On the 53rd Episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast, Jeevan Lobo took us on a captivating journey through his career, from his role as a Cross-Functional Manager to his current position as a Security and Governance Leader. Along the way, he also unveiled the secrets of his success, providing practical advice and strategies for navigating the complex world of Cross-Functional Management.
Learn how to drive digital transformation, manage risk, and inspire your teams to participate in organizational processes actively.
But first, meet Lobo, the Vice President of Security and Governance at Citibank, whose expertise in IT spans over two decades. With a remarkable background in consulting, managed service providers, and captive organizations, Jeevan has collaborated with stakeholders across the globe, catering to diverse industries such as finance, healthcare, energy, and retail. His areas of mastery include Cross-Functional Leadership, Digital Transformation, and Risk & Control.
Make sure to tune in to the entire episode featuring Lobo. With the unique insights gained from his extensive experience, this episode promises to be an enlightening and inspiring journey. Don’t forget you can sign up for our monthly live recordings and directly ask any questions during the session.
From cross-functional manager to security and governance leader
Lobo began by recounting his experience commencing the Service Management journey in a pharmaceutical company. From the get-go, change had to happen.
He explained that the organization lacked Incident Management tracking or integrated Change Management processes. However, he acknowledged the significance of adopting a customer-centric mindset and practicing servant leadership to drive successful transformation initiatives.
"Wherever you are, whatever you do, start baselining and benchmark always because you wouldn't know how much you want to improve until you know where you are."
Regarding the importance of baselining and benchmarking to understand the starting point and measure improvement, he compared it to using metrics on an Apple watch to track progress and stated that collecting data and reviewing it is crucial for improvement.
And indeed improvements he made. However implementing Service Management in a greenfield organization, which refers to a new organization without any existing processes or systems in place, can present several challenges.
- Lack of awareness: Greenfield organizations may not have a clear understanding of service management principles and the benefits they can bring. This lack of awareness can make it difficult to gain buy-in from stakeholders and employees.
- Resistance to change: Introducing new processes and systems can be met with resistance from employees who are comfortable with the status quo.
- Resource constraints: greenfield organizations often have limited resources, both in terms of budget and skilled personnel. Implementing Service Management requires investment in technology, training, and hiring experienced professionals, which may strain the organization's resources.
- Integration challenges: In a greenfield organization, there may be no existing Incident Management tracking or Change Management processes. Starting this from scratch is complex and time-consuming, and requires careful planning and coordination.
- Establishing a customer mindset: Service Management is centered around delivering value to customers. In a greenfield organization, it may be necessary to instill a customer-centric mindset and align processes and practices accordingly.
- Servant leadership: Successful transformation initiatives require strong leadership. leaders prioritize the needs of their teams and empower them to drive the transformation.
Now, let’s quickly explore the lessons he learned from his most significant milestones.
Implementing a managed service provider
One significant milestone in Lobo's journey was implementing a managed service provider. Initially, it took some time for the company's leadership to recognize the value of this approach. However, through implementing fundamental configurations and providing analysis, Lobo was able to earn their trust. Introducing Problem Management and showcasing the importance of Service Management further enhanced productivity.
Foundational knowledge in ITSM
Throughout his journey, Lobo emphasized the significance of laying a strong foundation in IT Service Management and believes in bringing his expertise and knowledge from different contexts and applying them to his current role. He mentioned that his ISO 27001 certification had enhanced his performance, particularly in terms of audits.
"I got a good opportunity to work in a lot of organizations, both Banking and Financial, where I was doing service management, and that thought and approach has helped me in my current role because I still go back and do the RCAs, I still go back and ask for continuous service improvement. I still go back, I have those tenants, and the metric part of it you spoke with, that's the metric part of it. We have service SLA or service management as one of the tools, service level is one of the processes."
Managing Change and Incident Management
Lobo's approach to managing Change and Incident Management is rooted in understanding stakeholder needs, customizing metrics, baselining and benchmarking data, and continuously seeking opportunities for improvement. By following these principles, consultants and IT leaders can effectively navigate change and ensure efficient Incident Management.
Lobo also provided advice for consultants and IT leaders on effectively managing change and Incident Management. And ultimately, he argues, they need to go back to basics.
"Go basic, I know we are talking about senior leaders, people with CXOs in the prefixes in their designations, that's fine. But I believe in coming to the table for partnering, and listening. So we need to understand their story, why they want it, and for what reason, before I can propose the best metrics in the world (...) But if it's not customized to the way you want it to behave, it's of no use. So go back to the drawing board, ask them what would they like to see and why… get that out of them."
A day in the life of a global engineering support professional
As a security and governance leader, Lobo's daily responsibilities encompassed supporting global engineering teams formulating product strategy handling business transformations to drive change and meet deadlines, and working on product strategy to improve security and customize solutions.
He oversees metrics, manages business transformations, and works on product strategy to ensure the organization's IT services are aligned with its objectives. But, probably the most exciting aspect of his job is working in a global team, such as the opportunity to learn new languages and cultures, and how it contributes to their overall job satisfaction.
Overall, Lobo's progression from a cross-functional manager to a security and governance leader exemplified the challenges and triumphs one may encounter in the IT industry. His insights on driving transformation initiatives, understanding customer needs, and continually improving processes offered valuable lessons for IT professionals.
This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's episode featuring Jeevan Lobo. Be sure to listen to the full discussion with Matt Beran to learn more about Lobo’s journey from cross-functional manager to security and governance leader, you’ll dive into a treasure trove of leadership knowledge as he generously shares his wealth of experience.
You can find the full episode on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!