How will IT projects change when the lockdown ends

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts

After much of the world has been in lockdown for the last month or more, the curve has been flattened and plans are being made to reduce the lockdown, go back to work and restart the economy.

What will it be like? Can we go back to normal until everyone is vaccinated or we get to herd to immunity.

Let’s imagine

The government will ease the lock down and non-essential work as long as

  • you can social distance at work
  • Anyone with symptoms will self isolate
  • if your job needs to close contact, you will need PPE or other protective measures

There is a probability that there won’t be a vaccine, there is no vaccine for SAR’s. Reading Bill Gates article What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. The fastest ever vaccine was created in 5 years. They hope to save time by removing red tape, starting building manufacturing capacity now and with more projects it increases the chances of one or more being successful.

People are optimistic, but what is the outside view The outside view — how long will it take to create a vaccine for Covid-19?.

We might have to live and work with the coronavirus for the foreseeable future.

IT Projects

It’s likely the guidance will be if you can work from home, you should. Many industries have shown they can cope with everyone working remotely. This will be the safest way to work and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

We can deliver IT projects,

Understanding the As IS

  • Screen shares of using existing software
  • Process maps can be created
  • Online work shops to discuss existing functionality

Gathering requirements

  • High level requirements are created for bid process
  • Workshops can be done via online meetings
  • User stories created, assessed and signed off by both customer and supplier

Development

  • User stories can be developed
  • Meetings and progress done via teams/slack or alternative
  • Test scripts written based on stories and tested when development finished
  • Demo the functionality at the end of the sprint
  • User can try the system and give feedback

Setting up environments

  • Configuration of IT systems is already done remotely
  • Environments are commonly cloud services or configured on Azure/AWS or Google.
  • Remote access can be setup and infrastructure is configured

The difficulties working remotely will be creating the relationship with the customer and collaborating is more difficult. Projects can and will be delivered remotely or with reduced contact.

Remotely working has been on the increase, Covid-19 has accelerated companies digitisation plans to the point they are no longer plans and are now a reality.

Effects of lockdown

Businesses will open up, but they will need to implement social distancing. This will reduce the capacity of many businesses.

Shops can open with a reduced number of people in the shop at the same time. If you are a pub, you can do takeout and maybe you could have a quarter capacity with table service.

Airlines will be severely hit, people won’t feel comfortable travelling and would need to reduce capacity to a half or a quarter. Will this make enough money for airlines?

The businesses that can work remotely will work remotely.

Will schools go back? it will be difficult for the economy to restart if parents have to stay at home to look after their children. This isn’t just availability of schools and nurseries because many parents will be worried to send their children to school.

Governments will say the economy is back open but there will still be many people who will be scared and won’t embrace the working with the virus.

The new normal

If we assume that 2019 was normal then we won’t get back to the 2019 levels of normal for potentially years. The world will have to learn to live with Coronavirus for the next year(s).

The world will go at half speed for much of the economy. It will drive with the handbrake on. This will cause many businesses to reduce their wage bill and reduce staff. The unknown will cause business to conserve cash and reduce spending on recruitment, marketing and other expenditure. This will add further pressure on the economy.

Talent

There will be many people made redundant because companies need to cut costs and staff are one of the biggest costs.

This is an opportunity to hire good people for the companies who flourish in this environment. The recruitment process will mostly done remotely and face-to-face interviews could be cancelled for some time. This makes hiring more difficult because body language plays an important part in creating a positive relationship.

Talented people who would usually be unavailable might consider moving if you can offer excellent opportunities and more safety.

An interesting article — now is an unprecedented opportunity to hire great talent

IT Projects

IT projects can be delivered remotely and many companies will need to upgrade their existing system to enable staff to work more effectively remotely. So there will be opportunities with companies speeding up their digital strategies but on the flip side there will be many companies conserving cash and reducing expenditure.

IT Projects could be stopped without warning and budgets will be tight. There will be opportunities for digitisation and in industries that are thriving in the new society that will need to leave with Covid-19.

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