Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Shut down, start up

There's a lot of this stuff going around: "Shut down, start up".

You get a "stop work" order; if you're a government contractor, you may have strict protocols to follow, or worse, you may have a lot of expenses to secure the project for which there is no immediate cash flow.
  • Select a skeleton staff for the shut-down work
  • Work with HR to furlough the redundant staff; ditto "security" if there are cleared people involved
  • Figure out the physical and electronic security for the partial product and inventory
  • Some stuff may have a shelf-life. Who is to run the maintenance on that?
  • Who has the ownership or title to the intellectual property? You may need some legal help to secure the project's IP
  • Set up an archive for project records; assume the original staff may not return, so where is everything to be found?
  • Set up billing codes in the chart of accounts for the shut-down work
  • Bill-out whatever you can; some stuff may not be billable overhead and may come off the bottom line.
And then you get a "restart work" order. But, restart with whom, how, where?
  • Is the business case still valid? Is there a modified business case going forward? Revisiting customers and business sponsors should be on your list
  • Green field staffing? You may want to reorganize the staffing, not rehire everyone, and recruit for others. Is there an HR policy issue here? Perhaps you don't have the flexibility to restaff from a green field.
  • Green cards: are they still around? No? What now?
  • Incentives? Some may require an incentive to return. Where does that fit into policy and finance?
  • Where to set up shop? Your project space may no longer be available; maybe the building has been shuttered
  • Restart virtually? Do it with a "gig" staff? How do you cover the cost of 'gig' turnover?
  • IP? How will you redistribute the intellectual property of the project? Indeed, do you even have a clear title to the IP? Did some of it walk out with the shut-down?
  • Cost-schedule-scope: And, with the experience base changed, the baseline going forward will be different. Costs and schedules will be different.
This stuff is hard!

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