Keeping Projects Moving During The COVID-19 Pandemic  

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We are all experiencing a change in the world as we know it with schools closing, sporting events and full seasons cancelled, and for some of us we can no longer dine-in at restaurants. Is there an end in sight? Sure. When will that be? Who knows? But for now, we all need to adjust. 

What do we do with projects that still need to be completed? Just because we are being told to stay home and avoid groups larger than 10 people, doesn’t mean our work actually stops. It doesn’t mean that our clients don’t need our assistance. Our Salesforce instance is still running along with the instances of all our clients. The benefit we have with Salesforce being a cloud-based system is that we can help our clients remotely. We still need to prepare for the risk. See my previous blog, Managing the Risk

In order to keep projects moving forward, I found a great list by Ten Six Consulting below: 

  1. Conduct a risk analysis and review the results. 
  2. Prepare mitigation plans and where risks have been realized, enact the risk response. Be sure to consider one month, three months, and even six months out to have a full plan. You can always revisit along the way. 
  3. Review project contracts for terms and conditions and what your and your customers’ responses should be.  
  4. Key employees, subcontractors, supply chain, maintenance of equipment, etc. are areas to look into immediately. It may not be possible to shut down your entire company, so you will need to look at which employees are essential to be in the office. 
  5. Review and enact business continuity plans.  
  6. Lay out a communications plan for the project and employ it consistently; insist that your team members follow the plan and coordinate all communications through someone who is in charge of this. 

Just last week, we were supposed to attend a trade show in Florida. Because our marketing team was proactive in being prepared for the risk of the show being cancelled, our clients and potential clients were alerted immediately once the show cancelled. We instead offered them a virtual booth experience with a live stream so they wouldn’t miss out on our message, and they could still ask us questions. 

The most important part of keeping your projects moving is having a plan. This is when it’s ok to think worst-case scenario. You are best prepared when you can come up with a variety of risks.  

Creating contingency plans for your projects in times of crisis will help you stay ahead and keep your projects on track. If we have a contingency plan for COVID-19, it would be triggered by drastic measures such as a mandate to stay in our homes and avoid contact with others all together.  

  1. Identifying the key people to be informed and providing effective communication to all is your next step.  
  2. Who from your company, may it be one person or a task force, will be in charge at each stage of your plan? Even if you have a group in charge of stages of the plan, you should have one person identified as the main contact for all communication.  
  3. Create a timeline of what needs to be done in the first hour, day, week, or month of the plan.  
  4. Stating in your communication how you will determine when your projects will return to normalcy is something typically out of your hands.  
  5. The timeline will need to be adjusted frequently as more reports come out regarding this virus.  

There are so many different types of risk other than COVID-19 like weather, limited resources, and employee retention. Utilize these tools in all projects long after we are clear of this virus. Your contingency plan should be created before the project start date to alleviate the negative impact to your project.  

With the ability to work from home, many businesses will only need to adjust a few things on how they communicate and keep moving forward. For those companies that require employees to be in the office to keep moving projects forward, hold on as it’s going to be a bumpy ride! 

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