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AN AGILE TRANSFORMATION AT TCS IT

 

Moving from Agile as a Development Model to a Work Methodology

Even before the pandemic could strike and change the face of the global trade, possibly forever, TCS had been reinventing itself from the inside out not only to be relevant to its customers, but also to be ahead of the disruption curve. The vision of Enterprise Agile 2020 that TCS has pursued demands that transformation take place at scale. A move from agile as a development model to a methodology of work has called for behavioral changes from a requirements-led, co-located design-development-delivery process to agility in spirit and practice. To move from 15% agile projects in 2017 to Enterprise Agile by 2020, the organization nurtured a team of agile coaches who in turn helped create more agile practitioners.

As one example of this agile transformation, TCS IT – Ultimatix – worked on and has produced a value-driven, outcome-based delivery model.

People, process and technology agility

Our model centers on being ‘purpose-centric’ rather than ‘product-centric’.

With this vision in mind, TCS IT focused on three aspects to deliver business agility – people (culture), process and technology. A change in terms of its people and culture to build acceptability towards a new way of working and making business part of an overall value stream. Supported by an Agile Center of Excellence and Agile Ninja Coaches, customized training programs have been designed within the organization. Dedicated trainings and #LivingAgile sessions have been introduced where our associates work on real-life business challenges and situations to imbibe and internalize an agile spirit.

Machine-first processes have opened newer avenues for continual innovation. We have increased our focus on incremental value delivery, fast and continuous feedback, iterative changes, and early cross-collaboration; and we introduced multiple tools and technologies to tighten time-to-market and drive higher throughput. DevOps automation and Continuous integration and Continuous Deployment (CICD) reduced overall time-to-market and increased product quality. Our digital architecture has been reimagined to realize a cloud-first and cloud-only vision.  We also constituted a dedicated collaborative Agile-DevOps network to focus on a single-click, frictionless, end-to-end automated delivery process.

 

 

 
 

18 Months to Transformation  

To deliver on the vision of Enterprise Agile by 2020, TCS IT created an agile-ready talent pool of associates equipped with tools and process. It was able to transform itself from the traditional way of working to a 100% agile way of delivery in 18 months. This was no ordinary task considering TCS’ worldwide scale and spread. The impact of this change could be seen through outcomes achieved in the enterprise’s business function. The transformation of TCS financial processes using agile methodologies accelerated period-end closing and financial reporting. Sales teams are now able to prioritize their requirements and benefit from a faster release cycle. Moving from a long delivery cycle, to two weeks of incremental value-driven delivery has enhanced sales agility.  A sales enablement platform, which, based on traditional timelines would have taken a year to materialize, was delivered in just three months with incremental features being added based on user priority and user experience.

In terms of compliance, a data privacy program for GDPR, covering over 200 corporate applications and around 900 processes, was completed in a record nine months, using the scaled agile framework.

The agility transformation has reflected in our HR processes too. We transformed multiple talent management processes – our reimagined talent acquisition process to bring agility in hiring; revamped performance management process to move towards constructive individual improvement through continuous performance feedback; and talent reskilling to ready our workforce for a 4.0 world.

 

 

 

 

“AT TCS, WE HAVE BEEN RE-IMAGINING THE WHOLE ENTERPRISE AGILE CONCEPT. IT STARTS AS A BUSINESS INNOVATION DRIVER AND IS AN ENTERPRISE TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY. IT IS POWERFUL WHEN COMBINED WITH THE OPERATING MODEL TRANSFORMATION, WITHOUT A LOCATION CONSTRAINT.”

- RAJESH GOPINATHAN – CEO AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, TCS

 
 

Agility during the pandemic

Utilizing the power of a truly agile organization, TCS IT responded rapidly to the changing global situation brought on by the pandemic. The level of operational and strategic excellence achieved over the years enabled TCS IT to quickly deploy and implement frameworks such as TCS Secure Borderless WorkspacesTM (SBWSTM), to safeguard the health and well-being of all our employees, and ensure we were able to maintain business continuity for ourselves and our clients.

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A learning curve, not a finish line

For the team at TCS IT, the agile journey was marked by leadership initiation, people coaching, fostering a culture of “learning by doing”, a parallel technology transformation, and continual assessments to track agile adoption. A key takeaway from this has been that transformation and disruption come with no boundaries and have no defined end. To transform is to disrupt and continually seek out better processes as part of a larger transformation process.

This successful demonstration of agility at scale has enabled TCS take larger strides towards its digital transformation journey and realize its vision of Enterprise Agile 2020. TCS IT won industry recognition for this transformation, being honored with awards such as the IDG CIO 100 2020 for “Delivering business agility through largescale agile DevOps transformation”.