Project Management

Implementing and Managing IT/Telecom Projects in Hardship Locations During a Pandemic

Anthony Chukwunenye Akpu is a senior certified global IT/telecom project management expert specializing in project delivery in hardship locations with more than 15 years of experience. His expertise includes delivery of IT/telecom projects in hardship locations; he is skilled in project planning and controls in delivery of end-to-end complex integrated projects both offshore and onshore.

Implementing large-scale IT/telecom projects in hardship locations is hard enough. And, with COVID-19, there are new precautions that project managers need to account for before a field implementation. 

We are learning new best practices at hardship locations in real time during coronavirus. Of course, hardship locations can be deemed as such due to challenges caused by terrain, extreme weather, economic issues, such as underdeveloped existing infrastructure, access to sites due to logistical issues, regulatory issues, political issues, and biological hazards.

Because the spread of coronavirus was so abrupt, there is little information on new roadblocks that one might encounter as teams are deployed across the globe. This article will examine the new complexities and challenges project teams face in addition to those presented by hardship locations.

Above all, the key issues addressed are the health and safety of the team members in the field on top of hardship locations. While my expertise is IT implementation for the oil and gas industry, the issues covered in this article are applicable to any large-scale IT project down to the last mile.

New Hardships in Hardship Locations
It was recently reported that a typical truck transport trip from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa to the South Sudanese capital, Juba, now takes more than a month (Bariyo, …

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