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DESIGN THINKING AT TCS, BY TCS, FOR TCS 

 

How TCS’ design thinking Center of Excellence (CoE) sparks creativity and innovation, by design

Have you ever wondered how creative people see the world? How they think about a problem? What helps them innovate? What if there was a step-by-step, evangelized plan across an organization to spark creativity, to in turn fuel continual improvements to problem-solving? What if problem-solving itself could be gamified so that it wasn’t perceived as “solving a problem” but rather working on a puzzle or playing a board game?

Welcome to the world of design thinking.

This is a school of thought that focuses on problem-solving the approach to problem-solving itself. Where user experience—how a product works or presents itself to the end user—becomes the focus of all activity.

At TCS, we believe design thinking must underline all improvement. And we realize this belief starting with how we improve the experiences of our own employees. We, therefore, have an established Design Thinking and Solutioning Center of Excellence (COE) that focuses on innovating over 250 products and features used by our 500,000 employees.

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Gamify the problem

Here are just a couple of actual situations internal to TCS that were resolved using the design thinking approach to problem solving.

Security is critical terrain for us as it should be for any enterprise today. And compliance, organic or enforced, is essential to ensuring a well-run digital security program.  We wanted to incentivize our product teams to think proactively on how threats could be thwarted, avoided even.

Design thinking helped us identify and empathize with the struggles and unmet needs of our product security teams. A bug bounty program where groups could simulate attacks on a sandbox to uncover possible threat avenues was created. The gamification was taken up a notch with a community of security experts collaboratively helping the teams look for solutions to the fictitious threats that were being envisaged. This did two things; it brought in the excitement that comes with any gamification. This, in turn, led to continual engagement and activity in the realm of the problem. The empathy exchange created by way of understanding team obstacles ensured these teams were incentivized. They were now vested in it organically. And more importantly, they knew they weren’t alone in this effort.

 

“PRACTICING DESIGN THINKING HAS PROVED ITSELF TIME AND AGAIN IN THE AREA OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING WITH INNOVATION AT ITS CORE. SHIFTING THE TRADITIONAL PRACTICE OF DESIGN THINKING TO A VIRTUAL MEDIUM HAS HELPED US ACHIEVE FASTER RESULTS, DELIVER TRANSFORMATIVE SOLUTIONS, AND PROVIDE MEANINGFUL END-USER EXPERIENCES” - ABHIJIT MAZUMDER, CIO, TCS

 

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Design thinking to declutter

In another instance, we were confronted with the catch-all question of how does an over 500,00-employee-strong company ensure there is no internal communication overload? Our employees were being notified daily on various goings on via hundreds of apps. That this was all too overwhelming to digest on a daily basis was becoming apparent. How could we control notifications and ensure targeted alerts were being sent? Design thinking helped us put together a team of cross-functional experts to chisel out a new subscription-based internal notification mechanism. Design thinking took the problem-solving a step further, helping map out a personalized dashboard to reduce internal communication clutter for our more than half a million users.

Problem-solving via design thinking factors in empathy and intuitive people behaviors. Design thinking pivots on developing a better understanding of people.

As one of the largest technology consultancy companies in the world, our people—be it our employees or our customers—fuel our own reimagination and transformation. We, therefore, think about all of their journeys, aspirations, and needs continually. By design.