Embracing a Changing World – Remote Asset Management Budget Support

If you were to ask any member of the OMS team their favourite aspects of the work we do, chances are being on-site and working ‘in the field’ would rank at the top. It gives us the chance to work closely with our clients and better understand the challenges they face daily. Given the year that 2020 has been, traveling to our client’s sites has been difficult, and in some cases impossible. This means that to ensure we could support our clients, we have continuously embraced one of our key fundamentals: “Find a Way”.
Recently, one of our long-term clients asked us for support to compile their 2021 Asset Management budget. While the Outliers team is no stranger to remote coaching and services, creating a budget had a new set of challenges presented to us.

As everyone knows, the budgeting process is time-consuming, requires precision, and is iterative, which is challenging enough in normal times when you can work with people in-person. To ensure we could effectively support this work, we first needed to identify the new challenges we would face by not being able to be on-site with our client. Some of the challenges we identified were:

  • All work would have to be done virtually
  • Access to data would have limitations
  • We were at the mercy of the availability and work environments of key stakeholders
Having a clear understanding of the requirements early on was vital, as missed information took longer to identify. We quickly learned that sharing information via email was inefficient, especially with time zone differences and different email etiquette expectations. We began to problem-solve new ways to communicate the vital information needed to complete the project. We found that instant messaging, virtual video calls, and virtual whiteboards all worked best in this instance to ensure that communication with our client was focused, responsive and clear.

Having the tools was only one part of the solution; we needed to ensure that we had an efficient process. This meant we had to be consistent and disciplined in our approach, including:

  • Regular planned check-ins. A weekly meeting was conducted with the group to see the progress of everyone’s individual tasks. These meetings served as an opportunity to update our plan if required, and to offer support if it was needed.
  • Milestone reviews. The budget submission had its own timeline of deadlines for each of the different elements. The milestone reviews were used to plan our tasks, given an estimated time required for each.
  • On-the-spot troubleshooting. If an issue arose with a group member, they made themselves available to ensure the process kept moving forward

Over the course of this process, we were able to successfully supply our client with a comprehensive 2021 Asset Management Budget through remote support. 


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