Like many organizations across Canada and around the world, starting this morning, our team shifted completely remote. We had been planning for this for a few weeks now, and today was going to be a test of our remote work practices.

Things change, and we have to adapt, and Estyn and I felt that it was best to make the decision to turn today’s experiment into something more temporarily-permanent. So, today (March 16, 2020) our offices are no longer open to the public, at least for the foreseeable future. We will be monitoring recommendations from Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, as well as federal and international bodies, but our first priority is to keep our staff, families, customers, and neighbours safe.

It’s strange times out there, so we’ve built some resources to help other organizations through this:

  1. In partnership with the team at CommAlert, we’ve created https://covidcontinuity.com, a resource hub focused on sharing templates, guides, resources, and links supporting organizations working towards business continuity and stability. Our goal is to be continuously updating the site with additional tools as the days continue, to support you.
  2. We’ve also launched our Technology Action Plan, via free consultations with business leaders, to provide our advisory to help organizations think about using digital platforms to adapt. At Punchcard, we think that transformation will be our pathway to strength. We’ve developed these tools to prepare your organization for what the coming days, weeks, and months will bring, while at the same time, readying your business for the possibilities that the future will bring.

We know that things aren’t going to be easy, but we need to work together to understand and mitigate the impact of all of this. Since we’re a digital organization, there’s a few things that I wanted to share in terms of how we’re taking control of our situation.

Leveraging our Microsoft Teams installation: We’re a heavy user of the popular platform (since it’s part of Office 365), but we’re going to be testing the limits of how we can stay connected with each other in meaningful ways. This morning, we did a 20 minute temperature check with our whole team; tomorrow, we’ll continue our weekly all-hands meeting like we normally do, but it will just be over Teams. We’ve always invited our clients into our collaboration space, so this isn’t going to feel foreign to us.

Checking in with each other: Our team is pretty social, and we’re going to notice not being together, but we’re making an effect for regular check-ins, both scheduled and ad-hoc. We’ll continue to be doing our weekly one-on-ones, and we’re going to make an effect to have more digital coffees with each other. I can’t promise that I’ll make it to our digital lunchroom, but I’m sure other folks will be just fine eating their lunch on camera.

Using our digital collaboration tools to the max: We’ll be continuing to use SharePoint Online for documents and distribution, and Azure DevOps to manage our internal workflow. We’ll continue to leverage the capabilities of Stormboard for managing our workshops and brainstorms. Our design and user experience teams will continue to build, pattern, and prototype in Figma.

There’s a great deal of risk associated with the unknown, but at Punchcard, we’ve developed a certain amount of competency working with our customers turning unknown problems into known solutions, so I’m confident that, together, we can be strong.