WFA is the New WFH
- Professional Services Director
- IT Project Management
"Have you also discovered that if you can work from home – you can work from anywhere? If you can work anywhere you can manage a project from anywhere."
Every cloud has a silver lining, they say. Did you discover that working from home turned out to be just that? Few I speak to are keen to return to the old ways of schlepping into town to grind out a nine to five in the office, when you can nail the working day in your pyjamas!
Have you also discovered that if you can work from home – you can work from anywhere?
Literally – anywhere!
Businesses have cottoned on! Prior to the latest lockdown, you could hire a hotel room as an office for the day (from city centres to coastal villages, at costs ranging from £35 to £1,500 - some even let you use the gym and pool, even offering free printing and hot drinks). Meanwhile, dozens of pubs across the country had started to offer a new "pub desk" service (a tenner can get you a table by a plug socket, wi-fi, lunch and unlimited tea and coffee). we expect this to happen again as restrictions ease.
If you can work anywhere you manage a project from anywhere
Stoneseed has always been your one stop shop for all your IT Project resourcing challenges.
Our team have been involved in countless projects and all come from an infrastructure or digital application background, and we have a team of IT technical staff and advisors. Also, our years of experience in the Project Management as a Service PMaaS gave us an enviable contact book of talent: you needed a Project Manager for your IT Project in Hull- we had one; if you needed a Business Analyst in London - no problem. Wherever you are, whatever your project needs – Stoneseed had the solution.
Then lockdown happened. Like most businesses we had to rethink slightly. It was all well and good having project resources “on tap” everywhere but it didn’t matter that they were in the same town, city or county if they weren’t allowed to travel.
As non-essential travel became prohibited, as the PM announced that people who could, should work from home, many IT Projects felt resourcing pressures.
Also, like most businesses, a silver lining presented itself. What we originally saw as a challenge would open up a great opportunity for us and our clients – Remote Access Project Management.
The silver lining that was hiding in plain sight
We realised that Stoneseed could help ramp up, kickstart or support your IT Project Delivery, we could help cover staffing shortfalls and maintain project resource levels in these critical but uncertain times – all remotely. While the world was adjusting to WFH, we realised that we could WFA - work from anywhere.
Any geographical limitations or restrictions that we might have had before, we realised, were self-imposed. It was just easier, we thought, to send the guy in Hull to manage the project in Hull, easier to send the London BA to deliver data driven recommendations to the stakeholders of the project in the capital.
That Project Manager in Hull, it dawned on us, could be deployed on a project in Hackney; that London based Business Analyst could as easily measure business value on a project in Doncaster as she could in Dartford.
The thing is, we’d always been able to do this, in fact, we always did do this. Just not as a matter of routine.
Necessity is the mother of re-invention
Traditionally, you got your local talent! Now, let’s be clear, your local talent would be awesome, and they’d deliver exactly what was promised, results would be totally consistent with your project needs. What if there was someone even better on our radar though, they were two hundred miles away, but could work remotely – would we have recommended them for you? Probably not – client feedback told us you’d prefer to deal face to face, in person – so, more often than not, the local talent it was.
Then restrictions were placed on travel. That IT Project in Hull still needed the PM, the London project still needed a BA but non-essential workers were told to work from home.
As we moved to a Remote Access Project Management model, suddenly we could deploy the project talent two hundred miles down the road. Remember, we always could and often did but being ‘forced to’ to almost exclusively operate remotely opened up a universe of possibility that we found exciting. We were geared up and ready for this!
With low cost set up, resources can be deployed to support just one project, multiple projects or a programme of projects in any geographical location. Furthermore, PMaaS resource on-demand model allows you to dial up and down IT project resources in sync with your delivery needs. In other words, you have even more control over your costs - at a time when this matters more than ever.
The ability to work ‘out of region’ means that the VERY best available talent, with experience of working across all sorts of industries or projects, can be deployed to meet your project requirements, and now an even more varied range of experience can be flexed across a wider geographical area.
David Cotgreave MBA, BSc (hons), PRINCE II, is Professional Services Director at Stoneseed, with over 30 years’ experience in IT Project Management & Consulting. David has worked with organisations such as BT Engage IT and KPMG, before founding Stoneseed in 2009 and has gained considerable business experience whilst working with a wide range of organisations across the UK and Europe carrying out a range of strategy, review and implementation projects. David is currently responsible for leading the Programme and Project Management Services PMaaS offered by Stoneseed.