Project Management

Leadership During Crisis: People First

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

No one reading this article when it is published in March 2020 is working in anything close to a normal situation. COVID-19 has all of us working in circumstances that are unlike anything we have experienced before, and with more uncertainty than any of us can be comfortable with.

For many industries, it has resulted in an almost total shutdown, with the accompanying stress of job losses and financial hardship. For most other industries, it has resulted in a significant slowdown, total remote working and the prospect of a very different economic reality when things begin to normalize.

And for project managers, the impact can feel greater than for many other roles. Projects, no matter how critical they were considered before, are now having to take a backseat to the need to maintain core business operations. Project managers are looking for direction from their sponsors, customers and the PMO—and are often struggling to get any time with those stakeholders, let alone achieve clarity on what’s happening.

At the same time, team members are looking to their project managers for guidance, reassurance and support. That is leaving many PMs feeling confused, isolated and worried.

I can’t provide you with practical advice for your specific situation, because all of us are facing unique challenges that have to be addressed from within our organizations. But …

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