Business is not going back to normal with the recent move to Level 2. Many of us are continuing to work from home. Having business disrupted has allowed for thinking time and in many cases opened us up to new ideas of how we can work, in addition to the challenges we need to surmount.

Tools that make a difference

Within the LondonGreen group, a few tools have made all the difference in making better decisions.

Microsoft PowerBI: We have extensively used Microsoft PowerBI to query multiple sources of data, while surfacing opportunities and insights. We have continued to iterate and build on the number of dashboards that we have in place, to better manage business units in real-time and make more effective, data driven decisions.

Orgainimi: During Level 4 we had to re-organise ourselves, traditional tools that we had been using to assist with organisational charts were clunky, slow, and not collaborative. We moved to using Organimi and were able to easily create a number of scenarios. This enabled us to consider how our structure would looks like with growth in 2-3 years’ time.

Monday.com: At Lightwire we are running upwards of fifty projects at any one time, across multiple teams. We always plan out each quarter but had struggled to find a great tool to provide an overview of status, due dates and highlight any roadblocks. We implemented Monday.com to better manage this, enabling both simplicity and a highly visual overview. We also have found it powerful in focusing the senior management team, especially in our fortnightly management meetings.

Useful Tips

During lockdown we developed two useful articles that remain highly relevant it the current Alert Level:
Staying connected when working remotely
Covid-19 cyber security precautions

Considerations

Information Architecture
During lockdown, many businesses found themselves dealing with the realities of where their data is stored and how accessible it is when operating outside of the office. This decentralised approach continues in part in level 2, with some staff in the office, some at home, and others a combination of both.
This is a great time to consider your information architecture and establish what technology and process changes are needed to operate in the post pandemic world.

Key questions to ask:
• Accessibility: Can all staff seamlessly access the data they need from home (or anywhere) without needing to manage clumsy VPN connections?
• Secure with backup coverage: Some of your data might have quickly transitioned to the cloud which presents some clear advantages. That said, how are you managing access to that data? What business rules are in place? And is that data backed up in a way that aligns with your business practice/compliance requirements?
• Search and retrieval: What tools are your staff using to quickly locate documents? Are they wasting time searching or are you using a mature cloud solution that presents your staff with all recent documents and the shared documents of those in their immediate team? When staff can’t locate documents there’s a tendency to recreate similar duplicate documents in other places. Even though your staff might be decentralised, your data should remain as central as possible.

Shadow IT
It could be that members of your business have taken opportunity to adopt new online systems as a means of ‘getting stuff done’. That journey in many ways should be celebrated as it’s at the essence of our kiwi innovative spirit. One of the challenges post pandemic is both discovery and audit.

It’s prudent to ask:
• Which systems have been established?
• What business problem(s) have they solved?
• How are the subscriptions for those systems being paid for? Free trial versions? Or staff covering with personal credit cards?
• If those systems are storing company data, what are the T&C’s when it comes to security and data backup? Who is the administrator for that system in your business? Does the use of this system encourage or discourage data being centrally stored and well managed – refer to information architecture above.
• Do you already have that same capability in an existing system? Do you need to implement that capability having now determined there is a genuine demand?

It is important to take the opportunity to reflect on learnings from the lockdown period. The tools, tips and considerations shared may be useful in prompting this reflection and the identification of key learnings. If you need guidance or support with your technical or process related learnings, get in touch with our team via email or phone 07 957 2650.