At the Copperleaf Asset Investment Planning and Management (AIPM) Summit held earlier this year, I delivered a presentation on the topic of business agility. Since then, I’ve received a number of questions about how to apply the concepts of business planning agility—especially in the context of replanning as the world starts to emerge from various forms of a COVID-induced pause or slowdown in work. In particular:
- Many organizations are facing an immediate cash crunch because customers are having difficulty paying utility bills and commercial load has dropped
- Safe work practices during the pandemic have necessitated restrictions in crew size, changes to staffing practices, and limits on the type of work that can be performed
In a recent report titled “How Utility CIOs Can Leverage Cost Optimization to Accelerate Post-COVID-19 Renewal”, Gartner outlines 3 pandemic recovery phases: Respond, Recover, and Renew:
Source: Gartner (June 2020)
In the respond phase, utilities reacted swiftly and decisively to ensure the safety of their personnel while continuing to deliver essential services, and I am extremely grateful for that! However, the reality is that organizations are unlikely to complete the work they had originally planned for 2020—which raises a lot of questions about the future. How can we understand the impact of deferred or cancelled maintenance project work on the health and performance of the asset base? And how can we recover from the financial consequences of the pandemic and make decisions to move our businesses forward?
This is where planning agility can really help. Copperleaf® has defined five best practices to achieve planning agility:
- Create a Decision-making Framework
- Rapid Scenario Planning
- Continuous Planning
- Adapt to Change
These practices can be applied across all stages of pandemic recovery to help organizations build resiliency and adapt quickly to shifting priorities.
I hope that this information can help your organization navigate these very challenging times. One of the most positive outcomes of the pandemic is that we have proved that society is resilient and can change far more quickly than any of us truly realized.
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Copperleaf is working with a number of clients on various forms of agile planning, so please feel free to contact me if we can support your organization in any of these areas.