Business Resiliency

4 Best Practices for Maintaining Business Continuity in Uncertain Times – Part 2

By Linda Connor August 12, 2020

Editor’s Note: This is second and final installment in this series and focuses on lessons learned by the Dell Technologies Support Services organization as it transitioned to remote work.

As I explained in my first blog in this series, in March of this year our Dell Technologies Technical Support agents across the globe transitioned from being office-based to remote workers over a weekend. Our team members responded with resilience as they adjusted to their new work environment and managed to provide the same service levels to our customers.

This success is built on strong business management system (BMS) foundations, continuous improvements and a talented team combined with some new lessons learned along the way. Kelly Truax, senior vice president of Client Support Services shared these lessons with me.

1) Go Beyond Paper Plans

Kelly emphasized that the business continuity and resiliency plan (BCRP) must be more than a plan on paper, it must be executable. And you must be able to implement quickly. For example, as thousands of Dell Technical Support agents over the weekend were shifting from in office to remote work around the globe, Kelly and her team quickly set up a Help Desk to assist with the transition.The primary objective was to ensure that our technical support teams stayed focused on the customer and had help with their move. The help desk was staffed by internal specialists who worked to ensure our agents had all the resources, equipment, and process help they needed to be productive.

2) Empower Local Team Leaders and Site Leaders

Local leaders need the authority and flexibility to mobilize what is needed for their teams. They are most familiar with the pulse of their teams, the nuances specific to their site, and the minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour challenges their teams face. Kelly trusted and relied on her team leads in each site to do what they needed to support their teams and get them up and running as quickly and effectively as possible.

3) Take Calculated Risks and Move Quickly

Make decisions quickly and adjust just as swiftly. There’s a natural tendency to want to have all the information before taking action. Kelly’s advice is to gather as much information as possible and make a decision quickly. Sometimes a few key data points are enough to make a calculated risk call and move forward. The key is to decide, act quickly, do a pulse check and adjust on the spot. Finally, use existing processes to roll out and communicate across the organization.

4) Communication is Key

As we were transitioning to work remotely, Kelly and her team learned that many of our partners had employees who were unable to resume their normal work. Working with these partners, the Dell team was able to quickly redeploy many of these partner team members to other roles that were needed to support our customers. Our baseline of a strong foundation in BMS, a solid BCRP that was executable, and the ability to adjust quickly allowed us to be successful. These were supported by ongoing, regular communication that kept teams safe, informed and aligned. And it helped leaders assess updates, make changes, which were communicated a crisp, clear way for the teams to execute. It was a win-win-win for our customers, our partners and Dell Technologies.

How We All Learned and Won

As I reflect on my conversation with Kelly, it is clear we have a lot to be proud of including the response of our Services leaders, our team members across the ranks and our partners as well as our company leaders who set the tone for us all to do what is right.

What did we learn? Take advantage of the foundations you have built to pave the way to solve new problems. Have courage to act even if you might not have all the answers. Then, check in with your teams and adjust quickly. And never forget crisp, clear and regular communication keeps the team rowing together in the right direction. There is no secret formula, but these are lessons you can put in your toolkit to use any time. Doing the right thing translates to the painstaking hard work of building foundations, having conversations, making decisions quickly and adjusting when needed. It’s not glamorous, but it is effective. I salute and thank all our Dell Technologies Support Services agents, the heroes who keep our customers productive all day, every day.

To learn more about how Dell Technologies Services staff members are assisting customers, check out this blog which explains how we helped Honeywell and Hamilton Bonaduz AG ramp up production and this video about equipping Austin Street Center workers to work remotely.

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