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Project management initiatives adopted by technology major, Cognizant, have borne amazing results in the form of steady improvement in productivity, on-time delivery and cost performance. The company has found that institutionalizing a robust project management framework through initiatives in the areas of process, automation, and human resource management is paying rich dividends.
Project managers are often described as leaders with a vision of where to go and how to get things done. Most importantly, project managers come with the ability to communicate with people at all levels, possess skills to make their team work for a goal and create standards. Most often, project managers tend to be enthusiastic leaders with a can-do attitude who are committed to their goals and are optimistic to the core.
In the modern business arena, project management has come to be recognized as a field in itself. The ability to successfully lead the team toward a set goal comes about as a skill in itself. Thereby, every project manager would be banking on that asset called trust, and it comes as an essential element in the relationship of a project leader and the team he or she leads. Besides, the leader always keeps his (or her) cool even as it is understood that many projects come with a host of problems. Building a team, nurturing team members, attaining skills that help solve complex problems and thereby, managing large projects come easy for a good project manager.
Assistant Vice-President and Global Head of Delivery Assurance Group, Hariharan Mathrubutham elaborates on the journey the company has undertaken to smooth things out. “A well laid-down process repository, aligned with PMBOK® Guide principles and enriched by years of experience of Cognizant’s senior practitioners, forms the backbone of project management in Cognizant, ” he says.
But how did it happen? Cognizant 2.0 (C2.0), the company’s homegrown global knowledge-sharing and project management platform, enables its teams, business partners and clients to collaborate virtually via instant messaging, blogs, wikis and other Web 2.0 tools. “The platform also provides active process guidance to our project teams, enabling them to work faster and more efficiently, solving IT and business challenges. It orchestrates process enactment, metrics, all project manage-ment aspects, including risk management and knowledge management,” Mr. Mathrubutham points out.
The Cognizant 2.0 Platform
Powered by a strong foundation of quantitative techniques, Cognizant’s project management efforts have raised the bar to ensure better results. The company’s project management practices ride on aspects such as understanding the past, controlling the present and predicting the future. These, in fact, define the whole process. A solid foundation in project management and a good understanding of its tenets enable this culture to thrive. As Mr. Mathrubutham points out, information security and business continuity are the other two important aspects that are built into Cognizant’s project management processes.
Mechanisms are continuously monitored to check the extent of implementation of operational processes and unearth risks in delivery. In such efforts, the company follows a global rating algorithm that presents the outcome in a quantitative manner. This, in turn, gives the executive management a clear picture of the status of delivery excellence. “Right up to the top level, this risk rating is an important agenda and is reviewed rigorously through all levels downstream on a monthly basis,” Mr. Mathrubutham adds.
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