Sometimes, it can take something extra ordinary to make us take stock of how we are doing things and why we are doing them. With the right mindset some good can come out of a difficult situation (a small silver lining perhaps) and we can look to move forward stronger than ever before. These are the top 3 things that I believe have made our organisation better than before Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown.
We doubled-down on our customer-centricity. We asked ourselves “how can we most help our customers now?” and part of that was considering if something isn’t aligned with that focus or isn’t helping it, then it’s hurting. My best advice with this in mind is… Get rid of it! Shed the excess baggage that can slow you down. No matter how lean your business is, there are always bits and pieces that you pick up along the way and a spring clean is essential to make sure you keep only the things that make the boat go faster. Some of the things that were part of my spring clean were superfluous meetings that were burning time and bureaucratic processes that were slowing us down disproportionately to the oversight that they were giving. Gone!
2. Remote Working
Hands up, I am a traditionalist, in and out of work, and there was always a big part of me that had concerns about working from home. Some about perception, mostly about productivity. That has changed. We asked everybody to work from home a week before the lockdown was put in place. We did it to protect our people and our customers. So, after 5 weeks working remotely, I am a believer. If anything, I think the challenge is actually stopping working because it’s so easy to keep going, but I’d rather that problem than fighting the rush hour crowds.
The biggest impact for us was taking what we do in delivery of software and applying it across the business. We took the tools we know well from the Agile development framework we use and now, across the business, we have regular standups, always hold each other accountable, have tickets that anyone free can pickup… etc. It always made sense when building software, but the difference has been huge for all parts of the business.
The shoemaker always wears the worst shoes! We use our time to build software for our customers and don’t do enough of it on ourselves. While nearly all of our environments and toolsets are already in the cloud, we did have an old server that we had never gotten around to migrating. Well this was nudge we needed and now it’s done. Between remote working, not being able to get access to the office, and uncertainty in general, the “being able to do everything from anywhere” is not optional anymore – it’s essential.
So, while at the moment there is still uncertainty and many of us are going through stressful times, I do take some solace from seeing the good in the bad and there has been some good.
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