On Thursday, March 12, 2020, we executed our Continuity of Operations (COOP) for the first time. Fast forward eight weeks, 90% of our people are working virtually and 10% of our people continue supporting our clients and their missions on the frontlines.
Like many leaders trying to determine how to navigate COVID-19, I was nervous and anxious, a feeling that I always got before the start of a sports game. But when the symbolic whistle blew on March 12, it was game time. All those feelings rushed through my veins and I became hungry and focused on protecting my team to position for the win.
Executing our COOP in the height of a pandemic is also the first time that many of our human-centered design capabilities were leveraged to enhance our own operations and answer important questions like: how do we continue to onboard people during the pandemic, how do we enhance our logistics, and how do improve collaboration and not miss a beat?
Since there’s no playbook for leading through a pandemic, we focused on optimizing the new business model of operating virtually. Here are some of the plays we’ve developed over the last eight weeks:
Play 1: Growing the Team
Our first decision fundamentally changed how we operate today. We decided not to cancel our new hire orientation on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our processes were well documented, team leaders were prepared, and systems were upgraded (Microsoft Teams and Zoom were recently deployed to our workforce).
Automate, AUTOMATE, automate – focus on enhancing employee experience across IT Operations, Security, and On-boarding