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Motivating for Success
It is no small matter that Cognizant’s project management processes and practices are bench marked with ISO 9001:2008 and CMMI version 1.2 for Development — maturity level 5 requirements. “For appropriate situations, our practices are enriched and aligned with the requirements of ITIL, PRINCE2 and various customer/industry-segment specific standards. Feedback received from customers, model recommendations and also the feedback from our own employees keep our process improving continually,” reveals Mr. Mathrubutham.
Cognizant has made sure that all its projects follow the organizational process for project management. “In cases where customers’ project management practices differ from Cognizant’s practices, conscious process integration with necessary tailoring and risk assessment is carried out. Nearly all our projects today are using the C2.0 system that has our project management practices built into it. This also provides a widespread metrics infrastructure and knowledge management culture. Project risks are logged and tracked in a dedicated Risk Portal.”
The positive impact of project management measures has been recorded in large measure. There has been a steady improvement in productivity, on-time delivery and cost performances. Delivered defect density has also been recorded as dropping and is being maintained within the specified benchmark. In Mr. Mathrubutham’s words, “Our cost of quality has optimized over the period and is currently maintained at healthy proportions. Above all, the focus on maintaining a good project management process culture has helped the organization sustain its management and quality differentiators despite the rapid, industry-leading growth we have witnessed over the last several years.”
Challenges Well Addressed
It is not that there haven’t been challenges. Challenges have come in the form of the need to address the constantly evolving scenario resulting from the rapid growth in the number of projects and resources, and geographical diversity. With new resources joining almost every week and new development centers coming up, it is crucial to make sure that the teams always keep checks and balances strong to maintain a uniform level of excellence. Cognizant has addressed the challenge by way of regular awareness programs, stringent internal audits and process automation through C2.0.
That wasn’t enough, though. The company also had to make efforts to ensure that the quality of deliverables to all its clients was maintained at the highest level. This was to be done irrespective of the geographic location from which the services are offered. This was in fact a key challenge, and the deployment of C2.0 as the base ecosystem to execute projects made things easier.
The effective implementation of project management practices in Cognizant’s operations has helped the company gain customers’ confidence and thereafter retain customers year after year. As Mr. Mathrubutham puts it, “The culture of data-centric, mature project management has percolated effectively across the workforce. The culture is supported by efficient IT usage. True commitment and active participation of the management keeps this culture growing.”
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