As governments enacted physical distancing measures worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations in every industry quickly had to adapt to new ways of working—including remote work. These massive changes created a host of workforce management challenges, which CGI immediately began to help our clients address, including a major manufacturer in the middle of a mission-critical Salesforce initiative.

Just prior to the pandemic’s spread in the U.S., CGI was working with this manufacturer to enhance the sales and quoting process for one of its divisions. The project involved the design of a new solution using Salesforce Customer Relationship Management, along with configure, price, quote (CPQ) software. It also involved CGI’s unique customer-to-business (C2B) Salesforce implementation approach—an agile/design thinking methodology that centers on close, face-to-face collaboration. 

Taking a large IT project virtual without disruption

As physical distancing measures took effect, CGI and client teams had to pivot quickly to remote work. In response, the CGI team adapted its C2B methodology to operate in a remote setting to ensure delivery continuity. The methodology was comprised of three parts: insights gathering, studio collaboration and playbook development. It also involved a strong human element, which was important to preserve despite physical distancing restrictions that prevented the CGI and client teams from meeting in person. 

The CGI team took the insights gathering phase virtual by using video conference and collaboration tools to capture valuable information from all stakeholders. Stakeholder interviews provided a foundation for further analysis. 

It then adapted the studio collaboration phase into a series of online workshops focused on understanding customers, analyzing issues, proposing solutions, identifying and analyzing gaps, and developing plans. Instead of a typical full-day workshop session, the CGI team facilitated shorter, structured video conference sessions to help retain the attention of remote participants and make iterative progress.

Following the insights gathering and studio collaboration phases, the CGI team developed a strategic roadmap, delivered in the form of a CGI C2B Playbook, to guide the client’s technology investment, inform experience design, drive process change, mitigate risk, drive alignment across the organization, and guide project execution. 

Progressing the project despite virtual limitations

Taking the C2B methodology virtual was a success. The results were deep engagement among all participants and continuation of the project according to original timelines.

While CGI developed the new approach to respond to the crisis, the client teams found the output to be extremely productive, providing lessons in how to reinvent workshops for future collaboration. 

Enabling virtual collaboration remote agile teams, and other innovative workforce practices is critical for clients to continue their operations and projects during a crisis. These practices also create opportunities to advance business agility and productivity going forward, as clients think through the rebound and reinvention of their businesses post-crisis.