BEST PRACTICE TO KEEP BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND PROJECTS MOVING POST COVID-19.
We’ve seen the immediate affect of COVID-19 on the business world, from the small shop front that has had to create basic online or phone systems for ordering products, through to larger enterprises that hadn’t quite got around to cloud-based applications scrambling to adapt.
This global change in how we work has forced the need to fast track digital transformation for a number of businesses. But what does that mean for project management and how can even the smallest businesses retain continuity of their digital presence as we start to come out the other side?
OUR DIGITAL ADOPTION
Many customers do not realise that our own business, Aprika, operates from across the globe with business owners in different continents and a workforce that all operates remotely. We set ourselves up from the start with the ability to all work from our seperate locations and enabled cloud-based operations.
This early adoption of digital has enabled us to stay nimble and service global time zones whilst still being able to effectively deliver growth and improvements on our software and products.
So whether your business was able to seamlessly adapt to the new working environment or whether you had to scramble to get all your systems online, the focus now has to be on what comes next? How can you keep operating using your digital toolbox whilst maintaining the core of your business service as restrictions start to ease?
RETAINING BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY
We don’t want to see businesses go backwards once the community is back to work, the continuity of digital must remain and continue to grow. The next challenge will be operating split workforces with some from home and others in the office and so we need to think about how technology can support this.
A number of large organisations, such as Mastercard, Twitter and Salesforce, have already announced that they are happy for their workforce to continue to work at home even when the restrictions tied to the global pandemic are lifted. This demonstrates a strength in digital operations and the ability to work effectively from remote locations, whilst still getting projects completed.
THE PRINCIPLES OF DIGITAL ADAPTATION
We’ve put together our 5 principles on how you can retain productivity as a business and continue to transform digitally to stay ahead and keep flexibility as the situation evolves.
- Communication: This has always been the biggest driver to keep a workforce in a central location, how can you keep projects flowing without ease of communication? Services such as Slack and Zoom have completely busted this myth and we now recognise how technology can support ongoing communication. These practices can continue, there is no reason that a Zoom meeting cannot take place with some dialling in from home and some in the office.
- Technology infrastructure: Having the right technology stack available to everyone, operating in real time via a cloud-based system is the biggest improver to business operations. Now that these systems are in place it is not only imperative to retain them, but to also review what other software can improve the running of your business. These are the main digital platforms we use to operate remotely effectively:
- CRM system Salesforce: Enabling us to have a solid track on our customers, prospects and partners.
- CTI system Natterbox: Connecting our CRM to our phone system allowing us to increase productivity and provide excellent customer service.
- eDM system Dashcord: A marketing & events solution integrated to our CRM allowing us to regularly keep everyone updated seamlessly.
- PM and PSA system Mission Control: Ensuring that we can keep consistency of planning, managing and measuring of client projects wherever we are. This is vitally important to enable our remote team to keep track of the progress being made on the projects they’re involved with.
- Automation: This generally comes as the next step from digital transformation, what processes and systems within the business can be automated for ease of running the business? Digital generation of proposals and capturing eSignatures using Conga Composer and Conga Sign, through to an online subscription checkout, and automated monthly billing all automate tasks that empower the team to be more productive in other areas of the business.
- Continuity: For every business, there should be no need to go back to the same processes as before. Think about how you can keep the new digital adoption and work out how it integrates with the rest of your business once everything returns. Better still, how can you continue to improve digital processes for the future, from taking orders via email to maybe an integrated website ordering system. Can digital transformation expand your target audience?
- Forward planning: This is about the bigger picture and developing your digital roadmap. What else can be improved and where do we go from here to continually evolve, improve and become more efficient businesses?
Becoming a digitally nimble operation isn’t just a temporary COVID-19 situation, all businesses no matter how big or small should be looking at the future of their operations and how to continue to digitally transform.