The most recent economic disruption has left many services organizations wondering if they will ever return to their old ways or if the new norms are here to stay. As a services leader, you may have already adapted your processes, your resources and people, as well as your technology.
Continue driving your services organization forward
As the world begins to get back to work, so much uncertainty still remains, leaving many businesses directionless or squandering opportunities. Don’t just ‘wait and see’—continue driving business forward, utilizing data and analytics to ensure your customers, your revenue, and your organization’s most important resources—your people—are safe.
"Companies that effectively utilize data and analytics to prioritize prospects and to find new opportunities with existing customers grow at a substantially faster rate than those who do not." - Steve Frost, TSIA
Services challenges caused by disruption
Like many services organizations, you’ve probably been faced with some serious challenges already. From project scope changes, resource allocation problems, and irrelevant contingency plans. Our reliance on old processes and systems just hasn’t cut it.
Managing uncertainty isn’t just about keeping your head above water, but taking advantage of the opportunities disruption provides to assess the efficacy of your processes, systems and tools.
Here are 5 questions every services leader needs to answer to stay agile and remain vigilant during these uncertain times.
- Can I use uncertainty to my advantage?
- How do I protect revenue as Scopes of Work (SOWs) change?
- Are my teams working in unsafe places?
- How will travel restrictions affect delivery?
- Will mass absenteeism wreck our schedules?
So, if you need a little more guidance answering these questions for yourself, other services leaders within your organization, or your executive team, we’re here to help.
Let’s take a deeper look.
5 Questions every services leader needs to answer to stay agile during disruption
Can I use uncertainty to my advantage?
Ambiguity is running rampant as all types of services organizations (embedded, managed, and professional) figure out how to navigate this “new normal.” Ultimately, the goal is reducing ambiguity that permeates all forms of project risk. Risk can be classified as uncertainty that matters. Operating under these "constraints of ignorance" is like flying blind - making decisions based on guesswork and hunches. It usually results in teams plugging random operational gaps as resource utilization plummets.
Increase your internal communication and collaboration to develop risk-preventing strategies that help ensure you’re effectively utilizing trusted data. Data and analytics offer predictive insights that shed light on both known and unknown project risks.
How do I protect revenue as SOWs change?
When disruption inevitably permeates a business — and it can permeate quickly — agility becomes pertinent. Whether there is project scope change or a shift to your services proposals, agility will be your best defense. Early indicators show many businesses aren’t currently renegotiating services agreements, but they’re strongly considering it.
In order to accelerate time to revenue it’s crucial to be flexible and partner with your customers. Work with them to understand the impacts of the current disruption by evaluating alternatives that benefit both parties while allowing you to maintain recurring streams of revenue.
Are my teams working in unsafe places?
Your people are more important than any project. Leveraging a services automation tool that allows you to correlate high-risk areas with the location of your resources is critical to success. Accommodate virtual (work-from-home) working environments; prioritize asset and technology distribution to your most at-risk team members; and require strict compliance with federal and state directives regarding the pandemic.
How will travel restrictions affect delivery?
Using contingency plans will drive services delivery forward. You must think and act differently with the elimination of travel in different parts of the world. However, you’ll want to do so without impacting the overall quality of your services delivery. Evaluate your services catalogue to assess the effect on each services offering. Then work with your subject matter experts and experienced team members on a modified approach to services delivery that accommodates both your team and customers.
Will mass absenteeism wreck our schedules?
Many organizations are still managing absenteeism with spreadsheets, sick-leave forms, and sometimes even email. That manual, error-prone method is unsustainable when your business is turned on its head. Delivery managers can't access accurate absence records quickly nor adapt the schedule accordingly. In turn, those available resources get burned covering for those suddenly "out of pocket."
Get ahead of sudden, mass absences that might impact your project schedule and delivery. Consider conducting an overall resource skills assessment exercise to better understand potential staffing options. Then develop a contingency plan to have key resources “on deck” to deliver in ways that still meet your project objectives.