objectives (which should be defined ahead of time) are met.
Clear goals and communication are one of the most important parts of your IT transformation program management to ensure that your company stays on track.
What Does Effective Program Management Look Like?
We’ve discussed how companies desire change but fail to achieve their goals; now it’s time to examine why the position of a project manager is so critical and what should be expected of your project management strategy if you want to succeed.
Clear strategic objectives and reporting
A project manager’s primary responsibility is to define the change agenda, how it will be implemented, and what determines success.
You must be able to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Your program manager should be able to offer you with reports on your implementations and whether they’re fulfilling their goals once you’ve defined your tech goals.
If your executive leadership and program manager aren’t on the same page about what determines your success in terms of a timeframe and budget target, you’ll be left in the dark about what you’re getting out of what is, after all, a long-term project.
Using the right tools to get the job done
To expand on the preceding point, alignment and communication between the PMO and other relevant stakeholders are critical, and as part of an efficient IT transformation program management strategy, the proper technologies should be used to make the process go more smoothly for everyone.
These tools should include:
• Planning: Plan schedules and timelines all in one place with tasks, templates, workflows, and calendars
• Collaboration: Assign tasks, add comments, organize dashboards, allow proofing and approvals
• Documentation: Editing, documenting, and storage of all files
• Evaluation: Track, assess, and report success through resource management and reporting
This will allow your business stakeholders to understand where they are in the implementation project and provide them with the necessary information without the need for lengthy meetings.
Understanding change management
Regardless of how you look at it, IT transformation is a long-term project.
As a result, the program manager must be able to adapt to changes in an industry or a market in order to meet the changing business objectives. In this way, program management in IT transformation relies heavily on flexibility and scalability.
To summarize, you must be able to respond and grasp the function of change management in your transformation strategies.
We’ve already seen how the business sector has been disrupted in recent years in ways that no one could have predicted.
Many businesses were caught off guard and unprepared for the events of 2020 and 2021, resorting to improvised digital technology solutions to keep their operations running as smoothly as possible.
A program manager’s job in IT transformation comprises putting together a complete strategy for tech deployments, as well as a strong reaction and communication structure within the firm, to guarantee that every measure has been taken to get the company to its targeted outcome.
• The majority of businesses want to see digital change in their businesses, yet a lack of vision and clarity typically leads to failure.
• By setting defined objectives, lines of communication, and metrics for success, project management is critical in getting innovations deployed.
• Because digital transformation is a long-term project, managers must be ready to adapt to changes, revise goals, and assist in the achievement of new objectives—DX is not a one-and-done operation.
Chapter 1: Establish Baseline
True transformation and program management need the establishment of baselines in the context of systems. The goal is to obtain the highest potential return on investment as rapidly as possible, and in order to accomplish this lofty goal, a strategy must be devised. Answering questions about your current systems, such as what’s working and what isn’t; what’s worth retaining and what’s not; and what’s missing, will help you make better decisions.
What should be the starting point?
When it comes to baselining, there are three things to think about: The foundational infrastructure system, also known as classified systems and framework, is the first. Then there are the backend programs, which assist firms in performing their tasks more effectively and with less effort. These are the productivity-boosting systems, workflows, and automations. Finally, the front end is where your data systems, dashboards, clever algorithms, and personalization live. In the retail context, this consumer-facing system is very crucial. All of these technologies must interact in a fluid, user-friendly manner in order to improve the end customer’s journey.
Customer facing is the simplest of the three components to define. There is a distinct difference between the before and after. For example, there are metrics and measurements for engagement and conversion. These metrics can be compared to those before a tool is established or invested in.
However, before any of this can happen, the first step is to determine which important metrics the new system will affect once it is implemented. Identifying such indicators and determining what their previous readings were offers a picture of the new system’s success. That’s what’s referred to as a starting point.
Baselines in the backend
Internal efficiencies are driven by the backend. Because today’s personnel are always on the move, excellence management can be challenging. Keeping track of receipts, photocopying them, uploading them, filling out forms, and submitting for reimbursement is time-consuming. Conquer, for example, is a technology that automates the entire procedure. In this instance, establishing a baseline and measuring effectiveness is simple. A three-hour process now takes less than 30 seconds.
Baselines for infrastructure
We’re left with infrastructure if we work backwards. This one is the most difficult to establish a baseline for. It entails a complete redesign of the company’s platform. Your home’s infrastructure is its basis. You pour the concrete first, then build the house, and then adorn the walls. The foundation, while necessary, has little intrinsic worth on its own.
Baselining the framework entails considering more abstract elements. How do you figure out your return on investment (ROI)? You must take a step back and analyze how much value you lost due to the old infrastructure’s inability to accommodate new systems and add-ons. What kind of value could you have gotten from a new infrastructure? How quickly can I achieve meaningful transformation if I put the new infrastructure in place? To determine how to measure this particular investment, qualitative and quantitative aspects must be analyzed and integrated. Metrics must be established based on this prior to the start of the foundational project.
The value and return on investment are calculated throughout time. For example, after revamping the infrastructure, it can take two months to offer a personalization feature that wasn’t previously conceivable. The foundational project is worth X percent of the total project value. It’s a bit of a gray area that isn’t as well defined as the other two buckets, which is understandable. Creating baseline measurements, on the other hand, is certainly achievable. It simply takes more triangulation and consideration than the other two.
Chapter 2: Supporting infrastructure
Transforming IT infrastructure into a highly efficient and strategic business foundation can boost technology-driven performance while lowering expenses dramatically.
The benefits of IT infrastructure transformation
A high-performing IT infrastructure has become increasingly crucial as digital activities and technology have become more prominent. From back-end capabilities and customer-facing innovations like in-store Wi-Fi to internal staff advancements like access to social collaboration tools, bring-your-own-device programs, and the expanding use of cloud services, the infrastructure’s strength has a huge impact on corporate performance. The majority of these capabilities are outsourced, and their annual market worth is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Building a firm foundation
Many clients have been dissatisfied with their IT infrastructure for years, due to obsolete technology, expensive expenses, and poor service provider performance. Most are afraid that their infrastructure, which is less than ideal in terms of cost and capabilities, would not be able to satisfy the increasing business requirements of the digital age.
The technology foundation that supports a company’s business strategy, ability to innovate with technology, and digital skills is IT infrastructure, which includes data centers, communication networks, IT security, and end-user technology services. The majority of infrastructure environments are outsourced in huge, complex contracts that last five to ten years. An annual budget for a Fortune 500 business might range from $30 million to more than $100 million. Many businesses, on the other hand, neglect the strategic value of a solid IT infrastructure. Despite the fact that fundamental services are treated as commodities, successful organizations are gaining a competitive edge through sophisticated infrastructure capabilities, such as faster time to market, increased productivity, improved customer experiences and engagement, and cheaper costs.
Because of the complexities and high costs of switching providers, upgrading an IT infrastructure necessitates planning and experience in order to minimize interruptions, reduce costs and effort, and shorten deployment time. Companies have a variety of common difficulties when it comes to IT infrastructures, including poor performance, high expenses, restricted innovation, poor human performance and high turnover, old technology, inadequate structure and management of the technological environment, and a lack of flexibility. The benefits of getting IT infrastructure right, the perfect conditions for making a change, and the path to a successful transformation are all discussed in this Course Manual.
Creating a strategic partnership
Most IT infrastructure setups offer great potential for increasing value, lowering costs, and improving service. IT infrastructure, on the other hand, is frequently overlooked due to its complexity and operational hazards. Neglecting to analyze this infrastructure increases the risk and expenses over time, since IT infrastructure services and capabilities deteriorate quickly. Trying to save money and time by avoiding the costs and time required for a transition and transformation can be a costly mistake.
Complexity may be reduced into clear-cut choice criteria for proactive technology leaders who are prepared to test what they find with the correct framework and awareness of where to look. When outsourced infrastructure contracts have a year or two left on their term, it’s the greatest time to look. High costs and an unmotivated vendor are frequently encountered. If this is the case, the environment is perfect for competition to drive the necessary level of innovation, with the ultimate goal of replacing a tactical, profit-maximizing vendor with a strategic partner.
Chapter 3: Stakeholders Engagement
Why IT transformation fails: ignoring staff and stakeholders
There is a wide range of research on why digital transformation programs fail. Below, I’ll discuss one piece of research.
However, based on experience and several discussions over the past few years, there is a significant reason why transformations fail: a lack of communication and involvement of people who are considerably more important than expected and who are all too often disregarded.
It occurs at the level of a business function, processes, a company’s overall business model, and, most importantly, societal evolutions. In every digital transformation strategy, having the (voice of) the proper people is critical.
Digital transformation and globalization: leaders need to communicate better?
As previously stated, this disregard for people and stakeholders extends to various levels, including the societal level. Here’s an illustration. Why, if the reality is one of globalization and digitization, is the current political climate in many nations one of a return to nationalist instincts, opposed to globalization and change as it occurs?
Part of the solution rests in politicians’ failure to communicate about societal changes or their choice to look away from global changes. Instead, we’re seeing an increase in disconnects between governments and politicians, not in the sense of ‘digital’ transformation, but in the sense of ‘changing.’
Too many politicians (ab)use the simple approach of either 1) dictating new rules to adopt and adapt without truly listening to and involving all stakeholders (in this case citizens) or 2) profiting from the fact that many citizens feel excluded or misinformed for personal political gain and ever more votes. It’s simpler to be popular than to be realistic, open, involved, and resolute, even if being less popular means being less popular. Without actual involvement and communication, it’s simpler to make choices in ivory towers.
Obviously, one can debate the benefits and consequences of globalization as a whole, as clearly not all citizens are on board (the majority being older generations and those with a “lower” education/class), but that is a completely different discussion and decision to make as a country or group of people in a world that is de facto changing.
Forget a digital culture – start with ‘true’ communication
Change management is often an afterthought or not a thought at all.
Obviously, this does not apply to all large businesses, but I’m sure you can think of a couple of examples. We realize that IT changes are impossible to achieve without paying attention to and involving employees and other stakeholders in a way that is tailored to their unique needs. Almost everything you read about leadership and digital transformation, on the other hand, focuses on generic processes, digital skills, and a digital culture, to name a few.
The importance of listening to workers and teams who frequently know the difficulties better than the C-suite because they face them every day, as well as the essence of what concerns individuals and drives them to change and collaborate, is all too often overlooked.
While the fundamental motivation for IT transformation is to become more customer-centric, customers in the broadest sense (from real customers and other stakeholders to internal customers – employees – who make or break your business regardless of your huge strategic plan) are sometimes disregarded. In the business world. In politics, too.
The following is a quote from eWeek, which reports on the previously mentioned research: “The survey indicated that the main obstacles for businesses seeking rapid digital transformation relate to company culture, organizational complexity and the lack of processes that enable employees to engage, collaborate and innovate”.
Chapter 4: Cost Management
Digital transformation initiatives have exploded in the previous 18 months, with cloud expenditure increasing substantially.
As a result, organizations are now dealing with a ‘data flood,’ with CFOs and CIOs battling to manage cost data from numerous vendors linked with both cloud and existing on-premises expenditures. Now, more than ever, businesses need to have a complete, detailed, and transparent perspective of all IT expenditures as they round the corner in terms of growth, with pressures around sustainability acting as additional push for cloud adoption. Not only to find the best investment opportunities, but also to improve the efficiency of existing processes and technology.
Global insights from regional cost surveys
Cost management is evolving into a strategic enabler with the capacity to disrupt entire industries and profoundly transform how business is done, thanks to disruptive developments like robotic process automation, analytics, and cognitive technology. Cost control, on the other hand, remains a challenge.
Based on surveys of more than 1,000 senior executives in four major regions – US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific — Deloitte found:
• Cost-cutting is a global necessity. Cost cutting has become common corporate practice in every location, with 86 percent of global respondents indicating that their organizations will implement cost-cutting efforts in the next 24 months.
• Low targets. Failure rates are high. Nearly half of all firms polled are attempting to cut costs by less than 10%, but nearly two-thirds (63%) are failing to meet their targets.
Cost management practices to thrive in uncertainty
Because tactical cost management procedures often provide cost savings of less than 10%, many businesses might benefit from more strategic approaches that are more likely to yield higher savings.
Companies that are attempting strategic cost reductions fall into one of three categories: distressed, positioned for growth, or continuously growing. However, in today’s corporate environment, a new competitive scenario has evolved that focuses on three strategic levers at the same time: growth, cost, and liquidity. This new scenario is dubbed “thriving in uncertainty.”
However, different playbooks are required for different markets. Macroeconomic dynamics appear to be pushing organizations toward increased uncertainty and distress in some markets, favoring value creation levers that are more defensive in character. Other markets appear to be shifting toward a more optimistic perspective, which favors a growth-oriented strategy.
Chapter 5: Resource Allocation
According to Ventana Research, successful IT transformation necessitates the highest level of effort and resource management in order to maximize return on investment. IT transformation is generally one of the most difficult undertakings that organizations undertake, regardless of the reasons for failure.
Why is it so difficult to promote IT transformation, given its centrality and value to an organization’s long-term survival?
According to PMI research, “underperforming” firms (those who completed less than 60% of projects on schedule and on budget) were often unsatisfied with their IT transformation outcomes. Only 36% said their IT transformation had a significant impact on performance.
When top-performing firms with project success rates of 80% or above were asked the same question, 52% said their IT transformation initiatives had a significant impact on company performance.
To put it another way, these findings back up Ventana Research’s claim that superior work and resource management techniques help companies get more out of their digital transformation approach.
Let’s take a closer look at how work and resource management can help with IT transformation, according to Ventana Research.
Why IT Transformation Needs Resource Management
While technology is important in IT transformation, the primary goal is to change the way a business functions, with a focus on efficiency, communication, and customer-centric processes. This is where effective resource management comes into play.
The purpose of resource management, like IT transformation, is to assist firms in adapting to an ever-changing business landscape. Managers and team leaders can achieve this through improving how they prioritize tasks and projects, manage resources, and deploy technology.
Ventana Research emphasizes that strong work and resource management techniques are a vital aspect of IT transformation while designing a failproof IT transformation strategy. These techniques enable organizations to successfully prioritize IT transformation activities, ensuring that the most critical stages of IT transformation are performed first, ensuring a smooth transition across the organization. As a result, a well-planned IT transformation strategy that improves workplace productivity, resource management, and customer-oriented activities produces optimal returns on investment.
So, what is it about that strategy that makes it so successful? This varies according on the organization’s goals and expectations, but there are a few fundamental components that every initiative must have in order to succeed:
• Collaboration: Every employee in your company, regardless of department or hierarchical structure, should be working together to reach a common goal.
• Responsibility: When it comes to planning and implementing projects, employees should have a say and be involved in the decision-making process.
• Flexibility: IT transformation isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it effort. To stay up with the ongoing changes in business and technology, you’ll need a dynamic strategy that encourages your company’s growth and development.
In other words, the management of your teams and resources is critical to the success of your IT transformation activities. Work and resource management should always be a priority while pursuing IT transformation—or any big initiative—because global firms squander nearly $3 million every minute due to poor project management and performance, totaling a stunning $2 trillion every year.
Chapter 6: Monitoring Progress & Defining Metrics
Senior executives frequently ask for assurance that a project is on schedule and will achieve the benefits outlined in the business case. This is especially significant if the project is critical to the organization’s success.
Typically, the request is made because:
• A project is in jeopardy, and the organization wants an unbiased review.
• The sponsor is concerned that the current status of the project does not reflect the true state of the project.
• Senior management is concerned that the Sponsor and project are not providing accurate information.
• The project sponsor and team want an independent evaluation to make sure they haven’t overlooked anything.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If you have a critical project for a company, you should take the necessary steps to guarantee that it is completed. As a result, enlisting the help of a third party with the necessary expertise and neutrality is a great method to see possible or actual problems early on and rectify them.
Using a third party can be costly, and it may not be a viable solution for all projects. There is no reason why a PMO equipped with strong personnel with proven delivery experience cannot undertake the review on behalf of management or senior management if the organization has one.
Peer reviews by experienced, trusted project or program managers working on other projects can also be arranged through the PMO.
Real-time data is used to track the development of digital transformation
The use of real-time data and analytics to generate metrics and measure progress is an important, but frequently overlooked, component in analyzing the effectiveness of an IT transformation strategy. This is critical given the high failure rate among modern businesses, since many IT transformation programs fail to meet their objectives.
IT transformation necessitates a rethinking of how businesses use technology. Organizations now have access to massive amounts of data, which should be at the center of their decision-making, as well as new technology aimed at enhancing the customer experience.
IT transformation, on the other hand, is about employing technology to remodel a company’s internal structure as well as its external appearance. Companies appear to be failing to use data to assess the success of their digital transformation programs.
The need for metrics
Organizations that want to thrive in IT transformation must rethink the criteria that their executives use to evaluate performance. “Leaders make capital accessible, and sprints or projects that are completed pull down on that capital,” Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of Everest Group, advises utilizing a venture capital strategy to increase development.
Companies may track how much they’re spending on IT transformation and how well these projects are functioning by using this method to IT transformation and breaking the process down into discrete projects. Companies can even build journey teams made up of top executives to track success across the board using agreed-upon KPIs.
These metrics could consist of:
• The data sources that are involved in a combined search.
• The total number of entities merged throughout the transition.
• The rate at which transformation programs are operationalized.
• The total amount of money spent on a project.
• After the automation of repetitive tasks, staff employees will have more time to focus on greater goals.
Naturally, these indicators must be unique to each firm, but they should serve as a solid foundation for IT transformation.
Chapter 7: Roles & Responsibilities
A job is a position within an organization that is typically described by a job description that explains what is expected of the individual who will execute the job, as well as his or her abilities and attributes. Marketing director, software developer, executive assistant, and other positions are examples.
At least one position must be assumed in each job. Depending on the needs and stage of the program life cycle, there are often many responsibilities connected with each position in project and program management. Program manager, planning coordinator, senior user, and other roles in program management are common.
Every role has a set of obligations that go along with it. However, not all connected responsibilities must be met on a consistent basis. Responsibilities are different depending on the type of initiative and the stage of the program’s life cycle. Quality control, management reporting, risk planning, and other tasks are examples.
A skill or collection of skills is required to accomplish a responsibility satisfactorily. Training, experience, or a combination of both are typically used to acquire skills. Communication, planning, and leadership are examples of skills.
Certain characteristics are sometimes required to aid in the effective use of talents. Training and experience could also be used to develop such qualities. These can, however, be personal characteristics that were ingrained in us during our formative years. Confidence, logical thinking, and charisma are examples of traits related to these skills.
Understanding the relationship between a job, the role(s) involved, the duties carried, and the abilities required to complete the work is critical. It will be difficult to put together an effective program management team without a clear understanding of these.
Leaders for digital teams are often C-level executives with budgets, clout, and respect. They have titles like chief digital officer or chief strategy officer in some firms, and their sole responsibility is to digitally alter the company. They have names like chief information officer (CIO), chief technology officer (CTO), or chief operating officer (COO) in other companies, and they have tasks other than directing digital transformation.
The person in charge of all IT transformation initiatives is usually appointed by the CEO. The CEO’s perspective on digital transformation and what it implies will influence the decision. For example, the CEO may believe that technology is at the heart of all transformation programs, hence the CIO is hired. Alternatively, if the CEO considers business process to be the most important aspect of IT transformation, the COO may be in charge.
Once the leader is in place, putting together a team with the correct combination of talents is critical to the success of the digital transformation. Finding team members with the necessary talents, as well as having the correct senior leadership, is one of the most difficult aspects of digital transformation projects. Not only do team members’ professional qualifications matter, but their personalities also matter when it comes to establishing the correct change culture.
Chapter 8: Project Prioritization
Organizational transformation through digital activities is a slow and gradual process. It is difficult to persuade leaders or companies to invest in transformation. This is especially true for old economy businesses, but strangely, this shift is required for them to adapt to 21st-century market demands.
According to a Gartner study conducted in 2020, 87 percent of senior business leaders believe digitization is a firm priority, however only 40% of companies have expanded digital efforts. The gap between aspiration and achievement is expanding for firms seeking digital business transformation. Unless there is a clear vision across the organization, digital transformation plans will continue to lag.
Executive executives may find it challenging to select the most significant issues and initiatives since a digital transformation plan has so many moving pieces. So, here are a few pointers to help you stay focused and make significant progress toward IT transformation.
Choose one broad target for digital transformation
To begin, choose one major goal that will offer considerable value to the firm. This value can be expressed in a variety of ways, including new markets, cost savings, and other areas. Choosing a target for which firms may plan investments is the most challenging element.
Businesses may believe they can accomplish multiple goals at once, but this is rarely the case. No matter how thoroughly a corporation defines its principal aim, it will frequently interfere with other parts of its surroundings. These distractions can quickly build up a long list of duties, distracting focus away from the main goal.
It is important for CIOs to remember that not all of these projects must or can be completed. In order to prioritize their principal aim, organizations may have to forgo some duties.
Make mid-sized ventures a priority
It’s difficult to know which tasks to skip or do. To determine which smaller tasks would have the biggest impact on their major goal, organizations should ask themselves the following questions:
Will the primary goal be in jeopardy if the mid-sized initiative fails?
Consider an aging file server that still works but no longer receives maintenance. Businesses may be able to get distant employees to connect to the server through VPN to access the file system, but it’s actually better to store the data in the cloud, even if it involves taking on another mid-sized project.
Look for easy wins
Keep an eye out for low-hanging fruit – tasks that may be completed quickly, comfortably, and with little cost. Choose implementation strategies whose return on investment (ROI) can be easily measured in terms of project value over time, so that companies may use this information to meet their goals. This includes behaviors that are frequently reproduced as well as tactics for improving performance that they already employ, such as onboarding and offboarding.
Setting priorities for program management is never easy. Companies, on the other hand, will be well on their way to success if they stick to a single major aim, focus on just mid-level tasks that support that goal, and search for simple ways to increase performance.
Chapter 9: Quality Management
Processes, transactions, relationships, technology developments, evolutions, external and internal causes, and many other variables all play a role in the IT transformation path. As a result, it’s a difficult task.
Simultaneously, the need for shorter cycle times and superior customer service is growing. As a result, when it comes to ensuring quality throughout the IT transformation journey, a variety of metrics as well as a new set of expectations must be considered. When the customer experience and full-throttle performance are at the forefront, the penalty of a quality lapse will have far-reaching consequences for the product and brand.
Companies have several common issues in this scenario when it comes to maintaining and verifying the quality of software or hardware for their goods and applications. These issues will be discussed in this Course Manual, as well as potential solutions.
Almost every company looking to expand in this very competitive market is embracing digital. IT transformation is one of the top goals for every business leader, regardless of the size of the company. Panel discussions, keynotes, research papers, and articles have all focused on how a firm may stay relevant and competitive in an increasingly digital world.
Because every business’s IT transformation looks different, it’s challenging to describe the notion in a way that’s appropriate for all of them. Simply said, IT transformation is the integration of digital technologies with the goal of establishing a link between the digital and physical worlds. It’s the coming together of operational and information technologies. It may be used in practically any industry to increase operational efficiency, generate new revenue streams, and provide a better customer experience.
Are the products and apps aligned for IT transformation? This is a crucial question to address. When a company goes on an IT transformation path, it faces numerous hurdles, including software, devices, and system interfaces. The fundamental difficulty is to achieve transformation while retaining product/solution quality and connected system compatibility while also providing a pleasant user experience.
Excess rework as a result of unforeseen changes in product functionality or design is not uncommon for large firms to spend a lot of money. Quality assurance (QA) can be quite helpful in addressing such obstacles. Automation of test methods can help minimize the quantity and frequency of human errors, enhance test coverage across systems, and shorten product time-to-market.
Businesses are increasingly focused on decreasing the cost of improving product quality and associated rework time throughout the product growth phase, both of which can be accomplished with more effective testing. To stay competitive in the market, the corporate focus turns to higher productivity and quick innovation once the product has matured.
We will examine how quality assurance is a critical component of overall program management for your IT transformation in this Course Manual.
Chapter 10: Benefits Management
Although there is a global push to build increasingly large-scale health information infrastructures, the results have been uneven, with many initiatives failing to deliver on their promises of increased efficiency, quality, and safety of care.
Benefits realization management (BRM) strategies have been pushed and are increasingly being used in such projects to demonstrate that investments in health information technology are yielding expected results. Two similar goals are muddled here:
1. To exercise accountability and demonstrate due diligence by showing that money is properly spent and delivers returns on investment; and
2. to manage change and ensure that benefits are realized.
There are various definitions and interpretations of benefits, as well as a lack of consensus on BRM methodologies, but the overarching goal is to maximize value and collect evidence for it. In business environments, BRM is commonly used in IT solutions. It is an instrumental management method that assumes that benefits can be linked to specific causes, that organizational goals can be precisely defined, that progress toward these goals can be seen in short periods, and that change can be measured quantitatively. When initial computerization displaced discrete administrative tasks (e.g., bookkeeping and routinized administrative roles), these types of retrospective cost–benefit analyses were effective in capturing benefits, but they became problematic when complex organizational functions were being computerized and substantial investments in renewing core information infrastructures did not yield immediate visible returns.
What is benefits management?
“The measurable improvement coming from an outcome viewed as an advantage by one or more stakeholders, which contributes to one or more organizational objectives,” according to the definition of a benefit. Essentially, this means that you will get the following advantages:
• should be measurable – if they cannot be measured they cannot be claimed as ‘realized’;
• are the improvement resulting from the outcome (the end result) of the change, they are not the change itself;
• are in the eye of the beholder – in other words different; stakeholders will value the same benefits differently. Additionally, in some cases, a benefit to one stakeholder may be a disbenefit (an outcome perceived as negative) to another;
• create the link between tangible outputs and strategic goals, and;
• ensure there is alignment of effort, resources and investment towards achieving organisational objectives.
‘Benefits management’ and ‘benefits realization management’ are concepts that are becoming increasingly frequent in the area of program management, amid efforts to sell large-scale IT transformation programs and control their performance. However, once the sponsor has approved the business case, these activities frequently come to a halt.
How is this possible in a highly competitive company climate when change is ubiquitous, investments are micromanaged by financial controllers, and unsuccessful IT transformation programs can jeopardize executives’ and managers’ careers?
The ability to adapt to change or the proper investment in new markets or products do not guarantee a company’s success. Instead, the entire benefit obtained by adopting change through a transformation program is what determines success, and potentially even the existence of a business.
Chapter 11: Risk Management
In the good old days, “risk” in the IT world was primarily concerned with security. Is your network protected? Is your information safe? Would you be able to stop a breach if it happened? When it comes to digital transformation, however, risk is a factor in every decision you make—every app you select, every cloud where your data resides, and every consumer experience you design. As a result, risk management is required for digital transformation.
First and foremost, risk is not something to be feared. Any savvy investor understands that the greater the risk, the greater the potential gain. The ability to recognize, anticipate, and treat risk are all crucial aspects of risk management. Many organizations today have failed in this area.
You can’t read the news these days without hearing about some sort of technological disaster. For SAP expenses, the city of Anchorage, Alaska, is $50 million over budget. Oracle and the state of Oregon have filed lawsuits…against each other. Several companies have admitted to being hacked using various sorts of technology. Not to mention the number of failed technologies or products released in the last five years—Google Glass, anyone? These headlines do not indicate that technology is ineffective or that IT transformation is not worthwhile. It’s that today’s businesses are pushing headlong towards IT transformation without a clear understanding of where things could go wrong—and how to fix them. For these reasons, IT transformation requires risk management as part of its program management.
The foundation of a successful digital risk strategy is laying out the building pieces. Organizations should take urgent steps to implement robust cybersecurity safeguards, and the simplest option is to conduct standard information security and/or cyber security evaluations of systems. ‘Is this enough?’ are the questions that must be answered. Is cybersecurity the only danger that a digitally enabled company faces?’
It is necessary to examine risk areas outside traditional risk in order for a digital environment to achieve the intended goal. Social media, for example, is becoming an increasingly important aspect of marketing, posing threats to brand value and reputation. Customer profiling is also important for a better customer experience, but the process should be aligned to preserve customer data privacy. Another key factor to consider is digital resiliency–due to the high reliance on technology, system uptime is unavoidable. There are several other scenarios that cover other risk domains that could be examined across various businesses and operations.
Chapter 12: Issues Management
Any project, no matter how well planned, has a large number of unknown factors. It would be naive to believe that a few chats about potential risks at the start of your project will be enough to ensure that you don’t run into any roadblocks or stumbling blocks. All managers, from senior executives to project manager trainees, should anticipate difficulties and develop issue management abilities that will enable them to address them quickly and effectively so that the project may continue.
Issues that develop during a project may be unforeseeable, but they could also be the result of risks identified during the project’s planning phase. You need to have your action plan kick in soon and get the issue handled before it evolves into a severe problem in order to gain closure on the issue and limit the impact it has on the project.
When a problem arises, the first thing you should try to do is thoroughly analyze and appreciate the situation. You must determine what has occurred and who or what has been impacted. You can’t successfully deal with a problem if you don’t know what the consequences could be. You should also check to see if this issue was recognized as a potential concern during the planning stage. If that was the case, what, if anything, has already been done to try to lessen the problem’s impact? Only until you have a complete understanding of the problem can you begin to address it in the most efficient way.
One of the most efficient methods to deal with an issue once you’ve discovered it and grasped it is to bring the team together to work through it. Presenting the problem to your team as you perceive it guarantees that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings or crossed wires that could escalate the situation. Then you and your team may work together to develop a solution to the problem that is acceptable to everyone. Working through difficulties as a group helps you to hear perspectives and ideas that you may not have considered, allowing the problem to be solved more quickly or in a way that yields unanticipated benefits. Keep in mind that both risks and challenges might present possibilities.
Once you and your team have come up with a solution that works, the following step is to make sure that your entire team, stakeholders, and customers are aware of it. You won’t be working against false expectations if you let everyone involved know you’ve met a problem for which you have a solution. If your clients and stakeholders know you’re working on a solution, any delays are more likely to be tolerated. You must subsequently put your plan into action; you will most likely assign ownership of the action plan to someone who can ensure that it is carried out in the manner that you have all agreed.
You can’t just put the problem behind you and move on once you’ve dealt with it and put your strategy into effect. It’s critical to check in with the person, team, or process who was impacted to see if your plan of action was successful in fixing the problem. If the issue has been remedied, it is equally critical to comprehend the consequences in case they pose a new risk to the project. Returning to the issue and how you resolved it gives you information for future issue management methods to avoid repeating the same mistakes in future projects.
Leading IT Transformation – Workshop 6 – Program Management
- Establish Baseline
- Supporting Infrastructure
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Cost Management
- Resource Allocation
- Monitoring Progress & Defining Metrics
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Project Prioritization
- Quality Management
- Benefits Management
- Risk Management
- Issue Management
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Leading IT Transformation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Please be advised that Appleton Greene does not provide separate or individual tutorial support meetings, workshops, or provide telephone support for individual students. Appleton Greene is an equal opportunities learning and service provider and we are therefore understandably bound to treat all students equally. We cannot therefore broker special financial or study arrangements with individual students regardless of the circumstances. All tutorial support is provided online and this enables Appleton Greene to keep a record of all communications between students, professors and tutors on file for future reference, in accordance with our quality management procedure and your terms and conditions of enrolment. All tutorial support is provided online via email because it enables us to have time to consider support content carefully, it ensures that you receive a considered and detailed response to your queries. You can number questions that you would like to ask, which relate to things that you do not understand or where clarification may be required. You can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each individual query. You will also then have a record of these communications and of all tutorial support, which has been provided to you. This makes tutorial support administration more productive by avoiding any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Leading IT Transformation Specialist (ALITTS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Leading IT Transformation – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
“The digital transformation program management in medium-sized businesses: A network approach
By Alla Z. Bobyleva,
Lomonosov Moscow State University
The article deals with the process management’s issues of digital transformation in companies. The emphasis is made on the consideration of program’s projects as interrelated components with the features of emergency system, not as a weakly interconnected complex (linear set) of projects. Authors propose the organizational model of transformation’s program management and the new approach to prioritizing projects based on the use of network analysis. The suggested method allows to evaluate the role of the project in the transformation program and its impact on the other projects, as well as its impact on the planned benefits of the program. It also allows to distribute resources between projects and to assess the risks of the program as a whole. The article focuses on the differences of medium-sized companies’ management methods, on the one hand, from companies in small business, and on the other hand, from large companies. The application of the method was tested at a medium-sized poultry farm. The analysis of projects of the real program was made, the network model of the program was built, and the probability of projects’ and the program at all success was estimated. The evaluation of the program indicators allowed the authors to make conclusions about priorities of separate projects. The proposed approach can be used in various companies, regardless of industry affiliation.
Issues of digital transformation are usually considered with regard to certain industries. The primary areas of digital transformation are high-tech industries associated with the production and distribution of software as well as the fuel and energy sector, oil and gas sector, military-industrial complex, the banking sector. The difference of our approach is that the object of the research is not large business or IT companies, but medium-sized businesses. Digital transformation is not an area of activity for them, but a driving force for development.
The logic of considering the digital transformation at medium-sized businesses separately is validated by the difference between their management systems and management at large companies. In medium-sized businesses digitalization is in its infancy: manual mode and reactive measures prevail in management models. Especially it is necessary to emphasize the following management features in medium-sized businesses:
• Top management or owner of the company often has to solve both strategic and current issues and has no chance to focus on the main problems;
• There are no regulations for accepting new projects, projects are not considered as elements of a program. Decisions are made by the owner, and they are based not so much on calculations and systemic vision, as on intuition and experience;
• Internal processes are focused on coordination with the owner or top management, not on interaction between employees. This can lead to an increase in time to perform tasks;
• A number of employees has to combine various and sometimes not corresponding functions in areas in which they are not proficient;
• Owners and employees often rely on intuition, common sense, past experience rather than on professionalism. Such circumstances lead to low adaptability of companies.
Thus, as a rule, managers in medium sized companies do not use modern opportunities. Nevertheless, medium-sized enterprises are often referred to as the backbone of the European economy, providing a potential source for economic growth. In this regard, the management of digital transformation in medium-sized businesses is a very urgent problem. Its solution will structure and formalize strategic decision-making, will ensure the consideration of the company’s projects as interrelated components of a program. This will help to evaluate the role of each project taking into account its impact on other projects and the program as a whole.
A considerable amount of scientific publications have been devoted to the issues of the medium-sized business (MB) development. In particular, the works of BosBrouwers (2010), Klewitz and Hansen (2014), Koe et al. (2015) are dedicated to the influence of MB on the sustainable growth. The systemic empirical investigations of MB development are presented in the works of Bobyleva et al. (2011), World Bank (2015), Bykovskaya et al. (2018). As a whole, there is a significant amount of papers studying certain aspects of MB development and factors influencing its growth but there are not so many comprehensive works researching the matters of internal strengthening of sustainability, the opportunities of SME self-development.
Regarding our research area, change management is considered by Franklin (2011) and in Practice Guide of Project Management Institute (2013). The problems of program management are deeply studied by Thiry (2015). Also these issues are presented in such practical guides as “The standard for portfolio management” (2017), “The standard for program management” (2017). More specific issues, for example, the prioritization of projects, were raised by Cooper et al. (2002), Anshin and Ilyina (2013). Risk management was examined by Ghasemi et al. (2018), and Sanchez et al. (2008). Interconnection of projects was analyzed by Neumeier et al., (2018) and Bilgin et al. (2017).
The article by Reis et al. (2018) differs from previous literature as it strictly focuses on the concept of digital transformation. The paper delivers a general overview of the literature but it is limited by comparison of various definitions of digital transformation. Empirical studies of digital transformation are made by Gimpel & Röglinger (2015). Such research areas as digital business enterprise architecture are raised in the works of Chen et al. (2016), McDonald and Rowsell-Jones (2012). Attempts to integrate “digital” into the DNA of the business models were made by Hess et al. (2016), Kane et al. (2015), and Matt et al. (2015).
However, the prevalence of illustrative case studies in these works is a clear indication of the lack of maturity of methodology. Moreover, most of the existing publications do not consider medium businesses separately and do not reveal any special digital transformation program management for them. Thus, the insufficient use of the potential of medium-sized businesses in many countries, the lack of comprehensive scholarly works on medium sized businesses management, the low level of methodological support for digital transformation programs based on the system approach have led to the choice of the topic and the range of issues that require priority consideration.
Potentiality of Digital Transformation in Medium Sized Business
Digital transformation is one of the main directions of transformation in the modern economy. It is often understood in the narrow sense, as the implementation of automation without changing the processes themselves. But the digital transformation goes beyond merely digitizing resources and results in value and revenues being created from digital assets.
We consider the digital transformation as a fundamental change in the company’s strategy and its implementation. It affects the main areas of management: relations with the external environment; internal business processes; resource base, including material resources, human capital and corporate culture, finance. The substance of digital transformation in a broad sense is a change in the logic and content of processes. This means the company’s transition to project (program) management based on clear goalsetting, systematic review and evaluation of processes and projects, big data analysis and the implementation of digital technologies.
Such an understanding of digital transformation provides the following possibilities:
• Establishment of regulations for accepting new projects and considering their combination into programs. This will increase the systematicity of management and help to focus on results;
• Development of employee interaction algorithms, simplification of their interaction, reduction of business processes duration, increased transparency of management;
• Implementation of predictive analytics technologies;
• Processing a large volume of systematized data, which allows to optimize business processes by timely identifying problem areas and growth drivers;
• Management of businesses in different regions based on remote monitoring system. It gives the possibility of growth by means of mergers and acquisitions.
A separate task of digital transformation is the implementation of the appropriate corporate culture in the company. This may be the most difficult change for medium sized companies, since in many cases it is not professional skills that are valued, but informal relationships, including family ones. Therefore, it is easier to build a business in a digital style “from scratch” than to rebuild an existing one. However, the proposed organizational model for a managing of a transformational program may be useful both for a newly created company and for a company that is restructuring its activities.”
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“Digital Project Management in the Era of Digital Transformation: Hybrid Method
By Rachida Hassani,
Younès El Bouzekri El Idrissi,
Integrating digital into the DNA of their business model is an essential part of business success for companies across industries today. The digital transformation has become a critical management issue and requires new ways of managerial thinking. In this context, we address the specificity of digital projects compared to IT projects in general, to propose a specific project management method for digital projects while respecting the life cycle of IT projects. To do this, we adopt a methodology based on describing the digital projects characters as a type of IT projects, defining the existing methods and making a comparative study to propose a hybrid method that will be helpful for digital companies to conduct and succeed their digital projects.
The management process of digital projects follows the basic rules of IT project management but also includes particular features. A digital project manager has to deal with challenges and setbacks that are proprietary to the digital transformation and IT industry. Also in digital projects there are benefits and strong points that help ease the burden of management. Digital projects are notorious for frequently changing initial specifications without impacting planning, which represent one of the most constraints of digital transformation. Also, changing specifications to follow the digital transformation speed has a negative impact on the project management process as it reduces predictability and exercise pressure on the budget and deadlines.
When beginning a new project, one of the most important questions a digital project manager must answer is which methodology the project will follow. There are many different project management methods to choose from, and each one requires a different approach to planning, team structure and communication .
Very few digital agencies use a single IT project management process for every digital project. Every method has certain benefits, so project managers need to be able to apply the appropriate methodology for each project despite that they belong to the same type of projects, which have their own constraints.
Digital projects have been hamstrung by numerous issues over recent years: cost, complexity, cavalier management . . . all have endangered project completion . So what is the difference between waterfall and agile methods? What is the most suitable method for the management of digital projects? What is the best model for managing this type of projects?
DIGITAL PROJECT IN THE ERA OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
In 1998, we talked about NICT (New Technologies of Communication and Information). In 2013, fifteen years later, some of these technologies continue to be seen as “News” while others have appeared and the “Digital” has stolen the spotlight.
Digital projects use the internet and web technologies to deliver anything from websites to mobile apps, videos to games, ecommerce to emails, social media campaigns to search engine optimization (SEO), rich media advertising to digital outdoor advertising; We deliver projects in a connected, online world where brands and organizations interact directly with customers .
Projects can be classified based on a number of different ways. For instance, based on the methodology used, or based on the process it is implemented in the industry, or based on the exact objective being accomplished. There can be many more. For instance, the term “Agile project” is used to define the projects that use an agile methodology. “Data Migration” projects on the other hand have an objective of getting some sort of data migrated as an objective of the project. Similarly, Digital Projects are projects done in the digital domain, sometimes centered specifically in digital media space.
Some examples of digital projects:
– Website Development/Redesign/Migration.
– Mobile App Development/Redesign/Migration.
– Desktop Application Development/Redesign/Migration.
In fact, if we summarize what precedes, we realize that Digital is the whole business of technology for individuals. Here is a perimeter (not exhaustive) of digital project characteristics:
– Supports: Computer, mobile, tablet, smart TV, …
– Space: internet, cloud, object internet
– Tools: Blog, search engine, mobile apps, extranet,…
– Analytics: Big data, tracking, geolocation…
– Security: payment…
Digital projects revolutionized democracy and empowered the people, helping them to carry out democratic revolutions and develop social activism. To summarize, they gave power to the final client, which must be in continuous contact with the project manager to limit risks of changes.”
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“Digitalization as a Game Changer in Project Stakeholder Management
By Kier, Christof and Huemann, Martina
As project management comprises more than just managing scope, time, and budget, appropriately identifying, managing, and involving stakeholders has played an increasingly important role in projects over the last several years. Stakeholders, as those affecting or being affected by a project, can influence project outcomes and have a major impact on defining project success. New technological trends, such as virtual and augmented reality and digital gamification stemming from digitalization, are means to facilitate stakeholder engagement, enabling value creation for all involved parties. Representing project deliverables in the digital world not only enables higher acceptance due to involvement and functions as a medium to discuss ideas and expectations, but also uncaps the multiple dimensions of complexity.
This research work aims to discuss contemporary project stakeholder engagement and examines how digitalization shapes and affects the field. Therefore, the main research question stated in the thesis proposal is:
• How does digitalization affect project stakeholder management in infrastructure projects?
In this thesis comprising three articles, a qualitative research approach was adopted. The first article conceptualizes the phenomenon of digitalization of project stakeholder engagement, exemplifying digital gamification in a large infrastructure project. The second article discusses project stakeholder discourse in the International Journal of Project Management with a systematic literature review (SLR), starting with the roots of this rather mature research topic, alongside the evolution of the discourse and future research streams. The third article examines how boundary work can enhance value creation regarding project stakeholder engagement based on an in-depth case study of the renewal of a Finnish hospital.
Introduction and Research Question
Although digitalization has become more relevant in infrastructure projects for many years now (Succar, 2009), forcing cooperation between project partners (Jaradat et al., 2013; Lobo & Whyte, 2017; Whyte & Hartmann, 2017) and determining how digitalization influences project stakeholder management are understood to only a limited degree.
In practice, we find that digitalization can become a game changer in project stakeholder management, as emerging digital technologies allow for new ways of stakeholder engagement. Digital technologies, such as augmented reality (Gheisari & Irizarry, 2016; Meža et al., 2015) and digital gamification (Goulding et al., 2014; Rüppel & Schatz, 2011; Yan et al., 2011), are bringing potential to project stakeholder engagement (Wang et al., 2014).
Since influential work in Freeman’s stakeholder theory (1984), the concept has found its way into project stakeholder theory (Cleland, 1986) and has been cultivated into a mature research topic. Recent approaches differentiate between managing for stakeholders and managing of stakeholders (Freeman, 2010; Freeman et al., 2007), representing a continuum with different perceptions, underlying values, and ranges of stakeholders to be considered (Huemann et al., 2016). Managing for stakeholders reflects the stakeholder as a source of value creation, taking a more long-term and sustainable view, coming with the challenge of including varying stakeholders and adding complexity as such.
Nevertheless, how digital infrastructure influences and interplays with project stakeholder engagement remains partially explored, and a theoretical understanding, theoretical linking of stakeholder theory to digitalization, and digital boundary work regarding infrastructure projects are all missing.
Therefore, the main research question stated in the thesis proposal is:
• How does digitalization affect project stakeholder management in infrastructure projects?
In this thesis, a qualitative research approach was adopted. The methodology included a systematic literature review (SLR) and an in-depth case study with qualitative interviews and data collection. The research question stated in the proposal therefore addressed this gap to identify technologies, such as augmented reality and gamification, which can be applied in practice to manage and engage stakeholders and identify and analyze practical cases that use digital infrastructure for project stakeholder engagement. This thesis discusses the evolvement of project stakeholder discourse, explains the emerging themes in project stakeholder research, indicates the potentials of integrating different stakeholder groups into these projects, contributes to the further development of project stakeholder theory, and reveals the potentials and challenges of digitalization for project stakeholder engagement.
The methodology in the thesis and within the three articles was based on a qualitative research approach (Creswell, 2017; Yin, 2011), including a systematic literature review (vom Brocke & Lippe, 2015) and qualitative, in-depth interviews in a single case study design (Yin, 2009). The following chapter will overview the general process and methodology.
Systematic Literature Review
For the SLR, a step-by-step approach was followed (Denyer & Tranfield, 2009; Harden & Thomas, 2010), comprising the following:
1. Defining the literature review scope and developing the review protocol, including deciding the objectives and scope of t