On-Premise to Online: Re-Imagining High-Stakes Processes in Response to COVID-19

Case Study

On-Premise to Online: Re-Imagining High-Stakes Processes in Response to COVID-19

Due to the impact of COVID-19, a Federal regulatory agency mandated telework for nearly all employees beginning in March 2020. The organization was faced with the challenge of transitioning a high-stakes process that had only been performed on-premise, in secure rooms specifically designed to accommodate the security risks and nuances of the process, to a fully remote environment while managing a narrowing timeline. Many of the agency’s long-standing policies and processes needed to be quickly re-imagined for a remote environment.

Situation

A division within a Federal regulatory agency serves as the principal resource in ensuring that the organization’s key processes, that involve thousands of stakeholders and facilitating the allocation billions of dollars, are fair and transparent. Given the shift from on-premise to remote work due to the impact of COVID-19, Censeo was tasked with conducting a rapid assessment to identify the key risks and mitigation strategies for supporting the organization’s mission remotely. Censeo was asked to recommend short-term solutions for the organization’s condensed timeline to address the immediate impact of COVID-19 and to provide long-term recommendations to prepare for additional waves of the pandemic or other potential crises that could impact the agency’s outcomes. Censeo’s risk assessment identified six focus areas, for which the team provided a robust set of recommendations and a risk mitigation roadmap.

Approach

Censeo took a collaborative, multifaceted approach to perform the rapid risk assessment, evaluating the organization against major risk areas when transitioning to remote processes. The Censeo team reviewed, evaluated, and mapped on-premise processes; conducted over 20 interviews with leadership and relevant stakeholders; and developed and deployed a staff survey to gain a holistic understanding of our client’s key risk areas and potential solutions.

The process map shown above was developed by Censeo using information gathered in stakeholder interviews to provide an original snapshot of the agency’s on-premise process and methods of communications utilized between stakeholders. The map also denotes Censeo’s recommended process changes and procedural updates to transition to a remote environment.

Results

Censeo provided the client with a detailed assessment, recommendation plan, and risk mitigation roadmap, which:

  • Identified the critical elements in the existing process as well as key issues to consider when addressing risk in a remote environment. Findings were grouped into internal and external considerations related to the current on-premise state and the desired future state outcomes in a remote environment. Six primary focus areas were identified to inform recommendations;
  • Provided in-depth and actionable recommendations for each of the six focus areas, based on the client’s needs and insights from stakeholder interviews, general best practices, and Censeo’s experience and expertise;
  • Prioritized specific recommendations with a roadmap that aligned with the tight timeframe of the agency’s upcoming events. Beyond recommending a path forward, Censeo worked with the agency to complete certain prioritized activities during the assessment.

Our recommendations were tailored based on the organization’s narrow timeline and the iterative discussions that took place between Censeo and the agency. We identified specific activities that would yield both short-term and long-term solutions for the organization’s upcoming events and worked with the client to help them implement certain high-impact recommendation during our engagement.