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  • 1. 1 Page
  • 2. Synergistic effort using soft skills and project management techniques in ITSCM consulting engagementRajat Maini – Technology Lead, Infosys Limited
  • 3. Contents 1. Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 4 1.1 Behavioral Competencies ............................................................................................................. 4 1.2 IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM): ............................................................................... 4 1.2.1 Why ITSCM? ........................................................................................................................... 5 1.2.2 ITSCM Lifecycle ...................................................................................................................... 5 1.2.3 Does ITSCM strategy differ across Industry verticals? ........................................................... 5 2. Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) ................................................................................................. 6 2.1 Planning a DRP ......................................................................................................................... 6 2.2 Multilateral DRP ........................................................................................................................ 7 3. Linking behavior competencies pragmatically to project management techniques ........................ 7 4. Case Study ...................................................................................................................................... 8 4.1 About Client ............................................................................................................................... 8 4.2 Challenges encountered ........................................................................................................... 8 4.3 Solution approach for Multilateral DRP – Synergistic efforts in blending of behavioral and project management techniques ............................................................................................... 9 4.4 Critical Success Factors (CSF) ............................................................................................... 10 4.5 Benefits of multilateral DRP .................................................................................................... 10 4.5.1 For client ...............................................................................................................................10 4.5.2 For all partners ......................................................................................................................11 4.6 Pedagogical Outcomes ........................................................................................................... 11 5. Conclusion..................................................................................................................................... 13 6. References .................................................................................................................................... 13 7. Appendix ....................................................................................................................................... 14 8. Author‟s Profile .............................................................................................................................. 153 Page
  • 4. 1. IntroductionA possible connotation of “Synergy” is “the interaction of elements that when combined produce atotal effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.”Standard projects with well-defined scope, time and budget components can be executed by following ®the defined project management processes, tools & techniques from PMBOK . However, with thevastly changing IT environment it is trending towards the need to deliver projects and programs withan end-to-end accountability, including delivery from clients and partners. Thus, blending the bestavailable frameworks on collaborative working, aided with project management techniques becomesfundamental for a sustainable tomorrow.In other words, a synergistic effort, involving soft skills along with project management techniques isrequired for achieving a successful outcome where clients and partners are involved.1.1 Behavioral CompetenciesBehavioral competency is defined as a skill identified by an organization, as necessary for itsemployees to be successful in an organization and/or necessary for employees to be successful in aspecific job. Examples of such behavioral competencies are professionalism, customer serviceattributes, working collaboratively, communication skills etc. According to the survey conducted bySociety for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2008 on behavioral competency, the samplescollected from 417 randomly selected HR Professionals; behavioral competencies are used inrecruitment, hiring and selection process, performance management, training and development, andsuccession planning. Even then, behavioral competencies have been identified for only 24 percent ofspecific jobs. The survey also highlighted that 9 percent of HR professionals feel that it is “too new tomeasure outcome”.Dale Carnegie, a writer, and the developer of recognized courses in self-improvement, corporatetraining and interpersonal skills, had authored a book „How to Win Friends and Influence People‟ in1936. In this book, Dale had laid down the guidelines, by virtue of whose practice a person can winpeople to his/her way of thinking and influence an outcome. Dale was a firm believer that behavioralskills of an Individual can be honed. Several organizations are now focused on cultivating behaviorcompetencies as a professional habit in their employees, by running soft skills developmentprograms. The question that arises is; how does one hitch a successful outcome pragmatically tothese behavioral competencies and soft skills?1.2 IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM):ITSCM aims to manage risks that could seriously impact IT services. ITSCM ensures that the ITservice provider can always provide minimum agreed Service Levels, by reducing the risk fromdisaster events to an acceptable level and planning for the recovery of IT services.4 Page
  • 5. 1.2.1 Why ITSCM? IT recovery forms an integral part of Business Continuity Planning (BCP). With the growth and advancement in technology, this however, has simply complicated the Disaster Recovery (DR) of IT services. An ITSCM describes how continuity is ensured for specific disaster events and services. It specifies the measures to enhance the resilience of IT services and describes how to effectively respond to a disaster event. Note: Organizations which are working in an ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework call it ITSCM, while others call it DR. 1.2.2 ITSCM Lifecycle As shown in the pictorial representation of ITSCM lifecycle (below), it can be divided into six important phases of the processes, each process is dependent on all other processes & machinery stops if one process fails. Figure 1 : ITSCM Lifecycle A brief description of each phase is listed below: Phase Description Assess the present scenario, the requirements (Business & Technology) &Assess & Analyze the feasibility for the next phase of planning & designing the ITSCM solutionPlan & Design Define & strategize „Plan of Action‟ for implementing DR / BCP capability Create the DR solution which is completely aligned with the planned ITSCMSolution Build solutionTest Test the built solution developed for its effectiveness & efficiency Rollout of the solution into live environment. Also Training & CreatingSolution Rollout & Training Awareness about the program & business solution. Maintain the built solution & improve the solution to ensure parity withMaintain & Improve present industry best practices & meet the industry standards *Reference: Infosys – ITSCM Tool Kit 1.2.3 Does ITSCM strategy differ across Industry verticals? The characteristics and features of every industry vertical are different and so is their ITSCM strategy. Financial sector had traditionally led the way in development of ITSCM due to a number of factors: • The time horizons under which it operate • Influence of financial regulations and regulators Manufacturing industry requires different type of ITSCM strategies than financial sectors due to: 5 Page
  • 6. • Supply-Chain dependency on the environment • Managing Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory • Manufacturing facilities are handling disasters on a daily basis (e.g. equipment breakdown in plant, component manufactured is not being up to the quality standard)This paper explains about Infosys‟ approach of using soft skills and project management techniquesin an ITSCM consulting (Assess and Analyze Phase) engagement. Infosys had to analyze thebusiness requirements and technology needs for a manufacturing client and provide consultancyservices in disaster recovery planning for one of their critical applications.Note: The ITSCM lifecycle or its strategy development is not being discussed in this document, but itsexistence is mentioned for completeness.2. Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP)A disaster can strike anytime, anywhere and in any organization including yours. When a disasterstrikes, it tends to compromise the capability of an organization to achieve its mission, it erodes itsreputation, brand value and image; and in adverse cases, its customer base, market share and itsprofitability. Thus, an organization must have a Disaster Recovery Plan; a documented, tested andverified procedure to recover from disasters.2.1 Planning a DRPThe Disaster Recovery Planning requires a structured, methodical and comprehensive approach, foran organization to achieve its operational capability once a disaster strikes. Thus, a DRP is requiredto be executed as a „Project‟ leveraging the guidelines laid down by Project Management Institute ®(PMI) in PMBOK .Each organization consists of three components as depicted in Figure 2 below. These are:• Process – Provides details on delivering products and services to client• Participants – One‟s who participate in the execution of each business process• Infrastructure and Resources – Used in the execution of the business process Figure 2 : Elements of an OrganizationThese three elements of an organization are tightly integrated through information flow. Progressiveorganizations are keeping themselves precocious by maintaining a DRP, which protects theirorganization from disasters.In a DRP, importance is given to the recovery of IT Infrastructure and IT Services. Project Managercan effectively manage the recovery of IT Services as an independent item using the guidelines from6 Page
  • 7. ®PMBOK . For an end-to-end recovery for business continuity, requires resumption of business andinformation flow. But, what should an organization do for an end-to-end recovery? Let us analyze afew questions, which may bring a new perspective, which are repetitively overlooked while planning aDR. What happens if a disaster transpires in your outsourced contact center? How does it impact your operations? What is the impact on your business? What if your third party technology service provider fails you due to lack of DRP? What happens if your key technical client has a disaster? What is the impact on you? What happens if your key supplier of raw materials or information has a disaster? What must you do to support their recovery efforts? What is the impact on your customer, suppliers and business partners if you‟ve a disaster? What would you want them to do to support your recovery efforts?2.2 Multilateral DRPIn view of the situation arising out the questions written above, it is pertinent to address Business-to-Business integration that grows under the banner of „cost sharing‟, „outsourcing‟, „collaboration‟ and„cooperation‟. Thus, the need to extend our DR planning endeavors to our clients and partners. Inother words, plan for a multilateral disaster recovery involving your outsourced IT partners, vendors,suppliers and customers.Solutions to the above questions would give you few reasons, as to why a “Multilateral DRP” whentaken up as a project must go beyond the borders of project management. You (i.e., Project Manager)need to have an additional quality of behavioral competencies to influence an outcome. So, whatshould be the approach to mix behavior competencies with project management techniques?3. Linking behavior competencies pragmatically to projectmanagement techniquesBreaking down the guidelines laid down by Dale Carnegie in his book “How to win friends andinfluence people” on behavior competency for pragmatically influencing decision making and linkingthem with project management guidelines. Dale Carnegie’sBehavior Attribute advice on Behavior Pragmatic Approach Technique Used competencyFundamental Establish a team Dont criticize, Encouragetechnique in Handling Plan joint condemn or complain participationpeople workshops Become genuinely Publish RACI & interested in other Provide a common promote MentoringWays to make people people platform to alllike you Talk in terms of the participants Joint assessment other persons sessions interests.Win people to your Dramatize your ideas Visualize your thoughts Plan for Interactive7 Page
  • 8. way of thinking and seek others discussions confirmation Conduct awareness sessions Visual Reporting displaying progress Publish all Take decisions based proposed options Ask questions instead on data shared and and Negotiate with of giving direct orders analysis performed all participants forBe a leader final decision Use encouragement. Re-visit the plan based Document the Plan Make the fault seem on learning and Regularly update it easy to correct. experience and share with allMultilateral DRP is reliant upon mentoring and availability of human resources, confirmed scope ofthe project along with the extent of Information disclosure and sharing amongst all partners.4. Case StudyThe case study involves the experience of a successful consummation of multilateral DRP for amanufacturing client by Infosys. Infosys project governance team overcame disparate set ofchallenges by exhibiting the blend of behavior traits & project management techniques.4.1 About ClientA leading producer of Nickel from Canada with its parent firm being the second biggest miningcompany in the world, operating in 38 countries, spread across 5 continents and employs over126,000 people.4.2 Challenges encountered• Client had subscribed to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from another IT service provider. This IT Service provider was irresolute on sharing any information with Infosys for the fear of disclosure of proprietary information external to its organization• One of the main components of this application was developed and maintained by another partner, requiring participation from a Vendor and a partner. There was lack of support from both, partners and vendors due to low priority given to multilateral DRP• Scope of this multilateral DRP to be agreed with all business partners• Limited budget for DR Planning and very stringent timelines to be met• Solution being relevant to Client‟s business requirements and strategic needs• Solution should be designed using the existing IT infrastructure with minimal additional investment• Critical human resources being unavailable during the initial phase of requirement gathering• Project resources (of Infosys) working from three different countries and two different time zones8 Page
  • 9. 4.3 Solution approach for Multilateral DRP – Synergistic efforts in blending of behavioral and project management techniquesThe under mentioned steps are derived from the process of Infosys‟ practical approach of providingconsultancy service for a Multilateral DRP involving client, its third party technology partners andvendors. Infosys project governance team managed it as a project utilizing the project management ®framework from PMBOK and its concomitant behavioral attributes to influence a successful outcome. 1. Conducting awareness: To obtain management buy-in from the organization and to involve the business partners from the very beginning by engaging them from the Initiation phase. Emphasize on importance of using approach that is suitable for both the message being transmitted and the targeted audience. 2. Establish a project team: To overcome coordination hassles and information sharing amongst business partners, a project team (from all partners) including a project manager has to be identified at the onset of this project. The end objective is to obtain resource commitment, mentoring them and to coordinate DR Planning activities. To maintain the objective and unbiased acceptance of the proposed solutions, it may be prudent for client to act as a project facilitator. The project facilitator would function as a project manager, ensuring all participants are treated equally, continue the flow of information amongst all participants and facilitate decision making. 3. Publishing a RACI matrix: Allocating team members would not suffice until the roles and responsibilities are communicated. Allow the „Accountable‟ to mentor the „Responsible‟, who as Protégés starts to observe and explore. Design the alliance, and be clear about what this relationship will look like and how it will be managed. 4. Publish the strategy statement: Based on the agreement with all partners, publish a strategy statement encompassing all aspects of a project management plan along with all workable options proposed to contain a disaster and recovery of IT Services in multilateral environment. All options proposed (and published) may not be acceptable to all partners. Project manager must consider all options as a „Negotiable‟ attribute. Most important tip to successful negotiation is to control your emotion, remain calm, and be genuinely interested in others opinions & concerns; then put across your point of view. 5. Obtain strategy approval: It‟s imperative that all partner organizations understands and supports the DRP. This step is deemed necessary as a formal review and approval before an organization‟s disclosure of proprietary information external to its organization for a DRP. 6. Plan for interactive discussion(s) on information sharing: An information critical to one partner may not be relevant for another. Thus, we need to plan for interactive discussions, where participants would identify disaster scenarios in a multilateral environment, analyze the situation together, and conclude it with identification and agreement to a bilateral solution. The objective is to put a framework together to analyze this situation on a continual basis and continue with the cadence setup to initiate discussions on DRP with suppliers & business partners. 7. Conducting interdependency assessment: It is necessary to obtain an understanding of the impact of a disaster from all partners‟ perspective. A disaster may have a varied impact on all partners. Provide a framework to all partners to conduct their own impact assessment of all known disasters. You are not asking all partners to do a multilateral DR assessment, but rather participating in their process and learning from their experience.9 Page
  • 10. 8. Conducting resolution workshops: Provide an interactive method to ease out the flaws from the solution design considering all partners opinions. It is the responsibility of project managers to ensure that a common solution is adopted. 9. Prepare a joint implementation plan: These are worked out concurrently with resolution workshops. Establish joint implementation teams to ensure a timely and accurate completion of tasks. 10. Document multilateral DRP: Documentation is the easiest step in the overall process. It is important that all partners adopt a common implementation schedule, conducting regular reviews, keeping their respective management abrasive about the developments and above all follow a common structure and content for the DR Plan. This ensures an easier change transition within each organization and its subsequent reviews. Note: The steps though mentioned sequentially, were executed as per the Project Management processes4.4 Critical Success Factors (CSF)Infosys identified critical success factors for this project as behavioral attributes. These were: 1. Participation and continuous engagement from all partners: Infosys planned for it by a. Setting up of daily cadence for its project team b. Weekly cadence for steering committee c. Joint workshops for solution development and its reviews with partners and client d. Phase end reviews jointly by partners and client 2. Finalized Scope: Infosys overcame technology based interfaces between two partners by e. Conducting awareness workshop f. Conducting walkthrough sessions on the end project objectives g. Joint workshops including all partners and client to finalize the scope h. Publishing the project strategy statement along with RACI matrix to all participants 3. Cooperation & Compromise: It gets difficult to get productive participation from resources within the same organization. The complexity increase 10-folds when dealing in a multilateral DRP. The CSF here is to maintain a mindset of cooperation and compromise. 4. Creating an environment conducive for solution creation: Infosys could do so by facilitating joint resolution workshops and by tracking all pending issues in an Issue log. This issue log gets reviewed by steering committee on a weekly basis. 5. Patience is the key in a multilateral DRP: General cooperation was superficially maintained. Infosys was able to get the information sharing flow ongoing by creating a meeting and action item tracker, which holds the minutes of the meetings along with Information requested from partners, its responsibility and ETA. The same was shared with the steering committee on a weekly basis to overcome hassles of non-cooperation from participants.4.5 Benefits of multilateral DRP4.5.1 For clientBenefits derived by the client due to successful execution of this consulting project by Infosys were:10 Page
  • 11. • Assessment blueprint that provides a consolidated view of impact to recovery of all infrastructure components • DR solution that leverages all aspects of the current IT infrastructure with no additional investment • Multiple technically viable options of each component to meet DR requirements • Scientific way of selecting solution recommendation which was in line with the DR strategy • A solution Implementation plan which acts as a baseline project plan for implementing DR solution recommendations • DR Strategy that provides a roadmap to meet the business requirement4.5.2 For all partnersMultilateral DRP has number of benefits for all partners, including: • Advanced level of preparedness with business partners, in recovering from disasters. This promotes an interdependent relationship and further advances business-to-business integration • Strengthening the functioning relationship amongst all partners by continuous supply of business and information flow • Measurable competitive advantage in IT Service Continuity Management for each partner • Extended influence and support external to the organization, improves the brand value and reputation • Interactions by management and staff will strengthen the operational interface between partners4.6 Pedagogical OutcomesLessons learnt are documented below as a sustainable guide for eradicating common pitfalls, forproject managers who intend to take up multilateral application disaster recovery planning projects.11 Page
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  • 13. 5. ConclusionUnexpected events and incidents can become disasters. Disasters can strike any organization, yourorganization as well. A disaster recovery management is about being able to recover (or resume) ITservices „without missing a beat‟.Today‟s organizations are driven by business and information flow, integrated with its businesspartners. Each core element of an organization has several direct and indirect dependencies on itsbusiness partners for disaster recovery, some of which are beyond the boundaries that can becontrolled alone by project management. Thus, an organization can achieve a multilateral disasterrecovery planning by. • Driving it as a project - leveraging all aspects of project management techniques • Influencing the decision making on business & information flow from business partners through behavioral competenciesA project manager requires exhibiting an approach which blends with behavioral competencies andproject management techniques, to influence decision making towards a successful multilateral DRP.6. References 1. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Does your organization identify behavioral skills for an employee‟s success? – Poll Findings available at http://www.shrm.org/research/surveyfindings/articles/pages/identifybehavioralskills.aspx (last accessed in June 2012) 2. Wikipedia® - Dale Carnegie – Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Carnegie (last accessed in June 2012) 3. Wikipedia® - ITSCM – Available at: http://wiki.en.it- processmaps.com/index.php/IT_Service_Continuity_Management (last accessed in June 2012) 4. Wikipedia® - Business continuity planning – Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_continuity_planning (last accessed in June 2012) 5. Wikipedia® - Disaster Recovery – Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_recovery (last accessed in June 2012) 6. iPRISE (Integrated Process Repository for IT Infrastructure Service Excellence) – Infosys‟s reusable process repository for IT Infrastructure process 7. Infosys‟s ITSCM Tool Kit 8. The Definitive Handbook of Business Continuity Management (Second Edition) by Andrew Hiles FBCI – Published in 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd publications13 Page
  • 14. 7. AppendixName ExplanationIT Service Continuity Management A process by which plans are put in place and managed to ensure(ITSCM) that IT services can recover and continue if a service failure occurs. Identifies [an] organizations exposure to internal and external threats and synthesizes hard and soft assets to provide effectiveBusiness Continuity Planning prevention and recovery for the organization, whilst maintaining(BCP) competitive advantage and value system integrity”. BCP is working out how to continue operations under adverse conditions. A condition in which an IT service is unavailable leading toDisaster significant disruption in executing normal business activities It is the process, policies and procedures related to preparing forDisaster Recovery (DR) recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure critical to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster. A Plan which describes how an organization is to deal withDisaster Recovery Plan (DRP) disasters14 Page
  • 15. 8. Author’s Profile Rajat works with Infosys as a Technology Lead. He is a PMP certified professional and has 8 years of IT Industry experience. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication. His strengths include process analysis, driving service optimization and executing continual service improvement initiatives. Email: Rajat_Maini@Infosys.com or Rajat.Maini@gmail.com15 Page

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