3 ways to improve agility in a post-COVID-19 world
This article originally appeared in Your Story.
While we’re all in the thick of managing business disruption due to COVID-19, we also need to think about what comes next. How will organizations change when we’re beyond this crisis, and are you prepared for the ripple effects that will follow?
Today, in the midst of the pandemic, companies are being tested on their agility; their ability to launch new products, services and solutions to ensure business continues as close to normal as possible.
When looking to the future, it’s clear there are three areas in which every development organization must focus its efforts to inject agility into their transformation efforts so they are ready for the next significant disruption.
Create a culture of change in the workforce
There are some serious concerns when it comes to the skills of the workforce. PwC claims 76% of CEOs are worried about the speed of changing technology and how it may threaten their company’s growth if they can’t move at pace.
I believe constant change creates ample opportunities for the workforce to evolve for whatever the future holds. Ensuring your employees embrace this change through an environment of continuous change is critical. It’s essential to invest in innovation initiatives, upskilling programs and the personal development of employees.
Within my organization, we take this to heart; more than 7,000 of our employees are now DevOps qualified, and ongoing learning programs are part of our DNA.
Evolve your practices and methodologies
So, when evolving the workforce, what areas should you focus on? Consider upskilling in new methodologies like DevOps, technologies including microservices, and journeys like cloud migration. Why? These are areas that will ensure business agility, preparing the workforce for the next major disruption.
Also, consider the “fail fast” and “elevate success” concepts. We do this with our workforce when adopting new tools and processes across teams. New approaches that prove to be a success in one project are then taken across the company or discarded if they don’t work.
These two approaches have been especially helpful during COVID-19 business continuity efforts. As we shifted employees to work from home, having a squadron of capable DevOps coaches was invaluable. They would implement and revise our methodologies across projects and made implementing new tools and remote working guidelines much easier for the broader teams to adapt.
Be proactive with customers
Solving business interruptions shouldn’t be seen as a quick fix, and make sure your customers don’t see it as one, either. Ensure customers see you as invested in their long-term success and not just a provider of short-term services.
This idea goes beyond just your relationship with a customer; many of them are not entirely dependent on you to provide IT services. Being agile means being able to suggest alternatives when you see a lagging piece in their value chain. In many cases, customers may not necessarily ask for help, so proactive engagement is critical here.
Within your customer teams, consider always adopting new ways of working, strengthening collaboration between the different units. This ensures project goals continue to be met in times of crisis, even though the workforce is not in its normal mode.
The new normal
Without a doubt, organizations will change due to these uncertain times. Transforming a business will always bring some form of uncertainty, but the benefits are clear. Focusing on the “3 Ps” of people, processes and proactivity, with agility at the center, is the path forward. It’s the only way to be prepared for future disruptions.