Digital Transformation Leader Ruben Kuhadasan from ANZ Partners with AIB
Technology has had a huge impact on the way we work over the past 30 years, and it’s undoubtedly going to continue to do so in the future. To help our students lead through this digital transformation, we’re delighted to welcome Ruben Kuhadasan to our team of Industry Guest Lecturers. Ruben is the Tribe Performance Lead for Engineering Acceleration at ANZ where he leads the drive towards engineering culture and speed to value. Guest lecturing in AIB’s project management and change management courses, his digital expertise and industry insight will be of great value to our students.
Ruben has worked in the finance and technology sectors since 1998 across an impressive resume of big, transformative companies including Commonwealth Bank, BAE Systems and Sensis. In 2009, he joined ANZ Bank, originally as a Project/Program Manager. He moved to Medibank two years later, first to deliver the transformative initiatives that supported Medibank’s digital channels, and latterly to lead major initiatives within the sales and distribution division. Ruben returned to ANZ in late 2013 and has remained with the bank since, working across various leadership roles in Data Centre Expansion, Cloud & Delivery Automation and Engineering Acceleration.
Ruben holds an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business which he completed in 2008. Although he finished his MBA a decade ago, Ruben says that he still collaborates with the colleagues he met during the course and finds the community valuable. “The best parts for me were a sense of accomplishment, learning through theory and practicality, and bringing that to life in a workplace,” he says.
Through his in-depth experience in project management, Ruben has come to believe that there are three main aspects of any new project which will determine its success or failure.
The first involves being customer-centric. Ruben explains, “If you don’t have the customer at the centre of what you’re doing, you’re likely to fail. When sending something to market, your end customer should be involved in human-centred design and market research.
The second is planning. “When you’re planning, really think through exactly what elements the entire solution contains, and have well-thought-out time and cost estimates against it. Where scope is loosely defined, include enough time in planning so that you can define and refine the backlog going forward,” says Ruben.
Lastly, seek out executive support. “If your executives support you and they’re advocating across their colleagues and their peers, the solution’s going to be a raging success,” he says.
Challenges aside, Ruben is clearly passionate about project management, “It’s rewarding, it’s refreshing, and the ability to see all your planning and effort come to life is something that you can’t get in many other professions.”
Throughout Ruben’s career, he has also focused heavily on managing change in the workplace. Especially in large corporates, including services and banking, he’s seeing a shift from slow evolutionary change to more rapid, revolutionary dynamics. That can be tough on staff, especially those on the front line. “When you’re driving change, it’s really important to have representation from your front line embedded as part of your solution. Then, once the change has been executed, it’s about providing them with adequate support, training and communication so that you don’t have uncertainty out there on the ground.”
In a world where change is inevitable, Ruben’s project management and change management insights are immensely valuable to today’s leaders and the leaders of tomorrow. On behalf of the AIB family, we welcome him to the team.