What is your organization doing to keep operating as normally as possible? As COVID-19 continues to affect daily life for people around the globe, a question on many people’s minds is how organizations can be prepared to face crises and ensure continuity of operations
As part of our normal operations, Veoci implemented our own internal business continuity management program based on practitioner expertise and industry best practices. The Veoci Team’s COVID-19 response was launched as the result of a business continuity plan (BCP) activation, and we are using the tools and features it activated to keep things running as smoothly as possible. We practice preparedness as much as we preach it.
Developing the Plan
We’ve coupled our experience in crisis management and business continuity with the news and information coming in from sources such as the WHO and CDC to mount a strong, knowledgeable response to this pandemic. This knowledge is only as good as our ability to put it into action, and share it properly.
That means having a plan that is directly actionable. It means having a system that will, with a click of a button:
- Stand up a virtual command and operations response center, with all the tools needed
- Launch workflows that get the right approvals by the right people
- Activate BCPs immediately when decisions are made and/or thresholds have been reached
- Get all the right people notified and on the same page
- Automatically assign appropriate tasks
- Initiate the correct processes to gather information
- Create dashboards for managers and employees, and keep them up to date
In all of this, communication is at the forefront of the plan. With the Veoci platform, which allows for communication via threaded chats, SMS, phone, and email, our employees stay in the know from anywhere. Additionally, since nearly all of our internal processes and operations are conducted on solutions we’ve built ourselves in Veoci, our office is able to seamlessly migrate to a remote work scenario. In these types of situations, Veoci believes that more communication is always better than not enough.
In terms of our response to COVID-19, Veoci started by quarantining people who have traveled recently, then moved to a completely remote work directive. We have placed a prohibition on work related travel and constantly remind people to practice social distancing and quarantining to help prevent contact, and thus the spread of the virus.
Training to Ensure Success
Another way Veoci is trying to stay ahead of the game is through training exercises and drills. As it became apparent that coronavirus was going to become a pandemic, we tested our continuity measures in anticipation of the virus’ spread:
- Confirmed accuracy and updated data in our BCP
- Ran a training exercise involving a series of communications with staff members to provide them with essential information
- Executed a live drill in which employees were required to work from home for a day
- Learned where there were any gaps or miscues and fixed them
During the drill, the staff was asked to take a survey covering two areas: 1) technical data about their work from home situation, e.g. internet speeds, devices they had access to; 2) reflection on the remote day and what’s needed to guarantee that jobs can get done and Veoci can continue to operate smoothly, e.g. extra monitors, the need revise schedules.
This exercise helped provide all the information up front to leadership so they could face it head on instead of retroactively scrambling to get things together after an activation.
A Focus on Health and Safety
Overall, Veoci’s number one goal is the health and safety of our staff, and we practice it everyday. Working from home, extra cleaning and disinfecting, and practicing social distancing are reactive measures. Being proactive in our daily operations is also required to keep everyone safe and healthy. That means little things like telling people who are sick to stay home, or making sure that our work environments are sanitary and safe. It also means enabling best practices through our People Operations and having an environment where everyone is allowed to express their opinion freely.
Every organization is now dealing with COVID-19, and every organization has had a few surprises, ourselves included. The key to being able to deal with these unexpected incidents within the larger context of responding to the pandemic is to keep preparedness at the forefront of our objectives. To do that we keep the lines of communication open, we keep our plans up to date and actionable, and we are always ready to adapt to changing conditions.
For more details about what we’re doing as a company, see An Update from Veoci on coronavirus (COVID-19)