Is it Time to Fail Fast or Time to Plan?

Posted by Kathy Sobus on Jun 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Pandemic this, COVID that… enough already, right? The situation was supposed to be temporary, but is it really? Many organizations I’m working with now are in a planning phase, and they aren’t planning for everyone to return to the office.

  • They’re planning for a more permanent situation for their employees, right now.
  • They’re planning for better disaster recovery and resiliency.
  • They’re planning on adding more flexibility.

With Google and Facebook allowing employees to work from home for the rest of the year, and Twitter saying they can stay home indefinitely, your company may follow suit—or do something completely different. It’s almost like the weather forecast out there. Is it going to be sunny or rainy? I’m not sure, but we can bet there will be weather—just like we can bet there will be change.

How are organizations ensuring that their contact centers and IT departments are ready for rapid change? Some are developing agile methodologies for everything. For those learned in the Agile Manifesto, the four major principles are:

  • Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

My interpretation of these principles is as follows:

  • Work together as a team
  • Do the right thing
  • Plan but don’t over-engineer
  • Get something done quickly, albeit partially; yield results; modify; get more done…

How can you even begin to collaborate when you’re all spread out now, at home, with competing priorities? Oh, come on… you’re doing it every day! We really can’t use this as an excuse. However, perhaps we should think about mini cross-functional teams: Small teams that bring an idea that fits the agile method (especially the last step) to a bigger group to help us all move forward. It’s time to get out of the rut we’ve now been in for 7+ weeks.

We still have that age-old question of how to process customer requests quickly, easily, and effortlessly while at the same time keeping our agents happy. Many clients are really taking a hard look at AI:

  • AI can deflect inbound volumes (even from the IVR), as hold times are still crazy
  • AI can answer simple questions
  • AI can point to certain parts of webpages to make navigation easier

AI with an agile development methodology: what a concept! This area seems ripe for thinking quick and relevant, implementing for quick results, modifying, and moving ahead.

Now is not the time to “fail fast.” Now is the time to plan for short, easy-to-implement solutions that will provide benefit.  From there, you can continue to hone them, gain additional benefits, and renew the cycle.

I encourage you to pull your close buddies together into a small team and think through some of the problems you’re facing today. We can do this!



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Topics: Contact Center, Customer Experience, COVID-19