Prakash Viswanathan, a senior unit quality head at Infosys Ltd
1. Where do you work?
I work with Infosys Ltd. in Bangalore, India.
2. What do you do – what’s your title?
I lead the corporate lean Six Sigma program as a part of the Infosys quality department and am employed as a senior unit quality head.
3. What’s your educational background?
I hold a master’s degree in engineering design from Bharathiyar University in Coimbatore, India, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. I am also an ASQ-certified Black Belt and Master Black Belt and a Chartered Engineer.
4. How long have you been an ASQ member?
For more than 12 years and am currently a senior member.
5. What do you think is most important in implementing a Six Sigma project?
Changing mindsets is of utmost importance and culture must be managed while implementing a Six Sigma project. This consideration is generally not defined as a part of the Six Sigma project implementation process, but we must recognize this implicitly and evaluate options at the start. If this element of change can be overcome, then it is a matter of executing to a set structured improvement intervention.
6. Why do you think Six Sigma is important?
Client needs are rapidly changing in today’s dynamic and technology-driven environment. In the current competitive landscape, every organization continuously revisits their business processes to remain profitable and grow. As long as processes are followed to provide clients with products or services, there is always room for improvement. Fact-based decision making using Six Sigma is always better than relying on gut instinct, especially when dealing with complex workflows and advanced technological innovation-based processes.
7. Why do you think quality is important?
Quality is a given in today’s world and clients won’t settle for anything less. Whether it’s a product, service or process, quality will always matter to clients who are likely to increasingly expect more (quality) for less (cost).
8. What’s your favorite benefit of quality?
Building quality into a product, service or process brings predictability and long-term sustainability—two factors vital for business growth and profitability.
9. Why did you choose to go into the quality field?
Six Sigma happened to me by accident, more than a decade ago when I worked for a GE company. One Monday morning, as my team and I executed a routine analysis for an electrical control element, we were asked to run several computer-aided analyses to optimize key performance parameters. We used experience-based modeling and completed the analyses and summarized our findings in a report that evening. That was the start of my passion for Six Sigma.
10. What’s your best advice to someone new to quality?
Remember that patience is a virtue. One must hold guard but never lose sight of change—personally and organizationally—despite current business world where cycles are short, expectations are sky high and resources are limited if almost not available. It’s also important to find enjoyment outside of work—for the past 30 years I’ve been an ardent philatelist and numismatist.