Planning through COVID-19

Aug 10, 2020

So what can be done to prepare for future interruptions to our business lives?

Your 5 year plan from 2015 probably didn’t forecast a global pandemic.

The year 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic have drastically changed our world from all facets- business, medicine, education and more.  Virtually all of our daily activities from work to our home lives have changed.

First and foremost the old saying is true: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

The businesses with solid plans for responding to emergencies are handling the Covid-19 fallout faster and more effectively.  While many businesses have spent time discussing remote work capabilities and few had solid strategies for implementing those plans.   What could replace the conversations and brainstorming that happens in hallways, common rooms and parking lots?  Most organizations already had resources and technology available to fill this void, but had little to no experience using it. Elementary age children and chief executives alike jumped head first into digital platforms and virtual meetings.   For both groups the learning curve was steep, but with planning, training, and continued utilization of software and resources like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, all business can be more prepared.  Training can be expensive… From both the actual price tag to the time spent in training rather than working, but the return on investment will be in your organization’s favor.

Be more efficient, effective, and ultimately improve your work lives.

This necessity of remote work has also provided businesses with first hand experience. Ways technology can help employees be more efficient, effective, and ultimately improve their work lives.  Cutting out an hour of commute time each morning and again in the afternoon gives an employee more time: for work, for rest, for family, for professional development.  The remote work experience also illuminated possible flaws in current systems.  Perhaps some databases didn’t communicate with others.  Perhaps you found your local server network should be replaced with a cloud based program to ease your employees remote capabilities.  Maybe for some organizations it required a long hard look at financial planning and analysis of that data.

Future successes:

Your organization has likely gathered loads of new data and the analysis of this new information is paramount to future successes.  You will need to identify new trends in your data and determine how these trends impact your business, your people, and your clients.   Reviewing your systems and developing strong strategies for using your new information is necessary.  The databases and platforms you use must communicate with each other, so that the members of your organization can communicate with each other.   Your data architecture ensures you will have access to your information no matter how remotely you and your employees are.

This is the time to capitalize on these changes.

As more and more businesses return to site operation, it is important to be aware of the “new normal”.  Significant behavioral and cultural changes have developed as a result of the pandemic, quarantines, and economic slowdown.  This is the time to capitalize on those changes.  Are your operations running more efficiently now?  What about your employees?  Is the technology helping or hindering them?  Can you streamline tasks that once required several people to complete in office?  Budgeting, planning, and forecasting for future interruptions our business lives can make the changes brought about by uncertainty less disruptive and ensure a smoother transition into the new normal.