Services leaders must think and act differently when disruption occurs. Take for example, the recent restrictions put on travel. External business influences that lead to restrictions like that increase project complexity and hurt the normality of the business. Services leaders need information at their disposal that brings clarity of impact into things like location of projects, resources or customer specific restrictions. The utilization of contingency plans can help drive projects forward.
However, services leaders will need to act on the information without impacting overall delivery quality. They need to evaluate their services catalogue to assess the effect on each services offering. Then work with subject matter experts and experienced team members on a modified approach to services delivery that accommodates both their team and customers.
Changepoint Services Automation (SA) software has mapping capabilities to make it possible to indicate suggested new directions and alternative paths ideal for building and maintaining resource contingency plans.
Services organizations—among other businesses—can only control so much during times of rapid change. The risk of not planning for disruptive events can often outweigh the benefits of seemingly urgent, short-term matters. Keep your eye on driving business forward through disruption in both the short and long term to better enable the success of your customers and maintain the health of your organization.
Adapting to change is not a call to fundamentally change course, but it is a call to look ahead (perhaps more than usual) and ask, "Are we prepared for what is around the corner?"
According to TSIA, only 50% of respondents in a recent study agreed that their existing contingency planning mechanisms in place were applicable to the current disruption. Concurrently, services organizations are staying afloat with financial or term easements for services engagements that are already in flight. Though this can be necessary and gracious during a time of disruption, it is just a short-term, stop-gap solution incapable of addressing ramifications of long-term change.
Services organizations will, without a doubt, need to adapt and rely on contingency plans to see them through disruption over the long term. For example, services delivery is often performed remotely. In the future however, remote service delivery will increase drastically as virtual activity skyrockets - especially as restrictions for deploying remote resources to physical locations continue increasing with no clear end in sight.
Evaluate your entire services catalogue: Ensure you have complete visibility into every services offering so you can see which offerings are being affected at any given time. In times of crisis, it is critical that you can see the whole picture so you can make the necessary, short-term adjustments to things like SOWs or pricing in order to protect your business and accommodate the needs of your current customers. Even if you are implementing these strategies as a lifeline in the short-term, the impact on your financial sustainability once disruption passes should be minimal.
Understand what your organization needs to build contingency plans that keep services delivery on track: Though it may not be ideal to plan for, the possibility of team members leaving or working at less capacity cannot get lost on services leaders. Whether your team suddenly becomes short staffed because someone has fallen ill, needs to take care of a loved one, or, perhaps there have been drastic budget cuts and, in turn, furloughs or layoffs are necessary, your services organization needs a plan of attack.
Clearly address challenges and opportunities: Be sure your services teams understand what exactly is happening and how it may impact your services offerings. This can also be a great time to discuss opportunities that may present themselves if your teams adapt and remain agile throughout the change. A contingency plan that consistently communicates with all the teams within your organization gives them a chance to be proactive instead of reactive. This allows everyone within your services organization to make smarter, more strategically-aligned choices to move business forward, instead of just responding to a single issue in any given moment.
Don't just try to 'get through it': When disruption occurs at scale, it becomes pivotal to start rethinking how you can leverage new capabilities for better business outcomes. Make contingency plans that are sensible for your services organizations' future, such as enabling remote work environments. Though critical to managing disruption, implementing remote work across your organization shouldn't just be a means to an end. Perhaps you are able to interface with customers more frequently through your remote communication tools, which leads you to an unprecedented rate of adoption or a renewals with a valuable customer. Be sure to document how your teams are adapting their approach so you can build upon it post disruption.
If you can stay focused on agility and driving value while also maintaining financial stability within your organization, you will be able to survive any amount of change that comes your way.
While unpleasant to consider, contingency planning amidst turmoil is mission-critical. At worst, you're fully prepared to adapt quickly to crises that disruption usually brings. At best, you'll have standards in place for optimizing service delivery for a variety of project scenarios. Changepoint SA makes it possible for enterprises to achieve this level of maturity, helping them develop holistic "contingency planning approaches" that touch multiple aspects of the delivery process.