How to empower and motivate an agile organization.

A new workforce planning tool has helped Telstra become one of the first organizations in Australia to move to a fully agile way of working.


disparate tools and applications unified into 1 solution


different skills logged to support strategic prioritization


agile teams at level 3 of agile maturity

Telstra’s transformation strategy involves radically simplifying and digitizing the business, including moving to agile working across the whole organization—not just IT. A big part of this program is modernizing Telstra’s people systems. “We had 60 different solutions across the employee lifecycle,” says Transformation, Communications & People Executive Darren Fewster.

In looking for a solution to consolidate these platforms and empower Telstra’s workforce with data, the company had three priorities. “We were seeking the best employee experience, an integrated end-to-end solution across the employee lifecycle, and a roadmap to the future,” Fewster says.

Workday helps us align our people, our finances, and our resources to an agile way of working.

Transformation, Communications & People Executive

Underpinning transformation with simplification.

Workday was an essential enabler as Telstra moved to an agile workforce, supporting optimization and process simplification. “Moving to a single HR solution in Workday allowed us to pull together dashboards and analytics to deliver timely insights at all levels across the business,” explains Fewster. 

The transformation program, which concluded in June 2022, has been a standout success. “Telstra today is a much simpler, more agile, more customer-focused, and more digitally enabled business,” Fewster explains. “We have reduced costs by $2.7 billion and reached high-performing employee engagement levels, with more than 17,000 people in the organization now using an agile approach and more than 90% at level 3 agile maturity, all supported by Workday.”

Workday has changed our business and the experience of our people—the whole company is working in an agile construct.

Transformation, Communications & People Executive

Allocating skills, spend, and resources dynamically.

Telstra uses Workday Adaptive Planning to bring its HR, financial, and operational data together to create holistic workforce plans that keep pace with change. From one platform, Telstra can analyze critical skills needs and identify gaps and how best to fill them, and then put its plans in motion leveraging the business process framework in Workday.

“We have more than 20,000 skills in the Workday Adaptive Planning system,” explains Fewster. “Every quarter, the tool helps us to assign people new priorities and tasks based on their skills and accreditations and the needs of the company. As a people manager, if I know the capability of people on my team, and of people in other parts of the company, I can ensure I’m assigning the right people with the right skills to the right priorities.”

Workday Adaptive Planning helps us make better decisions about people, our work environment, and productivity.

Transformation, Communications & People Executive

Understanding aspirations to improve the work experience.

Fewster says Telstra’s employees are also benefiting from understanding what work is coming up and being able to pitch for projects that will develop their skills. “Workday allows people to put themselves forward for critical projects that will help them achieve their aspirations and career goals. People can see the pipeline of work coming and express an interest in areas where they are excited to develop new capabilities. Managers know projects will be resourced by passionate people who want to learn. It’s a real win-win.”

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