PVD hard coatings, notably transition metal nitrides and carbides, are being increasingly used by industry for improving the life and machining speeds of cutting and forming tools. There has been an increasing trend towards use of complex coatings, based on ternary and even more complex multi-component systems, as well as in novel configurations such as multilayers, superlattices, nanolayers and graded coatings, to achieve superior properties in the tool as well as the finished product. The service properties of the coatings are known to be influenced by their microstructure, phase assembly and composition, apart from the orientation and stress states which can be suitably tailored for diverse applications. In the present study, a ternary coating based on Titanium Aluminum Nitride was deposited on high speed steel substrates by cathodic arc evaporation under varied bias voltage conditions. As-deposited coatings were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Residual Stress Analysis, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), EBSD and FIB. Mechanical and tribological characteristics of the coatings were evaluated by nanoindentation and nanoscratch testing, respectively. The variations in coating hardness and adhesion with the bias voltage were studied. The changes in coating microstructure as a consequence of variation in bias voltage were also examined. Results from the above investigations are presented to illustrate how a combination of electron microscopy with nanoindentation and adhesion testing can be utilized to ascertain structure-property correlations in coatings.