COVID-19 - A 7-Step Response Plan for Project Managers | Summary and Q&A

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March 17, 2020
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Online PM Courses - Mike Clayton
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COVID-19 - A 7-Step Response Plan for Project Managers

TL;DR

Project managers must prioritize the safety and well-being of their team members and stakeholders, assess and address risks, collaborate with sponsors to make informed decisions, align with organizational response strategies, manage procurement commitments, maintain open communication, and establish regular reviews and succession plans.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is the safety and well-being of team members considered the first priority for project managers during the COVID-19 crisis?

Ensuring the safety and well-being of team members is paramount because people are the most valuable assets. By protecting their health and minimizing exposure, project managers can maintain productivity and decrease the risk of transmission within the project team and wider organization.

Q: How can project managers effectively assess and address risks related to the COVID-19 crisis?

Project managers should convene a working group to analyze different scenarios, identify common risk factors, and build them into the project plan. By taking immediate action to mitigate risks, such as implementing preventive measures and creating contingency plans, project managers can proactively respond to changing circumstances.

Q: What is the importance of collaboration with sponsors in making project-related decisions during the crisis?

Collaboration with sponsors is crucial as project managers do not make decisions in isolation. Engaging in thorough discussions with sponsors, bosses, or clients helps project managers make informed choices about whether to continue, delay, slow down, or pause projects. This ensures the decisions are well-thought-out and helps gain stakeholder confidence.

Q: How can project managers contribute to wider organizational responses and community efforts during the crisis?

Project managers should align their projects with the wider organizational response strategies and engage in discussions related to scenario analysis, contingency planning, and risk management. They should also consider how their projects can contribute to the broader business and social community, ensuring their efforts are synchronized with the collective response to the crisis.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Project managers should prioritize the safety of their team and stakeholders, ensuring their well-being and minimizing unnecessary travel or gathering.

  • It is crucial to assess risks related to the COVID-19 crisis and incorporate them into project plans, taking immediate action to mitigate potential impacts.

  • Collaborating with sponsors and making informed decisions on whether to continue, delay, slow down, or pause projects will instill confidence in stakeholders and provide time for an orderly transition.

  • Project managers must align their projects with wider organizational responses and contribute to community efforts, while also considering the timing impact on procurement commitments and maintaining open communication with stakeholders.

  • Regular reviews and succession planning are necessary to adapt to changing circumstances, address leadership gaps, and ensure remote working capabilities are in place.

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