Even if June marks a new stage for everyone with deconfinement happening everywhere, the fact remains that the period we have been experiencing since the beginning of the pandemic will continue. After the dizzying announcement of the confinement, companies struggled to organize the continuity of their activity while ensuring the safety of their employees. For many, this has resulted by setting up remote work:
Part-time remote working is now expected by 99% of the US population while only 17% of employees were in remote working in 2019.
In this particular context where physical meetings are still limited, whereas proximity typically contributes to respect project deadlines, how can the deliverability of projects be maintained?
MAINTAIN PROJECT DELIVERABILITY IN TIMES OF CRISIS
For some clients, projects are slowing down or are temporarily halted, while others cannot be delayed because they were or are becoming structuring projects without any possibility of reconsidering the initial deadlines (read the testimony of Suez for which one2Team solution was deployed at the begining of te pandemic).
To maintain our objectives, we at One2Team have adapted our approach to deliver projects. If for some companies it was a question of virtualizing the desktop, for One2Team, it was a question of virtualizing our collaboration with our customers. By trying to understand what the impact of confinement is for them (drop in activity, partial unemployment, remote working, re-prioritizing projects), we have adjusted our approaches, more precisely, we have adjusted our timetables.
A HIGHLY VIRTUAL RELATIONSHIP
If we usually prefer physical appointments with our customers, it is not always possible for us to do it with all our customers. For example, for a full remote company or for our Australian customers, we ensure a full deployment 100% through web conference. No doubt this experience helped us a lot for the confinement period.
If remote does not fit very well when brainstorming and concept thinking have to be shared, exchanged, challenged, it is however completely adapted to very structured meetings for decision making, progress review, and this even with a large number of participants.
3 POINTS OF ATTENTION TO DELIVER PROJECTS ON TIME IN REMOTE WORK
When a project is already initiated, the secret to deliver it in a “contracted” schedule is to prefer a high number of small interactions to act continuously along the way. But how can the circulation of information be guaranteed when it is necessary to organise sharing points while the timetables are saturated?
Getting the right people involved at the right time in a remote delivery context becomes even more crucial than usual. Interestingly, in a remote work environment, everyone can see, without being able to prevent it, his timetable is filled by a multitude of micro meetings because that’s the way co-workers, managers, teams keep contact and stay informed! The consequence is that it is much more difficult to control and adjust your timetable when something unexpected happens.
In the projects we carry out at One2Team, we make sure to give each participant visibility on their expected interventions, as soon as they are known, so that they themselves can anticipate the impacts on their timetable and avoid the tunnel effect linked to unavailability. This can be done, for example, by shared lists and centralized actions in a common tool.
CENTRALIZE PROJECT INFORMATION
When informal exchanges on the progress of the project are harder with limited physical presence, when you can no longer discuss a decision simply with your colleague at 2 open space offices or at the coffee / cigarette break, … it is fundamental to have a system of records that ensures the availability of 100% project information at any time and in any place.
A basic solution will be to use the famous Google Sheet or an online Excel sheet. At One2Team, we use our own work platform to manage and track our implementation projects. Whatever the tool used, its role is pivotal: to enable steering, progress monitoring and the continuous circulation of information between all the project stakeholders.
MULTIPLY TO BETTER RATIONALIZE
As the weeks see their batches of phone calls and videoconferences, you need to find a new space-time! Paradoxically, by increasing the number of small interactions, you accelerate your decision-making capacity and secure your project schedule.
This is why, in the projects we have carried over the last few weeks, we have organized 15′ daily standup meetings (short meetings held on a regular basis with the timetable being fed from one meeting to the next) that are particularly well suited to working in remote project mode. This short format also has the advantage to be very well suited to web conferencing and chat tools.
In the first days of confinement, it was clear that project delivery had to adapt to a “distributed” organization, i.e. to a company without physical offices, with connected people who rely on digital technology to collaborate and work together, and no longer the classic organization where most people were in the office and a few in remote work. Follow some best practices will help you gain efficiency in the short term, while preparing more structurally a new way of working.
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/159352847@N08/49754143522/