Transformation Journey from Project based to product based Organization

The TD Journey



By Waffa Karkukly, PhD and Ian Laliberte, MBA

Ontario, Canada




In the first article of this series, we focused on the need for PMOs to become digital to stay valuable for their organization and continue to improve and adopt industry trends; and to be more equipped to support their organizations’ digital transformations. We explored the PMOs landscape today and what is expected of them to do and not do to transition to digital and how the internal readiness and external readiness preparation play an essential role in ensuring success in digitalize themselves and be ready for their organizations’ digital shift.

In this second article, we explored what it means to be a product-based and differentiate the areas of focus for a product based vs. a project-based organization.  Further, provided the required elements for a successful transformation and explained the details for each of these elements. Leveraging an organization transformation journey to illustrate the challenges and benefits from a product-based model, and explored what changes the new model needs to implement to ensure success, and what are the expected outcomes and measures.  Finally, the success of the new model relies on the orchestration of the various functions namely the EPMOs/PMOs after they are re-invented, as well as propose a new oversight function to be setup to support the product-based organization in the digital landscape.

In this third and final article, the authors will showcase a case study of TD Bank and their journey in achieving success in transforming from a project-based organization to a product-based. We will explore the steps that TD’s leadership has taken through multiyear planning, delivering, and sustaining each stage of their evolution. The case will feature the drivers to the change, the components that changed and the components that remained, the outcome as results, successes, and challenges.  The final objective of sharing TDs journey is to allow organizations and individuals involved in Digital transformation, Product based transformation, the sustainability of Agile, and improving DevOps to reflect on their journeys and be more prepared to respond to continuously evolving ways of work imposed by clients, internal stakeholders, and competition.

Key Words:  Journey, Platform, Smart Funding, Spend Envelops, Practice Leadership, Digital, DMO,

About the Case Organization

As a top 10 North American bank, TD aims to stand out from its peers by having a differentiated brand – anchored in our proven business model, and rooted in a desire to give our customers, communities and colleagues the confidence to thrive in a changing world. The strategy focused on:

  • Deliver consistent earnings growth, underpinned by a strong risk culture
  • Centre everything we do on our vision, purpose, and shared commitments
  • Shape the future of banking in the digital age

TD’s shared commitments

  • Think like a customer; provide legendary experiences and trusted advice
  • Act like an owner; lead with integrity to drive business results and contribute to communities
  • Execute with speed and impact; only take risks we can understand and manage
  • Innovate with purpose; simplify the way we work
  • Develop our colleagues; embrace diversity and respect one another

TD Bank Group has gradually phased in a new way of working transforming the organization to focus on products and customers vs. projects. As a result a new way of looking at product-based funding, resourcing, and governance to allow teams to continue delivery and allow business functions seeing work end-to-end.


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How to cite this article: Karkukly, W. and Laliberte, I. (2020).  Transformation Journey from Project based to product based Organization.  The TD Journey, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj90-Feb2020-Karkukly-Laliberte-from-projrect-to-product-based-organization-the-td-journey.pdf



About the Authors


Dr. Waffa Karkukly

Ontario, Canada




Dr. Waffa Karkukly, PhD, MIT, PMP, ACP, CMP has over 20 years’ experience in IT, and Project Management. Waffa has helped fortune 100, midsize, and small sized organizations improve their project management practices and PMO establishments through building scalable standards and proven solutions that improved their delivery process. She held many positions ranging from big 5 to small startups where she held the responsibility of managing IT strategy and operation; in her career progression she became head of PMO with titles ranging from director to VP, responsibilities ranging from $50 million to $1billion in Enterprise assets for global and international organizations.

Waffa is a strategist and change agent who had many organizations’ transformations in building agile organization culture and building CoE for IT organizations. Waffa teaches various beginners and advance project management and IT courses at various Ontario universities and colleges. She is a program and curriculum lead developer for variety of topics aligning education certificates with practical industry needs and trends.

Waffa holds a BSC in Information Systems from DePaul University, an MIT from Northwestern University, and a PhD from SKEMA School of Business. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Professional (ACP), and Change Management Practitioner (CMP) who is dedicated to improving the understanding and standards of project management practices especially in the Value proposition of Strategy execution via Portfolio Management and PMO.

Waffa is an active PMI member who has held various positions of Director of Communication for the PMOCoP and Regional communication coordinator for the PMOLIG. Waffa was one of the committee members that built the standards for PMI-OPM3. She is a volunteer and an Academic Reviewer for PMI’s academic paper proposals selection. She contributes often in project management publications and is a frequent speaker in project management chapters and forums.



Ian Laliberte

Ontario, Canada



Ian Laliberte, MBA, PMP, PRINCE2, is Vice President of Delivery Transformation, responsible for the TD’s strategy and transformation to ‘Agile Ways of working’. Ian joined TD in January 2014 as Vice President, Canadian Banking, Auto Finance and Wealth Management PMO and led the transformation of the project execution framework. In this role, he was responsible for managing the end-to-end delivery of the change portfolio for both business and technology initiatives.  From there, Ian then took on the role of Vice President of Delivery, Shared Services, where he was responsible for strategy, operating model and overall operations of IT for Canadian Banking and Wealth.

In over 20 years he has held senior positions leading business and IT transformation through turnaround, realignment and revitalization within international distribution, manufacturing, insurance (Life and GI) and banking industries.  Before joining TD, Ian held diverse Information technology, Project Management, and leadership roles at Canadian Bearings.  He has also held executive technology roles with Aviva Insurance, which included Change and IT Strategy, EPMO, Management Information & Analytics, and he has led Commercial Lines business transformation and the implementation of a business and operating model for Aviva’s Digital business.

Ian graduated from New York Institute of Technology with an MBA in Global Management. Ian’s leadership thinking has also been recognized as part of the top 50 thought-leaders in change excellence, and he has been published in 2014 Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence – 3rd Ed (by Dr. Kerzner), collaborated in 2012 Managing the PMO Lifecycle, by Dr. Karkukly, and many other recent PMI article and publications on standards.

Waffa and Ian can be contacted at ask.ian.waffa@gmail.com