There’s no doubt that the outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly affected global business. It is an unprecedented situation for many companies, particularly those in directly-impacted verticals such as non-essential retail, travel and entertainment.
The uncertainty that exists right now has prompted companies to consider whether they should put planned investment decisions on hold, defer in-progress implementations or simply cancel their contracts in some circumstances. Every company has a unique set of stakeholders and priorities, and it is certainly not for us to say what they should or should not be doing right now when it comes to project deliveries.
However, for those companies that have the security and resources available, the return on investment calculated in their business cases is still applicable when it comes to considering Record to Report (R2R) transformations, associated cost savings and efficiencies. Despite this, some of our customers have been asking whether it is still possible— or even feasible— to kick-off a brand-new project or continue as planned with an existing project, with emphasis on teams and essential resources working remotely.
It’s a fair point, given some of the key aspects of our implementations are usually conducted face to face. Design workshops benefit from face-to-face discussion, collaboration and debate across the table, while onsite training also provides hands-on comfort for individuals that may require extra assistance and guidance. That said, these activities can be— and have been— conducted to a high standard remotely/virtually. Based on the many virtual meetings I’ve had over the past few weeks, the vast majority of people have access to a reliable broadband provider, and as such, we have been able to converse reliably with little or no interruptions to service. Even prior to COVID-19, customers were increasingly opting to hold training sessions remotely, as it allows them to both record the sessions and to engage additional numbers of participants (F2F best practices limit is maximum of 10).
There are some additional considerations to make virtual meetings as productive as possible. The use of cameras will help to build rapport between teams and also ensure people are concentrating— this latter point is crucial to ensure optimal solution design! We also suggest determining roles at the start (moderator, note taker, etc.) and to set some ground rules (for example, after Trintech presents a feature in its entirety, open the discussion for questions). Furthermore, a higher amount of frequent short breaks should be introduced to allow people to stretch their legs in what may not be a perfect working environment at home. Rather than run seven-hour sessions, it makes sense to split work into smaller sessions to provide some added flex in peoples’ schedules to enable them to attend to “business-as-usual” requirements. Our experience of 100% virtual work has been very good with no negative feedback from either Trintech consultants or customers.
As with new technologies and ideas that have disrupted the way we think about and conduct business over the last few years, I have no doubt that in the coming weeks and months, we will also see an abundance of new opportunities aimed at helping us operate far more effectively than we are able to at the moment using our traditional work from home tech. I, for one, will be watching this space to see who, how and what “new disrupters” bring to the table.
For the time being, stay home, social-distance and stay safe!
To learn more about how to optimize your business processes, read our Cadency brochure.
Written by: Scott Vipond