Role of Governance in Transition – Risk & Issue Management
Over the last decade, increasing market demands has compelled companies to adopt emerging technologies and evolve market strategies that helped them stay ahead of competition.
Any company’s distinctive go-to-market strategy, is in its passion for taking customer satisfaction one notch higher, the company’s foresight in exploring and identifying future ready tools and technologies and its willingness to invest time and resources in developing skills, to this strategy.
Hexaware has always fostered a work culture that encourages and celebrates innovation with a laser focus on enhancing customer experience. We have over the years, institutionalized the culture of nurturing and developing creative talent. Also, one of the foremost companies in exploring the hitherto unexplored potential of Robotic Process, coupled with a Go to Market strategy, which benefits clients immensely. With its dedicated in-house team responsible for providing automation solutions, Hexaware has been providing great value to its customers, in enhancing productivity of BAU processes.
At such times where go-to-market business models evolve with each bid, the robustness and effectiveness of the transition management framework assumes more and more importance. This is often a defining factor not only when it comes to clinching deals, but also in effectively setting up the business partnership within the new organization, with minimal disruption of their day to day business.
Let us use the 6 Ws of problem solving, to understand how at Hexaware, the Transition Team drives effective governance given its criticality to project success.
- What is Project Governance?
Project Governance refers to a set of best practices that looks to increase the success rate of a project. This is achieved by clearly defining roles & responsibilities, defining standard processes / procedures to minimize changes of overlooking critical factors and monitoring of the project to ensure adherence to agreed timelines and quality of deliverables. Project Risk Governance specifically refers to the effective tracking and mitigation of the risks and issues that come up for a project.
At Hexaware, we have a robust governance model that takes into consideration projects of all domains, business models and complexities. A detailed and well-defined Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI), robust meeting and review cadence enables discussions at all levels, effective management of project risks and monitoring of change requests form the broad outline of Hexaware’s governance model.
- Why do we need Project Governance?
An effective governance model ensures that all 3 factors are tended to. Project risks if not tracked and mitigation options not finalized, runs the risk of grounding projects.
At Hexaware, we give a critical importance for effective governance, as we are early adopters of nascent technologies like Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning.
Our firm belief in providing customer centric customized business solutions that aim at maximizing customer delight drives us to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in ensuring we deliver what we promise.
Delivering customized solutions where each project is unlike any other that has been handled before is possible only when a 360-degree approach for governance is used to guide each project. This 360-degree approach diligently tracks milestone to milestone with constant monitoring from all fronts so that any roadblock is foreseen and taken care off. This is done to ensure that the project stays within the allocated time and resource boundaries and goes live successfully as planned.
- Where does the Governance actually start?
From a project management perspective, project governance comes into effect right from the inception of any project, to ensure what was planned will be delivered as promised.
At Hexaware, project governance is of utmost importance and this is the reason why our governance activities start as soon as the Project is registered in the system and the project team is finalized.
The process is then followed through all stages of the project up to and including the successful handover of the project to the operations team. The governance structure and components stay the same across projects regardless of the scale and complexity of the individual project.
- When does actual Governance take place?
While documentation does form an integral part of the governance of the project, the project calls and meetings form the backbone of the governance structure.
For us at Hexaware, the meeting cadence is defined across all levels from ‘@ ground Zero project team to the CXOs’. This ensures that not only do all stakeholders internal and external are provided a common meeting platform, it also facilitates an easy exchange of concerns and ideas. The meetings help counterparts from both sides of the project to discuss and arrive at mitigation of any issues that may impact the project at a later stage and chart a way forward for the business partnership.
Apart from meetings and discussions, we also believe in adherence to a time-tested system of documentation that are signed off by all stakeholders and ensure that there is no ambiguity with regards to the expectations and scope.
- Who defines the Governance structure for the Project?
Project governance structure differs from organization to organization. This structure is often the result of learnings from past projects and evolves over a period of time.
At Hexaware BPS, we follow a standardized Transition management framework called ‘TransX’. The model includes a clearly defined and robust governance structure that covers Stakeholder management, Risk management & Change Management. It defines the frequency and audience for sharing project updates, Logging-Tracking-Monitoring-Closure of Change requests, Risks and issues associated with the project. The SIPOC for the methodology also provides absolute clarity for each deliverable and activity.
- How do we implement Project Governance and Risk Management @ Hexaware?
While the standard methodology is followed for all projects, we at Hexaware fully understand that each project is unique in its requirements and hence needs a customized approach. The standard methodology works as a guideline and additions and deletions to the project task list and legal, technical and process related activities are carried out, as per the specific requirements for that project. The changes made to the standard task list however, need to go through a pre-determined approval cycle. The onus of defining the same lies with the Transition Manger and the Program manager assigned to the project and is eventually reviewed and accepted by the project team at large. Effective governance is achieved via the following measures
- Transition Manger (Project Manager): A Transition Manager with relevant experience in project management or operations from the same domain as the project, is assigned. Along with the PM, a senior and experienced resource from the Transition team is assigned as Program Manager, who can mentor and guide the Transition Manager. This ensures that the project is not resource dependent and a backup is always available in case of personal exigencies. Often, other Project Managers are assigned to assist the Transition manager to ensure that each resource has exposure to domains other than their core area of expertise to fill out any gaps in experience.
- Project RACI: A project team usually consists of SPOCs from different teams working together for the first time. It is essential that this newly formed team works as a cohesive unit to ensure project success. A standardized task list is available with the roles and responsibilities defined for each of the SPOCs along with standard tasks associated with the project. This does not leave scope for any ambiguity with regards to who is responsible and accountable for each action item of the project.
- Project Progress Report: A weekly progress report covering the 4 sectors of a project – People, Process, Technology and Legal is circulated to the project team and senior management both within Hexaware and the client organization. This is to ensure that all stakeholders internal and external, are calibrated with current state of the project, and challenges if any, are highlighted timely. The Transition plan and Risk Log too are circulated with the progress report for added clarity.
- Project Review Meetings: A well-defined system is provided that includes meetings and the participants along with the broad agenda for each. A brief overview of the same is provided below:
- Project review meetings: Weekly / Bi-weekly meetings are scheduled with the stakeholders, internal and external. This is to ensure that any delays, issues, risks can be discussed and mitigated on a timely basis. The meetings also ensure that stakeholders work as a cohesive unit to bring the project towards successful closure. Actions and updates from each meeting are saved in the MoMs that are circulated to the project teams after each call / meeting and action items are tracked to closure.
- Steering Committee Meeting: This is usually scheduled once a month and the invitees comprise of functional heads from the involved teams from both the client Organization as well as Hexaware. The purpose of this meeting is an overall project status review especially with the intent of highlighting any roadblocks / risks and discussing and finalizing the mitigations steps for the same. As the domain experts and final approvers are available during this meeting, it facilitates quicker resolution for any pain points for the project in question
- Executive Council Meeting: This meeting is held between the project sponsors – possibly CXOs/Business heads. The purpose of this meeting is to review the current partnership and analyze ways of bettering or strengthening the alliance between Hexaware and client.
- Risk and Issue Management: Hexaware believes in a pre-emptive rather than reactive approach with regards to risk management during transitions. Right from the inception of the project, a risk and issue log is maintained. The emphasis is on foreseeing roadblocks for the project and ensuring that workarounds and mitigation steps are in place so that they do not impact the project adversely. The log is a mandatory point of discussion during all project calls and meetings, with other contingent points. This ensures that most, if not all, risks are logged and tracked to closure with minimal impact to project objectives and plans.
- Change Management: While each project is meticulously planned, each has its own share of minor and major changes that if not monitored could impact the project timelines. At Hexaware, we follow a rigorous process of logging and approval mechanism for each change request. This helps in assessing the project impact and an appointed change committee consisting of members from client and Hexaware teams approves this impact assessment, before incorporating it into the project and implementation kick off. This ensures transparency and minimizes friction with regards to expectations from the project implementation team.
Hexaware also believes in the process of continual improvement and at the end of each project a learnings document is created by the transition manager which is then reviewed and discussed with the entire project team. This document is a part of the standard documentation and is referred to by the transition team. This ensures that any mistakes that happened for one project do not get repeated for subsequent projects and any good learnings are incorporated into organizational best practices.
Robust governance framework demonstrated for one of the world’s largest visa service provider ensuring all risks were mitigated without any impact to the project. To learn more on how we here at Hexaware handle risk and issues for our customers, read the case study: Delivering a seamless and risk free transition for world’s largest visa services provider
As we move to conquer newer markets and domains, we understand the need to have a cycle of learn, incorporate, improve and innovate. Our efforts will always be to innovate and deliver customer delight ensuring that we disrupt the norm for something better… always.