Simplification is a mantra that Tech Mahindra lives by. But there are few that embody this spirit and imbue it in every aspect of their day-to-day work. Animol Joseph is one such exemplary leader. She believes that as a project management office (PMO) specialist, the simpler the process, the easier it is to manage and avoid leakages. Moreover, complications make it harder to track and monitor.
Animol is the bridge between Tech Mahindra and its clients, which makes her job of efficiently simplifying our daily processes critical to the organization. With a lot of churning, resources coming in and going out, she also needs to keep new members aligned with the way she does things.
To learn how she simplifies client relationships, we sat down with Animol to understand her thought process.
One of Animol’s important clients is a tier-1 telco in Canada. At the time, the client had a one-vendor policy. When Tech Mahindra came in, the client had decided to break it and work with multiple vendors. It marked a change in their operating style and the client was apprehensive as to how things would pan out.
The challenge for Animol was to make the process seamless for the client which required her to set up internal systems and operations in a way that would comply with customer requirements and policies. At the same time, her team had to ensure they were aligned with the internal processes as well. The scope of work (SOW) drafted were short-term as they were ice-breaking SOWs where the company had entered with a negative EBITDA. There were many unique requests from the customer, so it was challenging to set up contracts in the system to align with the customer’s asks. Additionally, there were also concerns around timely delivery of error-free invoices to appropriately align them with the customer’s cost budgets.
The Framework of Success
To overcome these hurdles, Animol set up a process with the customer where they would share their system information so she could figure out where her invoices stood, whether they were approved in the system and what was the tentative payment date they had captured in the system. The internal team would then create a report of their own, and Animol would marry the two to find lapses and figure out a way to counter them. She set up a weekly process with the customer to achieve this goal as quickly as possible. For example, if an invoice was put on hold by the customer, she would reach out to them to understand the problem and immediately resolve it.
Animol’s team had also landed a big testing deal with the customer that involved close to 700 resources. With such a big challenge of capturing the timesheet, its submission in the system and generating invoices, Animol set up another biweekly process with managers from both sides for their approval.
The Impact of Efficiency and Simplicity
With 700 resources at hand, the invoice generation used to get delayed by 4-5 weeks. But with Animol’s simplicity framework, the processing time was cut down by more than 50%. So today, she has brought down the invoicing cycle time to 2 weeks only.
She was able to set up intelligent operations through which she could provide maximum output to the customer for their investments in Tech Mahindra as partners. She achieved this while complying with all their policies and requirements.
Also, the PMO team, the onsite and offshore delivery teams were collectively able to make it work. Through various initiatives she undertook by monitoring and analysing data while also removing the cost and revenue leakages, Animol successfully elevated our relationship with the customer.
Above all, she established our credibility with the customer, thereby affirming their decision to switch to a multiple-vendor policy. As a result, they have now renewed multiple contracts with us for the foreseeable future.
Advice for Budding Techies
Animol believes that IT has a bright future ahead. With IT being a part of almost every industry ranging from automobile to banking, it is here for the long haul and will keep evolving over the years. She also advises all new techies to embrace change.
“IT is an ever-changing industry. So, you cannot just stick to one technology and expect to grow. You need to embrace change and adapt.”
Animol has a work experience of almost 20 years, 13 of which she has spent at Tech Mahindra. She has donned various roles throughout her journey in areas such as software distribution and control, project management, customer delivery projects and since 2016, PMO. She is an avid reader of fiction novels, has a passion for music, and loves trekking.