Dealing with an unprecedented situation requires a specialized response. In this third part of our blog series about responding to a crisis, you will learn why you need a collaborative task force to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, and how you can strengthen your crisis response task force with BPM.

Why you need a task force to cope with the COVID-19 crisis

Collaboration is essential for any modern business. COVID-19 has made this clearer than ever, and reinforced that in times of crisis, collaboration needs to go further than just a few video meetings across home office boundaries. Instead, businesses need answers to questions such as:

  • Are our processes robust enough to cope with current changes?
  • Which measures will help us strengthen our economic resilience?
  • How can we prepare our organization for a possible recession?
  • What capabilities can we build up in times of crisis?
  • How can we make the best possible use of opportunities during and after the crisis?

Individual departments cannot answer questions of this magnitude, meaning those who want to bring their organization successfully through the crisis must rely on stronger mechanisms. In plain language: bundle your collective knowledge in a task force. You select the members of your expert group on the basis of their formal qualifications, expertise, knowledge, and experience, not seniority or position—now is the time to unite employees from different teams and hierarchical levels. 

The advantages of such a task force at a glance:

  • No unnecessarily long communication channels
  • Reduction of knowledge silos in individual departments
  • Avoidance of rumours and uncertainties regarding COVID-19
  • Establishment of a central source of information on how to cope with the crisis
  • High transparency compared to work in hierarchy-oriented teams
  • Increased motivation through appointment to prestigious group  

How to strengthen your crisis response task force with BPM

As a project group, a task force is always a temporary enterprise. Its tasks will involve managing complexity, singularity, time limitation and novelty, as well as a cross-functional scope of work. At the same time, experts worldwide agree that the COVID-19 crisis will have long-term consequences for our economy. As a result, your business processes are also in the firing line. In contrast to the project-based approach of your task force, however, they are not limited in time, but are a permanent part of your organization.

This makes it all the more important to support the work of your task force by using modern business process management. Its advantages become particularly clear in times of crisis: with its help, companies can react to changing conditions and scale critical operational processes (e.g. production, services, development) quickly and efficiently.

Our tip? Support your task force with cloud-based process management. Think of it as a specialized social network: your task force can easily create and simulate processes, request feedback at regular intervals, share work successes and roll out and analyze optimized processes throughout the organization. Your process management solution should also have the capacity to act as a central knowledge base, providing users with insight into responsibilities, roles, process hierarchies and process steps.

Bringing experts together and promoting transparency

Efficient process management and the right tool can enhance the collaborative character of a task force and establish it firmly in a company during the first weeks of a crisis. After all, your task force can only develop or adapt processes efficiently if it can draw on the expertise of the entire team. In times of crisis, it can sometimes be the unorthodox idea or new approach suggested from outside the normal channels that can make all the difference!

It is therefore vital to ensure you leverage the ‘wisdom of the crowd’. Bring in the perspective of frontline workers who are expert in how particular processes within your company actually operate in practice, and you will often be able to identify the root of an emerging problem faster and more efficiently.

For larger companies, the provision of BPM technology to your entire team is often a special challenge. But it’s the only way to make effective use of the knowledge inside your organization for enterprise-wide improvements. Changes in response to a crisis situation may have a long-lasting impact on the structures of your organization, and everyone needs to be aware of new ways of working, to ensure the adaptations you make to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis are also lived out in everyday work.

Getting through the crisis successfully with Signavio

With the versatile functions of the Signavio Business Transformation Suite, we are there to help you even in times of crisis. In addition, Signavio’s 90-day COVID-19 Rapid Response Package offers immediate help for companies of any kind and size, including NGOs and health care organizations.

For more information and the latest insights on how process management can support an effective crisis response, visit the Signavio blog. To learn more about our Business Transformation Suite, and how it can help your business now and into the future, register now for your free 30-day trial.

In the meantime, you can find all the latest information about COVID-19 on the World Health Organization website. All of us here at Signavio ask you to take care of yourself and others. Stay healthy!

Published on: April 16th 2020 - Last modified: April 30th, 2020