In my many years promoting, selling and delivering highly complex technical solutions, not once has anyone asked me “How do you measure the people actually delivering your new solution? What drives them?”. It’s a well-known statement that “you get what you measure”, but why no one seems to be interested in how the people working for them are being measured is a paradox.
Responsibility, mandate and what you measure
Having embraced agility in our tagline—Enterprise Agile, we at Nagarro expect the world around us, particularly in the world of technology to change rapidly. So, we must make sure we deliver and deliver fast. This is why we avoid using labels like Project Managers (PMs) that don’t entirely explain what they do and how they do it. Instead, we have Project CEOs (PCEOs).
A PCEO navigates in a complex world with not just the responsibility of delivering a project or a solution, but the mandate to do so as well. If new and additional resources are required, if new test environments are to be established, if the scope changes, and so on, the PCEO has the mandate to act immediately. The PCEO takes the decisions to ensure these things happen and we can adapt and deliver a solution. They don't have to ask, “mom and dad,” get approval from the country-head, align with this and that. The responsibility and mandate go hand in hand, and decisions are pushed right out where it matters; into the projects, and close to the client.
It’s easy to say that responsibility and mandate go hand in hand, but the challenge lies in its execution. One of the levers deeply rooted in Nagarro to make this happen is how we measure our people. Which brings us back to the initial statement—how do you measure the people delivering a new solution?
Let's understand it with a simple example:
We were working on a development project for a client to upgrade the platform for their product. As the project progressed, the PCEO realized that despite doing things right (providing flawless code), they were not able to ensure that the new platform was robust, scalable, and easy-to-maintain. As a result, the PCEO, without hesitation, assigned architects to ensure that what was developed would support the client in the long run, and be more than just bits of correct code. Of course, this needed a special kind of persona to move in and have the guts to challenge the client on the solution. This also requires them to have the mandate to change the path. However, had the PCEO been measured on the number of errors in the code, or on internal margin targets of the project he would have continued down the wrong path, ensuring that he met his personal goals, but not the goals of the customer.
We measure our PCEOs on client satisfaction. No more, no less. They are not measured on the lines of the code provided, the timing, bugs, revenue generated, and more specifically: on the project margin. We measure the person directly responsible for the client entirely on client satisfaction, everything else is secondary. And yes, you get what you measure!
Coming back to the original statement. No one asks how the people delivering the end result are measured. Why is that? It’s one of the key elements of a successful delivery. I challenge you to ask your current partners developing vital and business critical solutions for you: How they measure their people? In fact, ask them before they start. I can state with confidence that you can ask me this question because it’s vital to you!
We measure ourselves by your success
Your success is all that matters, and it ripples through how we act, how we deliver, how we behave, and how we are CARING.
- We assign a PCEO, not just a Project Manager.
- The PCEO will have the responsibility as well as the mandate to deliver a successful solution.
- The PCEO is individually measured on the client's satisfaction scores.
We have confidence in our people, that we give them the mandate to make you successful.