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Your Tomorrow – celebrating job hunting success stories from around the globe

The current crisis is affecting so many people in so many ways. And if you have lost your job, or feel your role is at risk, it can be a worrying time for you.We have created Your Tomorrow to help. We are publishing the stories of people across the world who have successfully found new roles in technology. We want their stories to inspire you, to show what is possible, and to give practical insights and advice so you can successfully follow in their footsteps.Your Tomorrow was created by Harvey Nash Group because we wanted to do something to help the technology community in these difficult times.The site is free to all, no registration required, and we invite submissions from anyone and anywhere.In short, we hope by visiting Your Tomorrow, one of our future stories is yours...Find out more at yourtomorrow.io.

Scotland Job Index

Monday 10th August 2020After a very minor dip last week, it is fantastic to see a solid increase in new opportunities within IT across Scotland as we enter into the middle of August.To create The Scotland Job Index, every week we will count the number of tech jobs in Scotland that are advertised on leading IT recruitment websites, including S1 Jobs, City Jobs, Jobserve, Jobsite, CW Jobs etc. We also include Harvey Nash’s own recruitment website.

Discover The New Future of Work - Videos and podcasts from leaders across the world

Harvey Nash are delighted to launch a major new video and podcast series where leaders across the world talk about the current crisis, and what work will be like when the world get backs to normal. Whatever ‘normal’ means.  www.harveynash.com/futureworkWe feature discussions with CEOs, leaders and talent heads from organisations ranging from Microsoft, Sage and ING Bank to small start-ups and global media companies like World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. All responding to the challenges presented by the crisis. The New Future of Work is a series of five video panel discussions, accompanied by a podcast channel. More videos and podcasts will follow.  Discover The New Future of Work here:www.harveynash.com/futurework

Mental health in UK Tech deteriorates in lockdown

- Easing of lockdown restrictions and return to offices raises stress levels further - Jump in those concerned about their mental health compared to before the pandemic - Many are concerned about their mental health for the first ever time - Job security and not being able to switch off – top causes  London, June 10 2020 - The easing of lockdown restrictions and a return to offices is raising the stress levels of over a quarter of UK tech professionals (26%) at a time when over 1 in 3 (36%) report that their mental health has deteriorated during Covid-19, finds a new Harvey Nash Study. The easing of lockdown restrictions has left tech professionals worrying most about bringing Covid-19 back into the home, and the health risk of their daily commute.  Those tech professionals (60%) that have been/are concerned about their mental health has risen 16% from before the pandemic - this rise is equivalent to an increase of almost 200,000 of the UK’s tech workforce[1]. These findings are published in a new study by global technology recruiter, Harvey Nash, in association with This Can Happen, the world’s largest online workplace mental health conference. The survey of 1,600 UK technology professionals comprised of – a wider survey prior to the Covid-19 global crisis, and then a Pulse Survey[2] during the crisis to measure the mental wellness of UK Tech’s workforce in lockdown. Other key findings include: Concerned about mental health for the first ever time - Of those people (27%) actively concerned about their mental wellbeing now, 35% say this is the first ever time they have been concerned.For 1 in 10 the stress they’re feeling is negatively impacting on their work - This is almost twice as likely to apply to permanent workers as to IT contractors. IT roles under most pressure - Those in Project/Programme Management or IT Operational roles, who were under most strain to rapidly move large workforces into remote/virtual environments, have seen their mental health affected the most. Prior to the crisis, 1 in 5 workers[3] in IT Operations were concerned about their mental health, but this has risen to around 1 in 3 as a result of Covid-19. Help and support… Although 56% of companies have increased the level of personal/emotional/home working support provided during the crisis, half still don’t provide formal support for mental health issues. This is having a significant impact, with  three quarters (75%) of those working for unsupportive companies being either concerned about their mental health now or in the past. This drops by a quarter amongst very supportive companies. Staff at unsupportive companies are also more likely to have seen their mental health deteriorate during lockdown.Chris Seel, a Director at Harvey Nash Group, said: “Our research reveals the extent of the mental health challenge facing the tech sector – and, by extension, the whole of the UK business community. The ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic are far-reaching and people are already feeling the strain, many of them for the first time. Whilst it’s encouraging that the majority of businesses have increased the levels of support they provide, there remains much further to go.Employers are frequently good at introducing informal support mechanisms such as online resources or voluntary networks, but providing formal support such as counselling is harder to do and costlier as well. With staff having moved to remote working – and likely to spend more time working remotely on an ongoing basis – the task becomes more difficult still. With less face-to-face contact, it is harder for managers to pick up on the signs that someone is struggling. Individuals are less likely to reach out for support if that first, immensely difficult conversation needs to be by phone or video call. Mental health support becomes much more difficult at the time when it is needed most.”  Zoe Sinclair, Co-Founder, This Can Happen, added: “It’s encouraging to see that 56% of companies have increased the level of personal and emotional support to their employees. However, at such an uncertain time we believe that this figure should be much higher as looking after your employees’ mental health should be a top priority for all businesses.” Switching off in an ‘Always on’ world Prior to the crisis Harvey Nash discovered that the single highest cause of stress was the perennial issue of being short of staff, however during the crisis, the top three causes changed markedly to: Not having any time to personally switch off (46%)Worrying about losing their job (41%)‘Always on’ technology (33%) Around a third of those tech professionals with children also reported that caring for/home schooling children is one of the main causes of their stress. With schools only opening up for a limited number of children in June, this issue is likely to continue for most. In general, the Harvey Nash study found that you’re more likely to see your mental health deteriorate during Covid-19 if: You’re working, rather than furloughedYou have a familyYou work more than 50+ hours a weekYou work for an unsupportive company Coping strategies…a quarter have turned to alcohol. To help cope with enforced isolation and rising work and personal/family pressures, almost a quarter (24%) of tech professionals have increased their consumption of alcohol. At the same time, other popular coping strategies include – increasing exercise levels (63%), dedicating more time to a hobby/past-time (53%), and a fifth have either practised mindfulness/yoga or other meditative activity, or sought counsel from friends and family.  The Midlands is hit the hardest Regionally, those in the Midlands (46%) and the South East (38%) are most likely to have seen a deterioration in their mental wellbeing. Chris Seel, a Director at Harvey Nash Group, concluded: “In these challenging times for individuals and businesses, and with conditions likely to be difficult for months or even years ahead, there is a real risk that mental health could continue to deteriorate. That is why now is the time for businesses to act and do everything they can to get the right support in place. Mental health support is not a one-time fix – it needs to be continually reviewed and refreshed. It needs to be high up the executive agenda and have senior backing. Failure to respond to what is evolving in front of us now could lead to much bigger problems further down the line.”You can access the full report here.   -ENDS-Media Contacts: David Pippett ProServ PR david@proservpr.com +44 (0) 7899 798197 About the Harvey Nash Study Harvey Nash surveyed 1,600 UK technology professionals – a wider survey prior to the Covid-19 global crisis (over 1200), and then a Pulse Survey during the crisis (almost 400) to measure the mental wellness of UK Tech’s workforce in lockdown compared to prior to the pandemic. About Harvey Nash Shaping your tomorrow We are global leaders in technology recruitment, delivering solutions that connect organisations with the very best talent – from software developers to business transformation leaders.  With over 30 years’ experience and global reach, we have an unparalleled knowledge and capability in all areas of technology.​ www.harveynash.com  Harvey Nash is part of Harvey Nash Group, a global professional services organisation with three key areas of focus: Technology recruitment, IT solutions and Leadership services. We partner with clients, helping them unlock the power of individual and team talent. www.harveynashgroup.com What is This Can Happen? This Can Happen is the largest gathering of companies across the world, coming together to tackle workplace mental health. We support employers and employees across the world to create a positive environment for good mental health in the workplace. Everything we do is solutions-led. Building on our London conference our global online event (23-25 November) provides delegates with relevant answers to a range of mental health topics, our Awards celebrate excellence in mental health strategies and our networking events enable likeminded individuals to meet and learn with their peers. We provide free to access online resources - including videos, podcasts and research – around workplace mental health: https://www.thiscanhappenevents.com/resources  Our virtual conference, This Can Happen 2020, takes place 23-25 November 2020. You can find out more as well as buy tickets here: https://www.thiscanhappenevents.com/conference/online-event [1] The UK government calculates there are 1.3 million jobs in technology in the UK (Source: ONS). With 60% of the UK’s tech professionals concerned about their mental health either in the past or right now, rising 16% from before the pandemic, this is an equivalent rise of almost 200,000 (180,000) of the UK’s tech workforce concerned about their mental health. [2] The Harvey Nash Pulse Survey was conducted between 22nd May – 3rd June 2020 – week’s 10 & 11 of the Covid-19 UK lockdown. [3] The 1 in 5 in IT Operations concerned about their mental health reported this in the last quarter of 2019 - prior to the first case of Covid-19.

Our world has changed, but has our technology? Take part in the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey

The Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey is the world’s largest and most widely reported global study of technology trends.Take part here.For over two decades we have charted the rapidly evolving world of technology, and along the way have shone a light on key world events: from the dot com bubble to the Great Recession of 2008, to the data and cloud revolution of the last decade.With this year’s CIO Survey we turn our focus to the effect of the Covid-19 crisis. With our large sample size – which covers most major countries, all in various stages of responding to the crisis – we plan to make this the most comprehensive report on how organisations are making lasting changes to their business and technology strategies. All in a world getting to grips with uncertainty, social isolation, rapid digitisation, leaps in innovation… and Zoom.This year’s survey is shorter than usual (around 16 minutes). All respondents will receive a copy of the report when it’s published later in the year, as well as an invite to an event to discuss the findings.Take part here.

Black Lives Matter: Message from the CEO

Today marks Blackout Tuesday, an opportunity, following the horrific death of George Floyd in the U.S., to pause and think about the world around us. To recognise how racism still exists, and how far we still need to travel to make our world a fairer, more inclusive place.For over a decade, Harvey Nash Group has avidly supported and promoted diversity and inclusion. But even with this background, recent events have made me think much harder about the important role we play in driving progress. We don’t have all the answers, nor are we perfect, but we do take our role seriously. We stand in solidarity. And we stand against racism.Bev White CEO Harvey Nash Group

The future of work comes early

The Covid-19 pandemic is challenging us all – individuals, families and businesses – to do things differently. But while some of this may be difficult and frustrating, other aspects are actually proving themselves to be transformational, speeding up changes that may have happened gradually over time anyway and, in that sense, propelling us into the future.One of those aspects is remote working. The speed with which Covid-19 has forced companies into universal remote working has moved us forward to a place that, in my view, we will never return from.Almost overnight, entire workforces are operating from home, connecting to work systems via Virtual Private Networks (VPN) or the cloud, and speaking (and waving) to each other on video conferencing facilities like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype.The traditional barriers to all of this - such as not having the appropriate software, not feeling personally confident about appearing in a video chat/meeting, worrying about how your kitchen table will look on screen - have now essentially been removed. It has been a real tipping point in how, and where, we work.I don’t believe that this will just melt away post-crisis. Looking forward, I think that we can expect a significant proportion of what used to be carried out face to face moving to an online environment – people have got used to working this way and many have had a ‘ta dah!’ moment realising that it actually works.What’s more, employees may question why they need to put up with a long daily commute when things have reverted to normal, when they can work as effectively from home for large parts of the week or month.Not just a rose-tinted viewI can see some valid push-backs to this. Some may say that we are all looking at remote working through ‘rose tinted spectacles’ at the moment. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s happening in extraordinary circumstances - everyone is available at home, all united by a strong sense of purpose to get things done. Will it all gradually wear off post Covid-19?Well, for one thing we just don’t know when exactly we’ll be able to talk about ‘post Covid-19’ – that may not be for a considerable period of time. And secondly, my feeling is that the acceptance of the principle of remote working is with us to stay. Of course, people will generally return to offices when it’s safe to do so, but there seems little doubt that nearly all of us will spend more time than before working remotely. Indeed, we may come to stop talking about ‘remote’ working altogether. It could become just ‘working’ – part of the normal mix of how things are done.Nevertheless, the virtual world will not entirely replace the real one. In fact, face to face meetings will arguably become even more important – because they will occur more sparingly and so will mean more. Our city centres and business districts will not disappear after all. Critical face to face meetings will still take place and key business decisions and agreements will still tend to be made in person. Socially, meanwhile, having a drink with friends on a WhatsApp channel may work when we’re all socially isolated, but you soon realise that you need to actually meetup with each other for a proper social experience.Overall, however, I have no doubt that what we are experiencing right now will have a long-term effect on how we work in the future.Tech investment will rise after proving that it worksOf course, this wouldn’t be the case if the technology had fallen over during this period. But in fact it has stood up remarkably well and proven that it can work (albeit there have been some security issues reported – with instances of video calls being hacked into – that certainly need addressing).At Harvey Nash Group, online collaboration tools have been very supportive to our business, and scalability has not been an issue. The real scaling issue for us is how we grow our use of the collaboration tools now that they have become a ‘must have’ in this newly remote world. For some parts of the business it’s pretty much business as usual, for others – often the ones that have strong face to face social networks – we are having to apply the tools in different ways.All of these factors mean that technology will be even more central to how businesses work, and we can expect to see an increase in investment in hardware, software and automation technology. Businesses will need to invest even more in laptops, mobile devices and soft phones. Offshored IT services will rise in demand as businesses realise the advantages of this over self-run systems. Demand for cloud services will hugely spike to provide the bandwidth and capacity needed. Pressure on on-premise servers will increase exponentially while the cloud offers a scaled, reliable and secure environment with fail-over safeguards.Through this crisis, businesses are needing to think about every aspect of how they operate, and technology is crucial to that. Technology firms need to rise to that challenge and think about how they can help organisations adapt: innovation must accelerate, not decelerate.These are extraordinarily difficult times for people and economies on a global scale. We owe it to ourselves that the creativity and innovation coming out of the crisis should not go to waste.

Staying connected during COVID-19

At Harvey Nash, we have a great reputation in the market with supporting our clients with cutting edge thought leadership solutions and this will not stop, however, none of us could ever have been ready for the impact of COVID-19 some 8 or 9 weeks ago.The subsequent business and social aspects of lockdown and working from home for the entire nation gave us the opportunity to think about how we engage differently with our clients and colleagues in a new world of work. And the results have been quite extraordinary!During this difficult time, we have utilized digital social platforms like never before. Internally, we are now experts on Microsoft Teams and we are also getting to grips with Yammer as a business communication tool. With clients, we are using Zoom to continue to meet and we are finding that our relationships with valued clients are deepening even more.What surprised us was that our contacts were really pleased to connect with us and they wanted more! So, we introduced quiz nights and they were really well attended. At that time, we decided that as we had a collective and willing audience we’d do even more! And so became the start of twice weekly HIIT classes (I kid you not)! They are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12.30pm, and hosted by David Savage. They are just brilliant.  Anyone can join, so please drop me a note if you'd like to take part!And the fun doesn’t stop there. Last Thursday, we had the absolute privilege to host a wine tasting masterclass with Helen Savage, who is one of Britain’s most respected and knowledgeable wine writers and educators.In addition to this, we have hosted poker nights and themed socials, the list is endless.Yesterday we had a presentation for our clients about Emotional Wellbeing hosted by Paul Crittenden which was amazing and received exceptional feedback, and next week we will be joined by registered Nutritional Therapist, Florence Wylde Nicholas for a session on Gut Feeling: the key to a healthy gut and a happy mind.All of these activities and use of digital social might not have happened if we weren’t looking for creative ways to stay connected and deepen our business relationships.Being able to strengthen our valued relationships through this uncertain period is what we are about at Harvey Nash. I feel as proud to work for the company today, as when I first joined.My reflections are that although we might be more distant in miles than ever right now, we are closer than we’ve ever been before and everyone has played a role in that, its really great getting to know people better...Thank you to everyone who has joined us so far and I look forward to seeing you at our next event.Stay safe, Andy

Harvey Nash Group CEO explains new site for staff on Furlough

Bev White, CEO Harvey Nash Group, talks about innovation, internal collaboration and employee engagement, for the Group’s new site aimed at its furloughed employeesLike many businesses, the pandemic crisis has meant the Harvey Nash Group has recently focused on keeping staff safe, protecting jobs and maintaining the financial health of the business. Also like many businesses we have used the Furlough schemes in a number of countries to support us through these more uncertain phases.At our heart we are a people business with great tech know how. And it was really important to us that our furloughed staff, whilst not working, were still able to feel part of the Harvey Nash Group family. We wanted them to keep up to date with the latest news, as well as have opportunities to learn and grow throughout their time away from work.In Harvey Nash Group one of the jewels in our crown is our IT Solutions business NashTech. In a very short time, having outlined the kind of experience I wanted our furloughed staff to have, they quickly went away and with great style and insight came back with a short demo site.There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your ideas turned into reality and seeing it meant that it was easy to make changes and adapt it before it went into final production.Today we are launching the site to our furloughed staff. I feel contented that we are offering some real value to our people and letting them see that, whilst it’s not possible for them to work at the moment, they have every opportunity to learn new skills so that they come back refreshed and renewed. The site is built in the Microsoft Teams environment, which is embedded across our businesses worldwide.For those organisations who would like to provide a similar experience for their employees during these tough times we can easily adapt and create your own experience, whether you currently have Teams or not. Please do get in contact to understand how this can be achieved.In the words of Maya Angelou ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.

Beware Autopilot: What are the implications of business turning to automation?

At the beginning of the lockdown a report appeared in The Guardian with the headline, “Bosses speed up automation as virus keeps workers home”. The article centred around a report from EY claiming livelihoods were at risk as 41% of employers prepare for life after the crisis. But why is automation now being seen as the silver bullet, and at what cost financially, culturally and across society?Last week 12,000 people learned that they are losing their jobs at British Airways, and Ryanair appears set to follow with massive cuts. Whilst aviation is particularly hit, this crisis is hurting countless households with unemployment in a number of countries hitting record highs. The cost to families, as well as business, is huge. It feels like life ‘after’ the crisis will more closely resemble the new norm, rather than a return to what we all took for granted.I have spoken to a number of businesses in recent weeks who tell me they won’t be returning to their office; even those that do won’t return wholesale, with organisations considering who really needs to be in a physical office and why? Businesses who previously had never considered home working (and were resistant to it) are now wondering why they’d ever go back, and the longer lockdown continues the more that thinking will take root.What this has revealed is that many organisations simply weren’t prepared; their business continuity planning failed, and automation would appear to be the way to protect their business moving forward. In this context, automation makes absolute sense. If business continuity is threatened you can’t plan effectively, and businesses hate uncertainty.The problem is companies were making a pigs-ear of automation pre-pandemic, so why is it going to be a success now? Let’s consider the reasons automation typically fails.Cost. It costs a lot of money to build an enterprise-scale data machine. Right now, businesses are cutting and furloughing because we’re headed (most probably) into a deep recession. The impact of Covid-19 hasn’t really hit the B2B sector. Q1 results will have held up, Q2 will flatline. Q3 will bite hard as costs are added back into the business and the government stops footing the bill. At that point money is going to be tight and automation (whilst attractive) might be bumped down the list of immediate concerns as demands are made on a dwindling pot of cash, which brings us to point two.Sponsorship. It is going to take a very strong, united boardroom to realise the benefits of an automation project. Are your marketing, talent, people, and technology leaders going to remain committed to the project when they need money elsewhere? It normally takes a Chief Data Officer (or the equivalent post) to have the ear of a steadfast CEO to see this sort of transformation through.Time. It takes time, on average between 18 months to 2 years, to build a data machine in an enterprise environment. For a start, are organisations sitting on structured data? Has home working and a fragmented estate made that data harder to manage? I would imagine it has.These three areas alone presented a huge challenge to businesses prior to the pandemic, nevermind now. For a lot of businesses simply switching to remote working was a challenge, it took time to understand how to use the wide array of communications tools such as Teams and Zoom.Whereas automation is big and exciting, you need to make sure your business communicates properly and you capture the ideas of all of your employees. That may be a much bigger threat to the long-term health of the business if not addressed properly. It isn’t enough to simply hold a daily stand-up on a conference call; organisations must consider very carefully how to ensure they are truly inclusive and the new norm doesn’t lead to a narrowing of ideas.So, what are the positives regarding automation? I recently spoke to Riham Satti, founder of MeVitae, TedX speaker, and heavily involved in the application of machine learning to business environments. She highlighted that large organisations simply aren’t that adaptable and the use of automation should be limited, even if it can now be done more quickly than previously envisaged.“What you don’t want to do is end up executing all these steps and measures, and realising you’ve done it wrong. The fact that the lockdown enables business to do this fast, is a positive thing. This is where business can use the lean approach, or an MVP, and set things in motion and take baby-steps. It doesn’t have to go from zero to one hundred.”More importantly, she highlighted the need for businesses to act with responsibility and accountability. This shouldn’t be simply about protecting margins and profits, but reskilling staff and augmenting corporations rather than wholesale automating them.“It’s the perfect time to automate… but that doesn’t mean laying off jobs and people. There are roles that require human interaction.” That subtle difference between whether the ‘A’ stands for automation or augmentation could have long lasting implications for our society and economy. The 80s saw a rapid deindustrialisation of modern western democracies. The cultural impact of that period has been felt in countless elections over the past five years, disenfranchised communities have made their voice heard. If 41% of businesses are preparing for life after the pandemic, we need to hope they do so with heart.  

A free gift from Harvey Nash to help in challenging times – World Class Learning & Development

Harvey Nash is delighted to announce a global partnership with Uhubs, an innovative platform that delivers live Masterclasses for remote upskilling. The partnership offers Harvey Nash’s community of clients, contractors and staff access to high quality learning and development content, delivered by world-wide experts focusing on three key topics: personal development, sales & marketing and emerging technology.Uhubs Masterclasses are delivered by people who have built substantial experience in their area, including CEOs and entrepreneurs, as well as subject matter experts like data scientists, marketing practitioners and business coaches. Example upcoming sessions include: Harness your stress when you can’t reduce it; The top 4 strategies to get your brand, business or idea known; The hardest business challenges and how to deal with them.The service has been paid for by Harvey Nash for the next 6 months and is offered free of charge to all our clients, contractors and staff during this period, to help during the current challenging times.A full list of Masterclasses for May and instructions on how to sign up is at the bottom of this page.Bev White, CEO Harvey Nash Group commented: ‘I am delighted to offer this learning and development opportunity to our community of clients, contactors and staff. Harvey Nash Group has been helping technology and business experts with their careers for over three decades, and we recognise that for many the current period may be extremely challenging. We are delighted to ‘give something back’ and hope that through Uhubs we are able to offer skills and knowledge that can help build resilience through this period, as well as opportunities for growth when the market returns.’Uhubs cofounder Matt Milligan added: ‘Our partnership with Harvey Nash will open up access to live Masterclasses with Uhubs Experts for thousands around the world. This partnership demonstrates our shared commitment to supporting the business and tech sectors, and is a stepping stone to fulfilling our mission to upskill 1 billion people by 2030.'Live Masterclasses for May (all times are UK):Understanding your ideal customer – and what they want 5th of May, 18:30-20:00Harness Your Stress When You Can’t Reduce It 7th of May, 12:00 - 13:00Turning Followers into Clients using Instagram 12th of May, 18:30 - 20:00The Art of Narrative: Learn to Lead, Influence, and Sell Through Story 13th of May, 12:00 - 13:00How to Validate Your Idea with Your Target Audience 20th of May, 18:30 - 20:00The hardest business challenges and how to deal with them 20th of May, 12:00 - 13:0015 Actionable Tips to Drive B2B Sales Through LinkedIn 26th of May, 18:30 - 20:00How to have more "Aha" moments in your business 27th of May, 12:00 - 13:00To register for the upcoming Masterclasses, simply sign up here: https://www.uhubs.co.uk/harvey-nashAbout Harvey Nash GroupHarvey Nash Group is a global professional services organisation with three key areas of focus: Technology recruitment, IT solutions and Leadership services.With 36 offices across the world we partner with clients, helping them unlock the power of individual and team talent.www.harveynashgroup.comAbout UhubsUhubs is a platform that helps professionals learn state of the art skills through live masterclasses and 1:1 coaching from real world experts.www.uhubs.co.uk

Are Transformations Still On Course?

The UK is now in its sixth week of lockdown and for most private sector companies, transformation has either slowed, or been abandoned completely. Reducing non-critical spend and improving cash flow has been top priority over the last few weeks. We have seen organisations slash contractor numbers and heavily utilise the Government’s furlough scheme.With such a heavily reliance on contractors for transformation, the majority of our clients are seriously concerned about how they reengage with their alumni, once the market picks up again. We are already looking at severely delayed transformations, so the time and cost spent on hiring, on-boarding and knowledge transfer (to fresh blood), will only delay things further. Others are questioning the use of contractors at all when business returns, opting instead to use consultancies to deliver projects through a Statement of Work agreement.I wanted to get a snapshot of how transformation programmes are progressing during the pandemic, so I reached out to three transformational leaders whose programmes are still continuing, and have shared their thoughts below. Transformation Programme - InsuranceWhilst this transformation has slowed a little, it hasn’t stopped – particularly on the task-focused elements of the programme. There have of course been areas of reprioritisation, and the business has shelved some of the more ‘fun’ and creative elements of the programme due to the difficulty of getting people together to co-create. Along with everyone else, the programme team has been moved to working from home and offered flexible hours. The UK workforce has adapted well to this, but there have been issues with the move to remote working for their offshore partners in India who support the programme. As a country, India doesn’t appear to be as well versed in remote working and some partners have taken time to acclimatise. This may have a negative long-term impact and push the programme off track.Looking at the positives, the assumption is that working from home will become more normal, and this may actually increase productivity longer-term. There is also an expectation that those impacted by the crisis may now be more open and less resistant to change, having had to learn to adapt to this situation relatively quickly. The pandemic has also given the business time to rethink its approach to the programme. It’s now looking at building relationships with new suppliers, bringing in more senior resources, and taking advantage of recruiting high quality staff who are furloughed or no longer required in other organisations.Transformation Programme – Retail (Fashion)Things are still progressing on this transformation programme, but at a much slower pace. The plan and the budget have been side-lined for the time being, so the business is having to take a far more opportunistic approach. This means looking for sequences of activity that can be usefully strung together. They have been in a lucky position where some of their factories have stayed open, so orders are still being completed, and the business has taken full advantage of that. Where staff are available, they plan to stitch together a “hotchpotch” of completed projects into a programme. They feel this opportunistic, fragmented approach is better than stopping completely.So how are they going to kick-start the programme when normality returns? Of course, that depends on the appetite of the Board, and on cashflow. The Board has shown courage in agreeing to the opportunistic approach as described above, but ultimately it will be driven by customers’ behaviour/confidence and their needs for the business’ products and services. Over the coming months it’s expected that all transformation/change activity will become much more focused on the short term, and therefore leaner - unless the Board feels there are opportunities it wishes to take. Any programme is a response to the prevailing circumstances and opportunities, and these have obviously changed dramatically.Transformation Programme – Facilities ManagementThe business has agreed to pause all large change programmes and defer them until an appropriate time later in the year. This has allowed its operational teams to concentrate on operational business, which is where they believe their focus needs to be at this time. This big increase in demand for operational change has ultimately caused a prioritisation issue on resource allocation. Whilst the change programmes are still important, without a greater level of organisational stability and operational focus, delivery is difficult due their complexity. Thus, operational projects will continue to be priority for the foreseeable future. When larger change initiatives eventually restart, priorities will be determined through the portfolio. They will review the original scope and ensure that considerations from both inside and outside of the organisation are reflected. Not knowing when the organisation will be in a steady state again makes it difficult to plan any restarts properly. The organisation is already planning for a return to ‘normal’; it’s just a question of when.So, what now?The next few months are going to be interesting for transformation leaders. They could potentially be looking at a very different landscape in twelve weeks’ time; with revised budgets, reprioritised projects and depleted resource plans.One of the biggest factors at play here is knowing when the Government will lift the restrictions on lockdown. Once this is agreed and businesses know when their workforce can return, the real planning can start. Until then, those that are continuing to deliver change and transformation programmes are responding to more short term business priorities, with a heavily reduced workforce.

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