Understanding and Improving Governance of IT-Enabled Programmes

We are contacting the leaders of Australia’s largest and most important organisations, in both the private and public sectors, to identify programme managers who can take part in a short online survey. Participating organisations will be able to receive early releases of research results to help them understand how to most effectively deploy significant programmes and realise both financial and social gains.

ARC

About the ARC Discover Grant

The ARC's Discovery funding schemes recognise the importance of fundamental research to the national innovation system. Discovery Projects aim to: support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams, enhance the scale and focus of research in the research priority areas, expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability, encourage research and research training in high-quality research environments, enhance international collaboration in research, and foster the international competitiveness of Australian research.

What is the study about?

The research team is developing rigorous governance frameworks for the delivery of major programmes, seeking to improve the effectiveness with which IT-enabled programmes are managed by public and private organisations. Outcomes of this research project will provide valuable information to Australian firms and government organisations, allowing organisations to become more effective in deploying significant programmes and thus achieving financial and/or social gains

ARC

The Research Team

Walter Fernandez Professor Walter Fernandez

Chief Investigator

James J. JiangProfessor
James J. Jiang

Partner Investigator

Gary KleinProfessor
Gary Klein

Partner Investigator

Mark KeilProfessor
Mark Keil

Partner Investigator

Rasheed Khan Mr Rasheed Khan

PhD Candidate

ARC

Sponsors

ARC

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the study being conducted by?

The study is supported by the ARC Discovery Funding Program and conducted by a world-leading team of professors in the field of project and programme management comprising Prof. Walter Fernandez (University of New South Wales), Prof. James Jiang (National Taiwan University), Prof. Gary Klein (University of Colorado Springs), and Prof. Mark Keil (Georgia State University).

What is the ARC Discovery Grant?

The ARC's Discovery funding schemes recognise the importance of fundamental research to the national innovation system. Discovery Projects aim to: support excellent basic and applied research by individuals and teams, enhance the scale and focus of research in the research priority areas, expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability, encourage research and research training in high-quality research environments, enhance international collaboration in research, and foster the international competitiveness of Australian research.

What is the study about?

The research team is developing rigorous governance frameworks for the delivery of major programmes, seeking to improve the effectiveness with which IT-enabled programmes are managed by public and private organisations. Outcomes of this research project will provide valuable information to Australian firms and government organisations, allowing organisations to become more effective in deploying significant programmes and thus achieving financial and/or social gains.

Who is being asked to participate?

We are seeking the participation of senior business executives and managers who are or were directly involved in programme initiatives. To facilitate this, we are contacting the leaders of Australia’s largest and most important organisations, in both the private and public sectors. This includes organisations such as the top 200 ASX listed companies, and key Commonwealth and state departments and agencies.

What is a programme?

A programme is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to attain an specific organisational goal or benefit. The programme’s objective is to deliver a change in the organisation; such change is usually needed to address major operational or strategic concerns. Thus, programmes are significant investments made to either enhance existing capabilities or to deliver new capabilities.

What is programme management?

Program management entails the managerial processes and procedures that facilitate the conduct and coordination of a given programme.

What programmes are relevant to this survey?

A typical the programme for this study may have many projects that are business related (e.g., marketing, HR, processes, operational, etc.) but will always depend on IS/IT as a key enabler of such programme. At the higher end of the complexity spectrum, an example of such programmes is the Australian National Broadband Network, entailing a significant number of diverse projects that are required to complete the program.  Another example could be the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning system, such as SAP or Oracle, requiring substantial changes in the organisation as well as the successful implementation of the adopted technologies.

What programmes are NOT suitable for this survey?

The term “programme” is often used for activities that we not see as programmes and thus are outside the scope of this research, including:

  • When the term programme management and portfolio management are used indistinctly. While portfolios are also collection of projects undertaken together, these projects do not necessarily share the same objective, in those cases the activity would not fit our definition of programme.
  • The programmes we are studying are not to be confused with the same term used often to deliver a new product (i.e., a new line of loan or investment product, in the banking sector) or a new service (i.e., a vaccination programme in the health sector).
What does taking part involve?

Participating organisation’s involvement will be limited to the following:

  • Nominating one or more programmes completed by their organisation in the last 2 years and the corresponding programme manager.
  • The nominated programme manager to complete two short online surveys at a time that is convenient to them, each expected to take around 20 minutes to complete; and
  • A short 3 to 5 minute online survey (which can also be completed at a time most convenient to the participant) to be completed by a business sponsor of the programme (who might be the CEO, CFO, CIO or another appropriate senior manager).
Who are appropriate participants for this survey?

We are seeking people that were actively involved with the programme at a managerial level.  We need to have at least two people, one of them should be a programme manager the other could be a business/organizational representative of high hierarchy. These people include the following:

  • Programme Manager in charge of the whole programme.
  • Programme Sponsor in direct contact with the programme and the Programme Manager. For example Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer or Chief Information Officer.
  • Division Manager/Head who acted as key stakeholder from business and interacted closely with the programme.
What questions does the survey contain?

The survey will ask questions about strategic directions of your organisation and its programme planning process, capabilities, and management structures.  The primary focus will be on activities of the programme board, namely those in your organisation responsible for directing programme activities, coordinating the various projects in the programme, and monitoring attainment of goals and benefits.  Certain questions will be asked about the programme board relationships with others in the organisation, including top executives with substantial interests in the programme and programme team members who are those involved with implementation and project management duties.

What are the benefits of taking part?

Organisations and their staff who participate in the study will be contributing to a major national research project aimed at understanding and improving programme management.  The findings and recommendations that result from the survey will help organisations realise financial gains in future programme implementations.

Participants will also be able to receive early release of survey findings and be invited to a UNSW Business School seminar exploring the survey results and what they mean for organisations in Australia.  Further details are given below.

Who is administering the survey?

We have commissioned market and social research data collection company I-View to conduct the survey on our behalf.  I-View is the specialist Australian data collection division of the independent global market and social research company Ipsos.  I-view is accredited to the international standard for quality in market and social research, ISO 20252, and follows the professional standards of the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS). 

How will information be treated and disclosed?

Following strict human research ethics guidelines, all information will be treated in a confidential manner and anonymity ensured as far as the Australian law allows.  Research results will always be reported in such a way that the anonymity of participants will be preserved.  In addition:

  • Only duly authorised researchers involved in this study will handle the data.
  • All references to people or organisations will be substituted by pseudonyms/codes.
  • The data obtained for this study will only be used for the purpose of the study.
  • The data obtained for this study will be kept at a secured location within UNSW.
What are my rights as a participant?

Your participation is completely voluntary and no penalty of any kind should be implemented should you decide to withdraw from the study at any time.

You have the right to omit or refuse to answer or respond to any question that is asked of you without penalty of any kind.

You have the right to have your questions about this survey answered. If you have further questions as a result of reading this information sheet, you should ask the researcher before the study begins.

Will I receive a compensation for participating on this research?

Your participation in this study is voluntary, the only compensation you may expect to receive is your own satisfaction for contributing to the generation of valuable knowledge.

How can I launch a complaint related to ethical misconduct?

This study fully complies with the UNSW Australia Business School’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and has been approved under Approval number 136084. Any complaint you make will be investigated promptly and you will be informed of the outcome. Complaints may be directed to:

Ethics Secretariat Phone: +61 2 9385 4234
The University of New South Wales Fax: +61 2 9385 6648
Sydney 2052 AUSTRALIA Email: ethics.sec@unsw.edu.au

How can I make comments or seek for further information on this study?

Professor Walter Fernandez will be glad to answer your questions about this study or to receive your comments at any time. You may contact him on w.fernandez@unsw.edu.au or (02) 9385 7796.