Michael Krigsman and I had a chance to talk to N. Chandrasekaran (Chandra, as he likes to be called) of TCS this week about their study on IT project performance (dismal in general across the industry) and their metrics driven approach to better project control, estimating and expectation management. Michael has a write up here. TCS, of course, has a proud tradition of CMM Level 5, Six Sigma and other project and process methods and techniques.
It is always a pleasure to catch up with Chandra. I first met him during a client visit to their Mumbai SEEPZ location. I remember asking him in my usual undiplomatic way - how TCS expected to manage staff turnover and rapid growth. This was in 2002 way before those and currency issues plagued TCS and its customers. And he smiled and answered it without hesitation. I remember having him on a conference panel and asking him what he would do if he was running Oracle R&D. This was when Oracle had the well publicized quality problems around apps release 11i. He smiled and answered the question without hesitation.
Besides his smile, I noticed he was being mentioned by name on most major accounts TCS had - and I would catch him in the middle of drive in the Midwest and at various airports. So I asked him if he ever slept. He comes to the US every six weeks. Now with TCS's growing global diversification (they have one of the more mature E. Europe centers in Budapest of the Indian outsourcers, they have a large JV in China, ambitious plans to grow in Mexico and on and on) his travels are even crazier.
Now a days, I only seem to call him when a client needs attention. So while I say it is a pleasure to catch up with him, not sure he enjoys my calls-)
But I sure am glad to see all his smiles and plane hours have paid off. He was named COO of TCS a couple of months ago. I look forward to our next set of debates. Probably somewhere in Budapest or Beijing.