I do love a good proverb and none sums up the last few weeks quite like ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. At every turn I’m seeing firms - who by their own admission had been toying with agile/mobile practices for years - suddenly find a way of getting it done. And then there are the companies we’ve worked with for whom agile never was a thing and there was no playbook for it – but even so, when Covid forced a reaction, we all came together to get them and their thousands-strong workforces up and running, connected, informed, supported. Needs must and all that.
In those moments, I also realised what we were capable of ourselves. Previously, we’ve run with a typical deployment cycle of three months – fast by enterprise standards but still allowing us enough time to properly engage ie not just throwing in tech, but helping customers work out their strategy, what success looked like for them, developing a defensible Engagement Success Plan and ROI metrics etc.
In the Covid era, we’ve been asked for what we may have earlier thought impossible – for example, getting an organisation live in one day, or rolling out our solution to an 11,000-strong company in less than a week. Yes, we may have had to compress the discovery/design/implementation/test/go-live cycle massively but unsurprisingly the success metrics have come down to a simple question of can we mobilise – yes/no? As a result, we’ve now adopted a standard for the time being of getting new clients up and running in a week.
But as we move from crisis through continuity into steady state, I’m looking forward to clients having the time and opportunity to come back round the table (and a real table hopefully as a nice change from Zoom!). Together we can begin looking at engagement not through the prism of a Covid-driven emergency response, but of a long-term commitment to keeping colleagues connected, supported, and fit and well; corporate cultures strong, balanced and positive; and operational performance firing on all cylinders – with quality, consistency and efficiency.
None of that will happen in a day or a week. But we can start to plan today.