16 April 2020 – Covid-19 triggered full-force activation of BCP measures. Working-from-Home (WFH) is the common denominator.

First results from reports worldwide are positive about WFH (even if taken with a grain of salt). It leads many to advocate that the Covid-19 WFH experience will for ever change the way captive shared services centers operate .

But structural WFH is about more than ad-hoc equipping resources with laptops in a crisis response mode.

Embracing WFH as the “New Black” requires time and effort. It calls for operations transformation and increased automation, for new real estate and reduced-risk location solutions. It involves standardization of skills and developing knowledge-sharing platforms. Like anaesthetists in an ICU, more shared services staff will need to be trained-up to ownership of decisions. They must be given authority to action on that. Not just by their center leads, but more importantly by the front-line businesses served.

Quite a leap forward. Currently many captives rely on standardization of work processes, at best on standardization of output and on a few central office locations.

Still, all but a few BSS leaders I’ve spoken to over the last 2 weeks are pretty much in the dark as to whether and how “corporate command” will empower and enable them to develop WFH 2.0.

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