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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Reimagining the Workplace

With its API-first philosophy, TCS Fresco is redefining team dynamics for the next generation.

 

In a very short time, the smartphone has become an all-encompassing, omnipresent device, making it easy for people to do everything on the move – from ordering their next meal to putting the finishing touches on work projects. Progressing in step with these devices is the next generation of tech professionals, who are not just comfortable with rapid technological evolution, but are also driving it.

Having grown up with access to the instant feedback loop that mobile devices enable, these digital natives need reimagined workplaces to realize their true potential. TCS realized the need for a workplace that was not just receptive to the experiences of these professionals, but was also built on the very foundation of digital inclusion. This was how Fresco came to life – an offbeat model for working and building solutions. Engineered to encourage communication, collaboration, learning, mentoring, and admin assistance, the idea was delivered mobile-first at the time of its inception.

After all, the workplace of the future has to be available for the people who are in it. As a result, accessibility anytime, anywhere, became the motto of the Fresco team. This clutter-breaking idea is also what helped Fresco accommodate a diverse group of people in its workforce. The cherry on top was that these measures enabled total transparency in the way information flowed. 

A group of young people stand around a table discussing a project plan

 

 

 

 

Instead of superficial design and décor changes, Fresco has encouraged generational diversity through reimagined team composition and processes. The Fresco team comprises of technologically brilliant young minds, as well as experienced people who know TCS inside out. Generationally, Fresco covers the whole gamut – Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z associates!

The team also has a healthy mix of associates from the arts and humanities fields. This diversity of thought, experience, and generations not just facilitates healthy team-building discussions and debates, but also helps the team better understand – and cater to – the needs of a diverse group of end users. Apart from serving the needs of the changing TCS demographic, this generational cohesion has also led to the creation of a great set of scalable products.

This is how it works – the Fresco team commits a large amount of its time designing what to build and quickly releasing iterations. The intense focus on design means that a great deal of empathy is built into the development process, which helps the team address critical user needs. In addition, the end products also end up being deeply inclusive.

Novel Workflows

In contrast to traditional discussion protocols that had managers leading the conversation, Fresco’s workflow ensures that each person in the team puts forward a one-word input, and the best idea is crowdsourced from this diverse pool and taken up for development. The focus is on continuous integration and deployment, and to enable that, the workplace is more flexible than hierarchical, both in decision-making (zero emails, cloud-by-default) and in terms of the physical environment (flexible hours and location).

Today, we live in a world of abundance – from data to network, everything you need is at your fingertips. To serve such a system, teams have to be more compact, accountable, and conversational. Therefore, at Fresco, anyone can upload code from anywhere and then merge and compile it automatically. Such agility and automation allows developers more time with designers in testing multiple versions of the app being created. And Fresco’s API-first and cloud-native way of functioning enables real-time user research and feedback.

Three internally developed products have helped the Fresco team bring about all these changes – while one reimagines the appraisal process, another brings mentors and associates together. The third was built to promote skill development, making gamified learning available to associates on-the-go. Today, these products serve TCS’ nearly 400,000-strong workforce, helping associates communicate, learn, and grow anytime, anywhere – just the way today’s tech-savvy generation would want it.