Project Management

Adapting to New Risks During the Pandemic: A Construction Case Study

Santiago, Chile Chapter

Eduardo is a project manager in Santiago, Chile.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our client decided to put most of our operations on hold during the execution of a construction project in an operational data center in Chile. This decision was made not just to protect people, but to also ensure that workers who were fundamental to site operations could continue their daily activities together with key client personnel. However, the continuation and completion of some projects was considered critical. To successfully deliver, the team had to adapt its way of working to a situation far from “normal.”

In this new context, delivering the project without any worker getting infected was a new success criterion. Having a suspected COVID-19 case would be detrimental to our team and the project. With the execution of the first “critical” project, we had to demonstrate that the client's operation was not at risk and that the site work was safe for personnel.

Prior to the pandemic, we had site facilities right next to the client location. Those facilities included offices for the project management team, offices for our subcontractors, meeting rooms, a canteen, showers and dressing rooms for personnel. When our projects were put on hold, the facilities were closed and our team and subcontractors were instructed to work from home. Within a short time, both our team and the subcontractors were considerably …

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