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Responsibly Resume IT Operations in the Office

Make sure your IT operations can support safe reopening of offices post COVID-19 pandemic.

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Your Challenge

Having shifted operations almost overnight to a remote work environment, and with the crisis management phase of the COVID-19 pandemic winding down, IT leaders and organizations are faced with the following issues:

  • A reduced degree of control with respect to the organization’s assets.
  • Increased presence of unapproved workaround methods, including applications and devices not secured by the organization.
  • Pressure to resume operations at pre-pandemic cadence while still operating in recovery mode.
  • An anticipated game plan for restarting the organization’s project activities.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

An organization’s shift back toward the pre-pandemic state cannot be carried out in isolation. Things have changed. Budgets, resource availability, priorities, etc., will not be the same as they were in early March. Organizations must ensure that all departments work collaboratively to support office repatriation. IT must quickly identify the must-dos to allow safe return to the office, while prioritizing tasks relating to the repopulation of employees, technical assets, and operational workloads via an informed and streamlined roadmap.

As employees return to the office, PMO and portfolio leaders must sift through unclear requirements and come up with a game plan to resume project activities mid-pandemic. You need to develop an approach, and fast.

Impact and Result

Responsibly resume IT operations in the office:

  • Evaluate risk tolerance
  • Prepare to repatriate people to the office
  • Prepare to repatriate assets to the office
  • Prepare to repatriate workloads to the office
  • Prioritize your tasks and build your roadmap

Quickly restart the engine of your PPM:

  • Restarting the engine of the project portfolio won’t be as simple as turning a key and hitting the gas. The right path forward will differ for every project portfolio practice.
  • Therefore, in this publication we put forth a multi-pass approach that PMO and portfolio managers can follow depending on their unique situations and needs.
  • Each approach is accompanied by a checklist and recommendations for next steps to get you on right path fast.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

As the post-pandemic landscape begins to take shape, ensure that IT can effectively prepare and support your employees as they move back to the office.

1. Evaluate your new risk tolerance

Identify the new risk landscape and risk tolerance for your organization post-pandemic. Determine how this may impact the second wave of pandemic transition tasks.

2. Repatriate people to the office

Prepare to return your employees to the office. Ensure that IT takes into account the health and safety of employees, while creating an efficient and sustainable working environment

3. Repatriate assets to the office

Prepare the organization's assets for return to the office. Ensure that IT takes into account the off-license purchases and new additions to the hardware family that took place during the pandemic response and facilitates a secure reintegration to the workplace.

4. Repatriate workloads to the office

Prepare and position IT to support workloads in order to streamline office reintegration. This may include leveraging pre-existing solutions in different ways and providing additional workstreams to support employee processes.

5. Prioritize your tasks and build the roadmap

Once you've identified IT's supporting tasks, it's time to prioritize. This phase walks through the activity of prioritizing based on cost/effort, alignment to business, and security risk reduction weightings. The result is an operational action plan for resuming office life.

6. Restart the engine of your project portfolio

Restarting the engine of the project portfolio mid-pandemic won’t be as simple as turning a key and hitting the gas. Use this concise research to find the right path forward for your organization.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Evaluate your new risk tolerance

Call #1 - Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.
Call #2 - Discuss results of risk tolerance and risk assessment.

Guided Implementation #2 - Repatriate people to the office

Call #1 - Define process around returning employees to the office.

Guided Implementation #3 - Repatriate assets to the office

Call #1 - Define process around preparing assets for office repopulation.

Guided Implementation #4 - Repatriate workloads to the office

Call #1 - Define process around preparing supporting applications and software for office reintegration.

Guided Implementation #5 - Prioritize your tasks and build your roadmap

Call #1 - Review checklist prioritization and roadmap outputs.
Call #2 - Set outlines for continuous improvement program and revised long-term strategy.