COVID-19 is an extraordinary situation in everybody’s life. If you are a project manager, this is the crucial time to plan your next project effectively, seeing this pandemic situation. As the impact of COVID-19 is societally, economically, and in human terms is huge, significant disruption is approaching certainly. Due to such a situation, project managers are required to analyze the situation correctly and manage their projects and people accordingly. Here are a few steps response plans for project managers to ease their work.
Provide protection to your people
Protect your employees, team, and stakeholders. Avoid traveling as much as you can. Encourage working from home and provide essential things to complete the project. Always put people’s health ahead of project deadlines.
Put it on you risk register
Assemble a project working group or team and discuss a series of situations. Then use each of those situations to identify risks and work on the mitigation policies. Look for all the common features across those situations and build different infrastructure to handle it.
Consider halting or delaying your project
Make an open conversation with your project board, sponsor, shareholder, and clients. Take the initiative and go to them, rather than expecting them to come to you. It will show you as leading the situation, rather than just managing outcomes. You will also need their sign-off on some decisions.
Key into administrative responses
Your broader organization will be answering too. Your abilities are appreciated; therefore, offer your help in articulating it. Try to bring organization-tier rationales into your project and link it into responses among your wider business and social communities.
Consider attaining commitments
It is a two-way thing. You may need to delay deliveries of materials or to hire contracted staff if your project will slow down. Communicate with your suppliers. But, correspondingly, if you plan to carry on your work, you may decide on advancing the purchase decisions and delivery dates so that you may take steps to lessen the risk of availability of materials.
In times of ambiguity, fear, and possible panic, make communication a topmost priority. Even if you do not have any new plan, communicate it with your people. Be open and frank with your team, stakeholders, and your client. Communicate your situations and plans, and then update with how events are affecting your project and changes to those plans.
Regular review to reconsider plans and responses
Set up a process for regularly reviewing the plans, so that you can keep yourself and key people up-to-date on external facts, allowing time to consider responses. Always remember that the situation may change quickly. Creating a process to calculate changes will provide you the setup to adapt quickly.
Follow these steps so that you will not face a situation to shut down any of your projects. Through these steps, you can manage your project as well as manage the risks you will face in the future. Be prepared to rapidly shift back into crisis mode as needed, but avoid the urge to remain so focused on the moment at hand that you ignore the light at the end of the tunnel.