Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in
60 days
Anand Hariharan
PMP
VP - Marketing
Vigyan Labs
ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
for Business Transformation...
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days
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ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days
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ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days
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ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days
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ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days...
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Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days...
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  1. 1. Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Anand Hariharan PMP VP - Marketing Vigyan Labs
  2. 2. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 2|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Contents Abstract...................................................................................................................... 3 1.0 Introduction:..................................................................................................... 4 2.0 Content............................................................................................................ 5 2.1 Project Inception: Design of the campaign with key stakeholders................ 5 2.1.1 Strategic objectives of the campaign for Vigyanlabs............................. 5 2.1.2 On-boarding WWF India to the Friends of Earth Hour campaign.......... 5 2.1.3 On-boarding Times of India – Techgig to the concept and the campaign 6 2.2 Key project management challenges........................................................... 7 2.3 How were the challenges addressed? ......................................................... 8 2.3.1 Overall approach – Agile, T+2 weeks sprints........................................ 8 2.3.2 Specific solutions adopted .................................................................... 9 2.4 Critical Success Factors ............................................................................ 10 2.5 Quantified benefits to business, society and environment ......................... 11 2.5.1 Impact to our Business ....................................................................... 11 2.5.2 Social and environmental impact........................................................ 12 3.0 Conclusion..................................................................................................... 13 4.0 References .................................................................................................... 14 Biography of the author............................................................................................ 15
  3. 3. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 3|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Abstract Vigyanlabs, founded in 2008, was a consulting company focused on providing high performance systems engineering services. This paper is about how we transformed the nature of our business from a consulting to a product-centric company through the IPMPlus Friends of Earth Hour 2013 campaign. Using social media, we redefined our brand positioning in a matter of 60 days, created awareness about energy savings in computers and helped save a whopping 3 MegaWattHours of electricity in a matter of 60 days. During this time, we reached 230 cities across 10 countries and also successfully launched our Android product. This paper discusses about how we used agile project management practices to achieve this business transformation in 60 days and aligned our entire organization to our IPMPlus range of software products.
  4. 4. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 4|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days 1.0 Introduction: “Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny?” – an extract from Mahatma Gandhi’s talisman. In its December 2012 edition, the leading global magazine on data centres, DataCentreDynamics reported that in 2012 data centres worldwide had consumed 322 TeraWattHours of electricity. Back then, we asked the world a question – What can you do with 1 TeraWattHour? [http://goo.gl/SE58X]. We reflected upon the key events of 2012 and wondered if the world is really taking note of a serious problem: • Failure of Northern Grid in India – left 600 Million people in darkness • India’s mobile phone connections crossed 900 Million putting a load of nearly 4,500 MegaWattHours on our grid every day for all of us to charge mobile phones • Increase of power tariffs by Tamil Nadu and opposition to the Kudankulam nuclear plant We found that writing about it wasn’t probably going to get enough attention – we needed to do more. This paper is about how a 30 member startup – Vigyanlabs - based in Mysore, India took upon itself the task of conveying to the world the message of energy wastage in IT infrastructure through the “IPMPlus Friends of Earth Hour, 2013”1 campaign and how it fundamentally transformed the nature of its business in 60 days from a consulting business to an “energy saver product” business. Why is this paper relevant to the project management community? Fostering social responsibility and enabling business transformation are two key outcomes expected of project managers. This campaign demonstrates how by effectively engaging a large stakeholder community one can not only promote one’s own business but also achieve results that have a wider impact in terms of its social impact. This paper also touches upon the 9 key areas of project management, how each area was managed to deliver the results and what could have been done better. 1 Earth Hour is WWF's global campaign inspiring governments, businesses, communities and individuals to take a stand against Climate Change. It is that one crucial hour uniting the world and building synergies through the collective action of switching off non-essential lights in celebration of life and our planet. IPMPlus is a ‘Made in India’ software product built by Vigyanlabs using its patented technology. Winner of NASSCOM’s Technology Innovation of the Year Award, 2013, IPMPlus helps measure and save energy in computers. It is supported on Windows and Linux platforms
  5. 5. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 5|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days 2.0 Content 2.1 Project Inception: Design of the campaign with key stakeholders 2.1.1 Strategic objectives of the campaign for Vigyanlabs Early on, the Vigyanlabs’ team established a series of strategic objectives for the campaign. Every step taken was validated against these objectives and all employees of Vigyanlabs’ were brought-in on these objectives. The key objectives were: 1. Increase brand visibility of Vigyanlabs and its software product IPMPlus 2. Promote awareness about “energy savings in computers“ 3. Transform the organization from a ‘services/consulting’ oriented business to a ‘product centric organization’ 4. Validate our brand positioning and get an opportunity to perform ‘mass testing’ of the product 2.1.2 On-boarding WWF India to the Friends of Earth Hour campaign In December 2012, when Vigyanlabs approached WWF India with the idea of enabling power savings in computers, following were the key questions asked and here are the responses we gave to get the buy-in from WWF to promote the idea of energy savings in computers. 1. Why is it necessary to save energy in computers? Aren’t they already energy efficient? 2. How do you intend to execute this campaign? Do you have the required financial resources? 3. Do you have the necessary technology to build an app for enabling power savings? 4. How will you convince people about safety of your app? What will motivate people to do this? 5. How do you intend to measure and report the impact of your campaign? In response to these questions, we designed the “Friends of Earth Hour 2013” campaign. Following were the key highlights of the campaign in terms of its design.
  6. 6. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 6|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Key design highlights of the IPMPlus Friends of Earth Hour campaign, 2013 1. Vigyanlabs designed a Windows app (IPMPlus Earth Hour Edition) which works on Desktops and Laptops. The app was capable of measuring energy consumed and do power savings. The app was built using Vigyanlabs’ patented technology and was certified by Microsoft for Windows compatibility. 2. We created a contest called the “IPMPlus Friends of Earth Hour contest” which rewarded contestants for enabling energy savings in their own computers and for referring more friends of adopt energy savings in their computers. Based on their performance, we rewarded them with a “Friends of Earth Hour Score” and the winners were offered exciting prizes such as iPad 2 and EAFT Destiny tablets along with certificates from WWF and Vigyanlabs. 3. The contest was launched on 23 January 2013 and ended on Earth Hour night at 9.30 PM, 23 March 2013. 4. Vigyanlabs tied up with TECHGIG, a Times of India social media platform to promote the contest. (http://www.techgig.com/companypage/earthhour/) 5. We setup our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/IPMPlus and also a dedicated contest page where contest results were published on a daily basis for the 2 month duration. 6. The summit of the campaign was an event jointly organized by WWF, Vigyanlabs and Times of India in New Delhi where some of India’s luminaries in the industry were invited to attend a CXO Round Table to discuss sustainability challenges and how industry can address them. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dVNV7AsPG4] 2.1.3 On-boarding Times of India – Techgig to the concept and the campaign With the go-ahead from WWF India and the campaign design in place, we approached Times of India to support us with its social marketing platform – Techgig. We signed up for a year-long deal as part of which Techgig was to support us through: • Email marketing • Through hosting a public web page and • Conduct of a series of webinars. We leveraged this platform to address a variety of communication management challenges as explained subsequently in this paper. Following were the timelines agreed upon with Times of India team.
  7. 7. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 7|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Timelines and critical milestones for the campaign’s success Sign-off of project concept from WWF India 24-31 December 2013 Signing up with Times of India Techgig 5 January 2013 Go-Live of the Earth Hour website – public announcement of the campaign 23 January 2013 (=> Earth Hour – 60 Days) Earth Hour 23 March 2013 8.30 PM to 9.30 PM IPMPlus – Techgig CXO Round Table Last week of March [March 31 st had to be avoided due to closure of financial year. CXO availability was another constraint.] Announcement of contest results 31 March 2013 Shipping of gifts First week of April 2013 2.2 Key project management challenges Given the nature of the campaign’s design, following were the key challenges we faced across the nine key areas of project management. 1. Communication management: There were 3 major external stakeholder groups – WWF India, Techgig and the Contestants. Internally, we had our existing clients and partners and employees as stakeholders. We had to ensure that the right set of messages was being conveyed to each of the groups and that the expectations were well managed. In WWF and Techgig’s perspective, this was an event which could potentially impact their brand image and we had to manage the campaign carefully to avoid any negative impact. Following were the key challenges we addressed during the campaign. a. Power savings in computers is a new concept and its impact has not been quantified. b. Transparency of our scoring system and emphasizing the fairness of our method. c. Timeliness of communication especially since we were never meeting any of the contestants in person. 2. Integration management: We had multiple tracks of marketing and technology activities in progress throughout the campaign. For example, the app had to align with WWF’s branding guidelines as well as Techgig’s hosting guidelines. Simultaneously, any such changes had to be done
  8. 8. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 8|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days without affecting the timelines for go-live of the contest. Since this had to be done during the Christmas-New Year period, we had to get high levels of buy-in from various teams to work through the holiday period to be ready for go-live as planned. 3. Quality and Risk management: One of the key areas of risk for this campaign was the technology itself. There was no way in which we could have anticipated the vast array of PCs on which the product was likely to be deployed. Any crash reports from participants could have adversely impacted the progress of the campaign. At the same time, the software was required to work in any environment in such a manner that we could transparently report the scores of each contestant on a cloud-hosted website. [Note: Since this is a project management paper, we will not discuss technology used in detail.] Another key risk was to the reputation and brand images of WWF, Techgig and Vigyanlabs. Any failure of technology could’ve severely damaged the reputation of each of the stakeholders and prevented future adoption of IPMPlus by customers. 4. Cost management: This campaign was run without any sponsorships and hence Vigyanlabs had to fully fund the program. This required us to manage costs very stringently as the entire budget available was less than 10 Lakhs. 5. Time management: The date for Earth Hour was fixed and hence it was necessary that every milestone en route to March 23rd was met religiously. Also, for the final CXO Round Table, we had to coordinate the calendars of India’s top business executives and avoid the last week of March which coincides with the financial year closure. 6. Human resource management: Given that Vigyanlabs’s team strength itself is only 30 and considering the stiff timelines of the campaign, we had ensure that we managed the scope well and did not overcommit to our stakeholders. 2.3 How were the challenges addressed? 2.3.1 Overall approach – Agile, T+2 weeks sprints We adopted an agile project management methodology which focused on rapid iterative improvements and short sprint-centric planning. Our campaign timelines
  9. 9. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 9|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days were broken down into T+2 week plans where the team planned the activities of the next 2 weeks to a very high degree of detail, worked on small incremental improvements and met each milestone consistently. This short sprint planning also helped us re-allocate resources and rest our key team members periodically over the 60 day duration. 2.3.2 Specific solutions adopted Area of Challenge Solution adopted Communication management Setting up of a dedicated highly available website – site was benchmarked and optimized for high levels of availability and performance. Use of Facebook as a communication platform and for engaging the stakeholder community actively Consistent email based communications facilitated by the Times Techgig platform Conduct of monthly webinars chaired by Vigyanlabs CEO and industry experts to promote awareness about energy savings in computers Involvement of industry leaders and CXOs in a recorded round table hosted by Times of India Media articles and press releases to promote general awareness about the campaign and get more people to join Integration management Early working relationship was established between Vigyanlabs, WWF India and Techgig teams through conference calls and everyone was involved in the campaign design. VP Marketing of Vigyanlabs was made responsible for the overall campaign and was provided full access to Techgig and Vigyanlabs’s resources to ensure marketing feedback is rapidly incorporated into the technology solution deployed.
  10. 10. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 10|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Area of Challenge Solution adopted Quality and Risk Management A legal team was engaged by Vigyanlabs to proactively assess the legal risks and enable appropriate response measures. The brand of WWF and Techgig was protected by publishing a well- drafted set of contest rules and by Vigyanlabs taking full ownership of the solution, its limitations and risks, if any. We allayed fears about the product by publishing detailed information about tests performed. This was proactively shared with a large number of stakeholders at the very outset. [http://ipmplus.vigyanlabs.com/ipmplus_safe_test.php] The technical prowess of our team helped architect the solution to support upto 1 Million hits a day and prior to deployment the architecture was validated in a variety of ways. These are outside the scope of this paper. Cost management The technology team selected a portfolio of technologies which could deliver the results within a frugal budget. The end solution was built for a cost of less than 1 Lakh rupees. The marketing team was supported by Vigyanlabs’ finance team on a daily basis to keep track of costs incurred. Time management A rigorous T+2 weeks planning and weekly monitoring helped keep track of timelines. Wherever needed, telephone calls were used instead of Email to speed up collaboration across various stakeholders. Human resource management The “social benefits” of the program were well understood by all people involved. This significantly reduced any friction in the team as the ‘greater common good’ was a strong motivating factor. The goodwill generated by the campaign and the participation of all members involved in the facebook community helped people see for themselves the results of their action every day ! The T+2 weeks planning helped to relax key team members routinely and avoid burnout situation despite the high degree of pressure throughout the 60 day duration. 2.4 Critical Success Factors The campaign was successful on account of the following reasons and generated good amount of goodwill and media coverage consequently.
  11. 11. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 11|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days • Early articulation of key strategic goals and buy in from key stakeholder groups • Reinforcement of the “social impact” of every team member’s work • Formation of the Facebook community which helped everyone see the impact of their contribution • Fostering the competitive spirit through the ‘Earth Hour contest’ for a ‘common good’ • Technology innovations to deliver a reliable platform at very low costs to make the campaign feasible • Adoption of “Frugal Marketing” techniques including active use of free social media platforms 2.5 Quantified benefits to business, society and environment 2.5.1 Impact to our Business • Generated over 1,000 customer leads for both retail and enterprise segments. [http://ipmplus.biz/Earth_score_top_all.php] • Won NASSCOM Technology Innovation of the Year Award, 2013 • 2,000+ likes on Facebook and over 10,000 view of our SlideShare presentation explaining the concept. • At peak of campaign, reached over 25,000 people on social media every day - generated goodwill across countries and built brand value. • Invited for Technology Partnership discussions with one of India’s largest IT business houses Figure 1: Letter from World Wildlife Fund, India commending Vigyanlabs on its support for Earth Hour and announcing its partnership with Vigyanlabs for organizing Earth Hour 2013
  12. 12. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 12|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days • Got media coverage in Times of India, Economic Times and various local media publications • Featured in Inc. magazine • IIM Bangalore featured it in one of its publications on Innovation [http://jugaadtoinnovation.blogspot.in/2013/03/new-frontiers-in-innovation-vigyanlabs.html] 2.5.2 Social and environmental impact • We reached more than 10,000 people across 10 countries. • Motivated nearly 1,600 of them to adopt an energy savings measure in their PCs using IPMPlus. • Saved 3 MegaWattHours of electricity – enough to power up 3,000 average Indian homes for a full day. • Saved the equivalent of 1.7 Tonnes of CO2 emissions – an environmental impact equivalent to planting and growing 43 trees to their full growth. Please refer to Figure 1: City-wise CO2 emissions saved and trend of PCs on which power savings was enabled quantifying the social and environmental impact. [These charts are publicly available at http://goo.gl/Gb0Qp] Figure 2: City-wise CO2 emissions saved and trend of PCs on which power savings was enabled
  13. 13. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 13|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days 3.0 Conclusion • Effective project management is the key to delivering business transformation. • Setting strategic goals for a project and communicating it clearly helps strengthen buy-in • Engaging a large community of stakeholders delivers manifold results than what a project involving small group of stakeholders can achieve. • Managing large stakeholder groups calls for highly systematic communication and proactive risk management. • What could have been done better - Sponsorships could have been leveraged to create larger hype around the campaign. This would have added to the complexity of stakeholder management which Vigyanlabs’ may not have been able to manage given its human resources. - Social media platforms other than Facebook could have been used to spread the message further. - Greater involvement of common public could have been achieved through use of Radio and Television in case higher budgets were available.
  14. 14. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 14|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days 4.0 References Item Description 1 • Vigyanlabs website – www.vigyanlabs.com • IPMPlus Friends of Earth Hour home page - http://ipmplus.vigyanlabs.com/earth_hour_ipmplus.php • NASSCOM Technology Innovation of the Year Award, 2013 – http://nasscom.in/innovation-awards2013 • Times of India coverage of Earth Hour campaign - http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03- 24/mysore/37980874_1_earth-hour-contest-power-savings • Vigyanlabs features in Top 50 companies to watch out for - http://www.channelworld.in/features/top-50-companies-watch-out
  15. 15. ARCHITECTING PROJECT MANAGEMENT for Business Transformation... 15|P a g e Business transformation of Vigyanlabs in 60 days Biography of the author Anand Hariharan Vice-President, Vigyanlabs Anand Hariharan is Vice-President at Vigyanlabs - a startup specializing in energy conservation. With a decade of experience in business consulting, Anand has been a consultant for several mission mode projects of the Government of India. Anand led Ernst & Young’s advisory team for setting up the Central Identities Data Repository for “Aadhaar”. His passion for energy conservation in IT infrastructure is the outcome of his experiences on national programs such as ‘Aadhaar’ and his belief in the Buddhist principle of “Right Livelihood”. Awarded by the University of San Francisco for his social entrepreneurship, Anand is an active volunteer of the Earth Hour campaign. Anand’s hobbies include Carnatic Classical Music, Vipassana Meditation and Hatha Yoga.

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