COVID 19 times has been very stressful; a worldwide pandemic or an act of God (as they say in usual insurance terms and conditions small print).
The big question is
How to stay afloat and How to stay relevant in these times?
The quick answer is:Let’s cut the costs.
A general ‘Reduce all costs’ trend has been observed in most organisations irrespective of the size/business area/customer profile. It seems the organisations are only looking at the current situation with how do survive and adopting the cost cutting approach will provide short-term relief.
Hit with the pandemic under shareholder pressure to maintain profits then such thinking seems a no-brainer. ‘Reduce all costs’ only answers ‘How to stay afloat?’
However, the world has changed and we need to go beyond survival and need to adapt and strive. Don’t we?
This tragic global COVID-19 pandemic has had a tragic impact on our lives and the global economy we’ve been forced to stay at home and stay physically apart from each other which has led to the largest world digital adoption:
- Most of the people ‘who could’ are working from home. This is the biggest digital revolution.
- Cash or a cheque is not popular / cards are /mobile payments are/ contactless payments are.
- Travel is temporarily blocked but push bikes are out.
- Supermarkets are buzzing with door to door deliveries. First due to panic buying and now due to changed habits. New retail models are on the rise.
- Information travels at the speed of light. Whatsapp/ Facebook / social media platforms have become the main carriers rather than newspapers and television.
- Lockdowns have led humans to be a little more caring and kinder.
- The environment is a topic of almost all conversations. Next holiday plans and next gadget to buy has taken a back seat.
- People who have garden spaces are turning into pot farmers. Garden centres are buzzing with socially distanced shoppers.
- DIY jobs are a way to keep you busy.
- Nature is healing and pollution levels are decreasing.
- And many more!!!
Shall we not look at these times differently:
- Digital revolution has been done on a massive scale.
- The customer base of the new world understands its exact needs.
- The new society will be an environment conscious / justice-loving society.
Business agility is the ability to respond to market and operational needs, this the best opportunity for organisations to exercise and grow their business agility muscles. We can see that organisations with business agility capability have adapted and have gone beyond surviving and are thriving while others are struggling.
How do you grow and exercise your business agility muscles?
- What do our customers need right now
- How can we deliver it sooner and better
The first thing we need to do is to ignore the sunk cost, this is hard but it is a crucial first step. I am not aware of any organisation who was expecting a pandemic and there are many in-flight initiatives that were started before the pandemic and we need to look at these and stop all the initiatives that are no longer relevant regardless of the amount of money already spent on them, the sunk cost. Divert the capacity on what we need right now.
What the customers need right now?
This is subject for a different detailed post, for now, we consider
- the analysis of what they the customer contacting you for on the various available channels
- the market needs including government restrictions and help available
How can we deliver it sooner?
Now that we have identified the need we want to consider
Form the hypothesis about the need and define the early indicators
What is the simplest thing we can do validate this hypothesis
How are we organised to deliver in the most effective way
What is our release strategy
Be ready to pivot or continue
We enable organisations to deliver faster our Better Product Faster workshop shows you how to eliminate the waste and manage queues. Organisations who attend the workshop have achieved the following results
- Product development time reduced by 62%
- Development cost reduced by 52%
- Staff from high stress to no stress