Several weeks ago businesses faced an unprecedented challenge that none of us had been expecting. We want to share some of the steps that Globant took to maintain and improve service delivery to our clients during this time. We hope these insights will be helpful to other organizations which are still adapting to the “new normal”.
There were four main elements to the shift that Globant made, which we will discuss in turn:
- Rapid move to working from home
- Implementing new tools to ensure visibility into teams and quick escalation methods
- Putting in place “SideBySide” delivery and providing emotional support
- Focus on ongoing education and certifications
Rapid shift to work from home
We made the decision for all our people to work from home on 16 March. This was before many governments had announced lock-downs or stay-in-place orders. Some of our client accounts had to agree to the final arrangements with client stakeholders (in particular from legal, infrastructure, and business).
However, in just a few days, by March 20, we had moved the vast majority of operations to work from home with all necessary approvals in place. Currently, all of Globant’s 12,600 employees are working from home. To put this move into perspective, prior to the Covid-19 situation, 20% were working full-time from home. We continue to monitor the situation and evaluate what is the most appropriate course of action in each of the locations where we have offices.
Implemented a new dashboard to improve governance
We put a new dashboard in place to evaluate any technical difficulties and to see team member availability. This enabled us to quickly see if there were any challenges or issues with service delivery to our clients.
At the same time, we implemented modifications to our governance maturity framework. We had designed this framework to be adaptable to changing circumstances. It aims to foster autonomy. Thus we just had to make some slight modifications to increase the visibility of progress and potential risks. This involved:
- Ramping up the frequency of team assessments. We used to conduct these assessments every two months, but now we’re doing them every three weeks.
- Increasing focus on key client metrics. There are certain metrics that we know every client pays particular scrutiny to. So we paid specific attention to monitoring Agile velocity, product quality (bugs), built-in quality (unit testing), and predictability.
Linking the maturity framework to our work-from-home efforts. We applied supporting tracks to our governance model to recognize the shift to working from home for all our people.
Put in place “SideBySide” delivery and offered emotional support
We implemented this initiative to increase the support we provide to every team that delivers a service to our customers. It involves a team of some of our most experienced individuals offering coaching and guidance to help with specific delivery situations that may arise in the new Covid-19 work-from-home context.
In addition to guaranteeing operational readiness (such as having the right infrastructure in place, legal agreement, and business readiness), we conducted initiatives to help the emotional well-being of our people.
For example, we offered sessions where individuals could speak with a specialist doctor in infectious diseases, arranged talks with panels of psychologists and organizational coaches, and provided work-from-home tips (both written and interactive sessions).
Many of our people took mindfulness and online yoga classes. Our teams have also been offering novel ways to connect and have fun – for example, check out this session of virtual ice-breakers that many of our teams have been enjoying.
On-going education and certifications
We have redesigned our existing face-to-face training and certifications so we can conduct them remotely. This involved reviewing the dynamics of the training sessions, to ensure they are suitable for a remote audience.
At the same time, we launched Globant University, which is an idea which we had been planning for some time, but with the current situation became even more important. Here we offer our employees the opportunity to create a self-learning journey, where they can focus on developing technical, leadership, and language skills.
Moving forward: The importance of having an adaptive culture
Each of the steps we outline above helped ensure we could continue to serve our clients without disruption. It’s been incredible to see how people have quickly adapted to our new reality. It has also reinforced the importance of having a culture which is quick to adapt to change – having such a culture will be key to organizations as they move forward into the “new normal”.by