However, XYZ’s was also, at that point in time, grappling with a few areas of concern with regard to its operational paradigm. Mounting revenue pressures: The pressure to retain its strong premier position led the organization to tend towards short-term revenues, and relatively lesser efforts were being put into medium and long-term markets and activities (such as products and building up knowledge). Though XYZ’s built relationships with individual customers, Relationship Managers largely tended to focus on obtaining short-term projects – there was lesser investment on aligning to long-term objectives of customers.
The approach, by and large, was of reactive project management and we were yet to espouse the approach of architecting proactive solutions for the customer. Selectivity in projects: There was a tangible tension at, XYZ’s between generating revenues and organizing strategically, on basis of technology and business areas, impacting selectivity in projects accepted. Pressures from customers on schedules was resulting in faster delivery and hence, snowballing into further pressure on future schedules. Focus on specialization: There was diffusion of expertise and we were yet to focus on building strategic expertise in individual centers.
Employees were rotated across domains and skills in the interest of learn ability as well as for meeting requirements. In a sense, there was heightened focus on Voice of the Customer, in comparison to the Voice of Employee. Efforts on Experimentation & Innovation: The management at XYZ’s felt that by and large, employees tended to go straight by the book. Though Dr. De Bono’s techniques were introduced and employees trained on these techniques to encourage innovation, there was a need to scale up on perceived rewards for experimentation.
Rewards and Recognitions: The reward structure at XYZ’s was, at this point in time, primarily focused on individual performance and we were yet to explore the institutionalization of team based rewards at the organizational level. Inter group co-ordination & knowledge sharing: Sharing of knowledge was very centre-oriented, and although, informally, best practices spread by interaction and word of mouth, we were yet to evolve a formal system which would capture these for ease of replication across projects. Multiple centers and multiple projects within the same centre ended up resolving the same sort of issues, resulting in avoidable rework.
Branding and PR: Image building endeavors were not yet an area of focus and, in a subtle way, this affected the sense of pride of employees. Among educational institutions, this meant greater difficulty in terms of attracting quality talent, which further aggravated stress among the few key performers in the organization. By the year 2002, management felt the conscious need to bring in changes in our approach to the aforementioned areas, in order to align more closely with the customer, business and market requirements at an organizational level.