Published on January 15, 2021
2020 has been an extraordinary year. However, the quest for excellence continued with rigor, glory, and resilience in the Tata Group. This year, 10 Tata companies and eight business units (BU) leveraged the Business Excellence Assessment process using the TBEM framework. Despite all challenges, Tata Power, Tata Capital, Tata AIG, TM International Logistics, Tata Metaliks, Indian Steel Wires Products, Tata Steel Utilities and Infrastructure Services, Tata Technologies, Tata AIA Life, and Tata Motors Finance embraced the new way of virtual assessment that provided an opportunity for reflection. Among these, Tata Power and Tata Capital had an Enterprise + BU assessment wherein four of their respective BUs were also assessed to provide granular and actionable feedback. In this cycle, all the steps were revisited and customised to collaboratively facilitate the process virtually. Mentors, Team Leaders, and 150+ assessors geared up to accept the uncertainties and challenges and committed themselves towards the cause of nurturing excellence in the group. All 10 companies appreciated the outcome in the form of experience and feedback; many of them considered the insights as a benchmark. The spirit of excellence was woven around 3Cs to provide a Customised, Collaborative, and Celebrated experience.
Assessors appreciate that each company is unique, and the approach to assessing the companies has to be customised. This n=1 approach was adopted by all the teams. The Leadership Team and Process Consultant along with the Business Excellence (BE) Head drafted the approach note document to chart various nuances of assessments that need to be customised to derive greater value. End-to-end customisation was created for Tata Power and Tata Capital’s Enterprise + BU assessments to provide an elevated experience. During the final feedback presentation, Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power, added, “Thanks for creating such a great team for us. This has been a great learning experience for all our BUs and as a company as a whole. The narrative and articulation is phenomenal.” This year, along with the financial analysis support, Tata Business Excellence Group’s (TBExG’s) Group Safety & Health experts had special sessions with customised inputs for all the teams on assessing safety & health in the current context. All the teams highly appreciated these sessions.
Business Excellence Assessment has always been a benchmark process of collaboration. The team formation process this year was carried out in consultation with the BE Heads, Leadership Team of the company and TBExG Relationship Managers, specifically focusing on the domain expertise and softer aspects. Internal assessors in teams were encouraged, and most of the teams benefitted from this initiative. The teams had 28% women assessors, subject matter experts, functional leaders and process experts, contributing to a rich intellectual diversity. A significant process improvement in the form of ‘Understanding Calls’ was introduced this year, which has enhanced assessors’ understanding of the companies. The efforts put in by the BE Heads and the functional leaders to enable these calls have been exemplary. As Sandeep Kumar, MD of Tata Metaliks, remarked, “I have not experienced such a dedicated and passionate assessment earlier, it was future oriented, very methodical, friendly with very pertinent questions. Systematic approach using understanding calls and site visit to ask questions and seek responses is appreciated.”
It was important to ensure a celebrated experience throughout the assessment process in a challenging year like this. Charting out the Virtual Assessment process document, with detailed dos and don’ts, focusing on the language of communication, and acknowledging the unstinted support of the assessors and their families were important. As Warren Harris, MD & CEO, Tata Technologies, mentioned, “This is by far the best assessment we have ever experienced so far. The team went the extra mile to understand our context. I really applaud the granularity of the analysis and report.”
The spirit of celebration continues as the group celebrates resilience at the virtual Business Excellence Convention from January 11-12, 2021. The excellence movement has galloped during the difficult year because of all-round support from the BE fraternity.