Preparation and Execution:
As the pandemic began to make more headlines in India during late February – early March, we as an organization started to keep tab on the situation.
Back then, the idea of a QA team to work from home (WFH) seemed like a distant one. However, in light of the situation escalating in various parts of the world, we understood a new approach would be necessary in order to ensure business continuity.
To be fully prepared for any lockdown, the management along with the support teams started having multiple meetings in order to come up with solutions for the eventual WFH situation. Following is a breakdown on the timelines of our readiness towards the situation:
- 3 weeks before lockdown: We understood the importance of creating a WFH setup. Our IT team came up with solutions on having a VPN setup and ensuring other safety measures are introduced to work remotely. HR team came up with remote logins for attendance and to ensure all employee needs were met. Admin team came up with solutions on how to transport all hardware.
- 2 weeks before lockdown: We had VPN setups for 3 teams who spent the weekend testing their games to ensure that we did not face any problems. We had the IT team monitor the situation and ensure that any problems were mitigated. The test was a success. The same was conveyed to our clients seeking permission to WFH. We raised a CAPEX to procure additional hardware to support testing efforts.
- 1 week before lockdown: We tested the WFH setup across various teams across all platforms. We were able to conduct all tests successfully. We implemented WFH for the teams whose clients had approved our request. Additional hardware was shipped from various parts of India to meet our testing needs.
- 1 day before lockdown: By this time, we had approval from all clients to switch to WFH. Before the lockdown began, we spent the weekend and Monday ensuring that all hardware was distributed amongst all employees. Additional NDA was signed by all employees to ensure that they understood the importance of secrecy as well as maintaining security while WFH.
- Start of lockdown: We as an organization had begun WFH before the lockdown had started. Hence, we were able to serve all our clients at 100% capacity. We ensured that this approach did not affect any of our delivery.
During the heart of lockdown:
While we were still trying to find our footing and adapting to the new normal, we had several requests from our clients as they needed additional support. Since we were already at capacity, we had to think of innovative ways to accommodate all new requests. Following is the way all different departments worked together to make this a success:
- HR Team: To ensure that we come up with new strategies while hiring, the team created a virtual walk-in hiring process. This ensured that we have qualified candidates who were interviewed in a traditional approach while keeping the entire process digital. All the necessary details were collected virtually, and we ensured that the background checks were verified. All the induction and banking process were completed online, and we ensured that all on-boarding process were a success.
- IT team: While India went through a severe shortage of hardware, the IT team came up with alternate ways to procure hardware from alternate sources. We managed to contact vendors across various states and have hardware shipped over thousands of kilometers.
- Admin team: While we managed to procure hardware, shipping them to various testers was a huge challenge. With permission from local government bodies, we managed to arrange special cabs to transfer hardware to each tester’s residence. Hardware was transported to all corners of the country including remote places.
- Delivery team: The department came together during the pandemic and all testers were more than happy to support their colleagues with additional testing. Several members spent insane hours of overtime to ensure that we met the testing requirements. They even went out of the way to support other teams to ensure that we were able to handle all the ramp-ups and provide additional support.
While most businesses are returning to offices and normal routine of life is being restarted, we as a company do put our safety and wellbeing of our employees as top priority. Hence, the organization has decided to continue WFH policy till the end of this year. We will take a call sometime next year on a safe date to return to work. Till then, we will continue to come up with new and innovative ways to ensure that we do not just work at capacity but grow the organization while supporting our customers globally.