• Wayne Wallace

Working in Uncertain Times

I used to do pandemic influenza planning as part of my government IT security work. We used templates, checklists, and tabletop exercises to ensure system continuity. The work was NOT about keeping the workforce going during stressful times. Never did we consider the difficulty we would face when leaders and medical professionals tell us to #StayHome. Now that I think about it, there was a lot of planning we should have considered. The challenges we did plan for were technical and logistical. We know systems can run without human help for years. In an outbreak like #COVID-19, planning continuity is straightforward. COOP and other contingency planning and testing have long been standard practice at all levels of government. However, keeping the workforce engaged, motivated, and productive is not so cut-and-dried. Governments have adopted different levels of severity in response to #coronavirus. What is common, though, is the wisdom that people are better off working from home. In the age of digital everything, organizations with deep resources – like governments – should have been better prepared. A lesson here is that abstract scenarios are no match for reality. Humans must address human needs. Systems are the tools, not the solutions. #StaySafe

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