Jagadeesh dv abhaydesai


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Jagadeesh dv abhaydesai

  1. 1. Achieving Project Certainty through Talent Management - A case study Jun 2013 Abhay Desai & Jagadeesh DV
  2. 2. Tata Consultancy Services 1 Table of Content 1. Abstract .............................................................................................2 2. Introduction.......................................................................................3 3. Approach ...........................................................................................4 Hybrid Model.....................................................................................5 Challenges for Implementation: ........................................................8 4. Results.............................................................................................10 5. Conclusion .......................................................................................13
  3. 3. Tata Consultancy Services 2 1. Abstract A study conducted in 2005 by NASSCOM and McKinsey, found that 75% of the Indian fresh graduate workforce is unemployable. As Human resources will have significant impact triple constraints of Project Management, managing the same can have greater influence on the project outcome. The case study presented here is aimed at highlighting the approach, impact and outcome of talent management through an innovative initiative undertaken. While it is imperative that talent acquisition and retention is needed for successful execution of a project, the study presented here focuses on the current scenario in terms of availability and the deployability of these talents, and innovative ways to retain them with the dual objective of bringing out the best in them and providing value to the customers. Use of ‘Talent management practice’ has been typically abused by narrowing down the scope to training, rewarding and giving recognition. However, this study is aimed at bringing out the points which are unique in nature, but which have yielded enormous business benefits. Innovation in terms of employee engagement, transformation through acquiring new skills, continuous idea generation process leading to inquisitiveness, are few examples to quote as differentiators in the process of nurturing the talent with complete alignment to project execution and deliverables. The case study present reflects the following two aspects: Increase in employee satisfaction Index through drop in attrition and increase in the level of involvement and revenue to the account. Increase in customer satisfaction index particularly in innovation and pro-activeness, tangible benefits in terms cost reduction in application maintenance and increase in the availability of applications
  4. 4. Tata Consultancy Services 3 2. Introduction Employee motivation and involvement plays a vital role in order to ensure certainty of success for any given project. Unfortunately, making employees self-driven and ensuring high level of involvement remains a big challenge. In order to overcome this challenge, an innovative approach is needed. Invariably there are multiple factors that contribute to the employee’s hesitation to be involved completely in the project. It is predominantly because of the aggression by the supervisor or peers, ‘fear of rejection’ of the ideas provided by them, lack of subject matter expertise (though needed) and a forum or a means to express and involve them. Fortunately, there is a way to overcome this challenge. There are various approaches and ways to motivate the employees and enable them to involve actively in the project in order to bring out the best in them and ensure certainty of the project deliverables to the customer. There has to be a process oriented approach rather than a satellite practice. The typical employee engagement initiatives practiced are as follows: Regular team interaction and brief meetings (not a project review meeting) Employee suggestion schemes Employee represented consultative committees Self-managed small teams Re-design/enrichment of jobs Quality circles While all the above tracks of initiatives have their own merits, the benefits can be maximized when multiple initiatives mentioned above are combined as part of a hybrid model. We experienced that such Hybrid model was best suited both in project environment and in operations mode. We have measured the impact of this Hybrid model approach on some of the parameters like employee satisfaction index, customer satisfaction index, attrition rate, on-time delivery of the project, customer perceived improvement on innovation factor, cost reduction in application maintenance, improvement in system availability and additional revenue generated by the project team.
  5. 5. Tata Consultancy Services 4 3. Approach The case study conducted by Charted Management Institute, has the following findings on employee involvement approaches. Table 1: Employee Involvement Techniques Sr. # Employee Involvement Approaches Companies Adopted (%) 1 Regular team interaction and briefing meetings (not a project review meeting) 82 2 Employee suggestion schemes 53 3 Employee consultative committees 45 4 Self-managed small teams 25 5 Re-design/enrichment of jobs 13 6 Quality circles 11 Source: CMI study report Dec 2002 The below factors also influence the potential talent in employees: To get a high level of employee engagement, encourage creativity and idea generation. It is a number game. More the ideas generated, more is the probability of getting some genuinely useful ideas. We noticed that what started as abstract ideas or incomplete ideas got developed into highly useful solutions. Involvement of employees is an important process during the initiation phase. It is observed that employees may distance themselves with the changes if they are not involved in the initiation process. If employees participate in planning, they are more likely to embrace change, even if they have a difference of opinion initially with the idea. It is true that ‘Seeing is Believing’ for wholehearted participation. When employees see that what they are doing is a part of a larger solution, they give enough focus to the task at hand keeping in mind the overall objective. It is observed that for most employees, there is nothing more motivating than seeing and contributing in the successful implementation of an idea generated by them. While almost all organizations have a suggestion scheme, it is the way in which it is handled and managed that matters in using the suggestion scheme for employee motivation. To keep the momentum flowing and sustaining the idea generation process and active employee involvement, different processes and trainings that are needed. For example, business domain knowledge for developers, soft skills, basic exposure to statistical tools, interactions with experts in the field, factory/site visits and so on, apart from the rewards and recognition process. Using these inputs, a Hybrid model was formulated to reap the best benefits and results of the multiple approaches.
  6. 6. Tata Consultancy Services 5 Hybrid Model The hybrid model referred earlier was chosen for the implementation in one of the relationships in the organization. A high level view of the Hybrid modes is as shown in Figure. 1. Figure 1: Hybrid Model This model considered the combination of the following approaches: Regular team interaction and brief meetings - Monthly updates on project, operational and customer challenges, competitive environment, initiatives and customer expectations set during the floor meetings - Updated on the industry trends and technology trends - Experts shared their unique and varied experiences Employee suggestion schemes - Invited and encouraged employees to share their ideas
  7. 7. Tata Consultancy Services 6 - Encouraged wide range of ideas, not limited to the pain areas, or specific to the technology or customer. It should include the business relevance and the work performed by the employees - Accepted and captured every idea without any criticism Self-managed small teams - Formed small groups. In the case study presented here, 6 groups were formed with each group consisting of 6 members. - Group formed were heterogeneous for varied outlook and experience. - While the responsibility for the team was well defined, there was no boundary for ideation process. - Created a competitive environment between the teams. There were various awards for individual contribution as well as for the teams. Quality circles - Used statistical tools - Focused on improvements in known challenges and as well as proactive improvements. - Focused on the quality of project deliverables - Promoted job involvement As mentioned earlier, we found that this Hybrid model was effective in both scenarios – Operations mode and Project mode. The model provides opportunity to use as below: Operations Mode In operations mode, there are distinctly two different opportunities, as follows: - When the operations management is taken over from the customer organization. Since, people come with an open mind in this phase, a lot of questions and ideas get generated, which provide an opportunity for improvement. - During the steady state mode, where focus is more on improving the productivity and increasing the availability of resources/applications. Continuous and incremental improvement and problem management is the focus here. Project Mode During different phases, teams get many opportunities to generate ideas and since diversified groups work together, different dimensions and expertise come handy ingenerating ideas. In both the above cases, while the end result is generation of ideas, in order to generate ideas on a sustainable basis, following efforts havebeen taken, which enhances employee competency and provides high level of motivation.
  8. 8. Tata Consultancy Services 7 Continuous competency development: Organization needs to make provision for training aids. For example, Web Based Training, books/thought leadership papers, Class Room Based trainings. Their expertise level was constantly measured through exit tests and they are awarded with new competency levels each time. Study indicates that the continuous learning keeps the person motivated. Figure 2 depicts of the competency building model adopted. Figure 2: Competency Building and progression model E0, E1, E2 and E3 represent the expertise level. Once E3 and above levels are attained, an employee achieves the Business Architect competency. Multi dimension competency building: Normally people come with one specific area of expertise. For example, a developer might have good technology knowledge but invariably lags domain understanding. Similarly, people with domain knowledge in many cases lack the technology understanding. Hence, complementing them with the missing piece of knowledge equips them to think of the solution/idea with a broader horizon. However, it is the organization which should identify and provide the necessary domain or technology skill. New skills add ‘sense of achievement’ to the employee. From an IT professional stand point of view, it also addresses the customer expectation of the employee providing the ‘Business solution’ rather than just an IT solution. Chosen case study pertains to an IT industry and the project group pertains to working for a manufacturing customer. In the given situation, factory visits were made a part of the above model in order to give hands-on / practical view of the manufacturing processes. This was well received by the employees and helped in active participation to enhance the project deliverables. I know and I can do E2 I don’t know and I can’t do E0 I know but I can’t do E1 I know, I can do and I can teach E3
  9. 9. Tata Consultancy Services 8 Employees were encouraged to study and circulate one ‘Domain terminology’ per day. This responsibility was given to every team member on a rotation basis, and each team member was to circulate the word for a week. In the process, entire team became more acquainted with the various domain terminologies and its usage which helped in understanding the customer requirements better than before. More importantly, the customer was delighted to see an IT professional talking and understanding the domain specific topics. Since the customer was delighted and appreciated the team member, it further helped the team to get further motivated. Team members were asked to read the identified books that covered domain knowledge and were asked to circulate the book review. Such book reviews expected at regular intervals (once every fortnight), not only helped the associates to acquire knowledge, but also provided ideas for best practices and widened their subject expertise. Moreover, application of such acquired knowledge helped in customer appreciation and employee recognition as the most knowledgeable team member, which again motivated the team and created a healthy competitive environment. There were team awards for the highest number of ideas, award for the highest number of ideas by an individual, award for the most valuable idea, award for the idea that generated the highest revenue, award for the most innovative idea, award for the idea that brought down the complexity in any process or application. Challenges for Implementation: There are certain challenges one usually would encounter on the implementation and sustenance period. Some of the challenges and approach adopted to overcome is illustrated below: 1. While small group (in our case it was 6 persons in a group) is very effective in generating ideas, there would be different level of maturity and varied levels of behavioral aggressions can lead to non contribution by some team members. The same has to be addressed by having an unnamed moderator for each team. 2. After couple of weeks or at some point of time, it is observed that team will run of ideas in spite of training in new areas / topics, etc. It was found that during such situations, open discussions with customer for a collaborative effort to identify new areas provide added opportunities for generating new ideas. 3. While competitiveness between the teams is a motivational factor, need to facilitate that it remains a healthy competition. One of the approaches used was change the mix of the team at periodic intervals including the change in team for small groups. 4. While the process started with capturing, monitoring and closing the ideas in an Excel based approach; the competency building exercise was also tracked independently. As the process progressed, it was noticed that a tool based approach was more effective
  10. 10. Tata Consultancy Services 9 and easy to deploy with larger group of organization. Accordingly, a web based tool (Intranet) was adopted for the same. 5. Factory visit as part of domain competency helped in building the skill more with a practical approach. However, it was a challenge for an IT organization to organize such visit on regular basis. Networking and leveraging the group resources helped over here. 6. Considering the success of this initiative is largely dependent on customer acceptance and active involvement, we demonstrated the concept through a pilot approach in a project before rolling it across.
  11. 11. Tata Consultancy Services 10 4. Results The end results of the entire approach are as follows: Increase in employee satisfaction Index through drop in attrition andincrease in the level of involvement and revenue to the account. Increase in customer satisfaction index particularly in innovation and pro-activeness, tangible benefits in terms cost reduction in application maintenance and increase availability of applications A. Employee satisfaction index There was a marked improvement in employee satisfaction index (ESI) by 200bps (Basis Points) over the year, after implementing this initiative. B. Attrition rate Figure 3: Attrition Rate of the case study account While the IT attrition rate however around 11%, one can notice above that the attrition rate is much below the industry average as well. 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% Q1 FY11 Q3 FY12 Q4 FY12 Q1 FY13 Q3 FY13 Attrition %
  12. 12. Tata Consultancy Services 11 C. Additional revenue to account The average revenue generated through this initiative was approximately $ 5500 per quarter on a team size of 30 employees. The variations in the revenues are mainly because of opportunities in different phases of project and priority assigned by the customer will vary. Further, in the Figure 4 below, last 3 quarter average has improved to $ 7000 per quarter and it is likely to improve further with increased number of new opportunities being opened with in flow of additional ideas. Figure 4: Revenue from the initiative per quarter for a project team size of 30 D. Delivery Performance Defect free delivery: Defect free deliveries improved from average of 90% in FY 12 to 98% in FY13 (FY = Financial year) On time Delivery (OTD): On time delivery performance improved from average of 87% to 97% in FY13 (FY = Financial Year) E. Increased employee involvement On an average 25 ideas were selected by the customer every 6 months, with approximately 60 hours of involvement per associate per quarter. F. Customer Satisfaction Index – Innovation and pro-activeness parameter 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 Q2FY12 Q3 FY12 Q4FY12 Q1 FY13 Q2 FY13 Q3 FY13 Q4 FY13 Revenue $
  13. 13. Tata Consultancy Services 12 Attributes FY 2012 FY 2013 Demonstrating innovation Good Very Good Experience and knowledge in your industry Very Good Very Good Demonstrating thought leadership Fair Excellent Provides Value for Money Good Very Good Ranking scale Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor Figure 5: Survey feedback from Customer Chief Information Officer (CIO) From the figure 5 above, it can be noticed that there is a significant improvement in perception of customer on the parameters pertaining to innovation, thought leadership (pro-activeness) and value for money. The Hybrid model adaptation helped in significant improvement in overall customer satisfaction. G. Tangible benefits The tangible benefits are as follows: Man days saved in a single application which can be translated to significant cost reduction. Saving achieved: 20 person days per quarter Uptime of applications (availability) –Improved from 99.75% to 99.98%
  14. 14. Tata Consultancy Services 13 5. Conclusion Parameters like increased customer satisfaction, reduced attrition rate, improved employee satisfaction, improved On Time Deliver (OTD), improved quality of deliverables (Defect free deliveries) indicates the excellence in project execution. As seen in the results section, in the given project where Hybrid Model was adopted, has shown considerable improvement on said parameters. This indicates a “Certainty” in the project execution with promoting innovation in the form of talent management.