Project Management

Strategizing in Uncertain Times

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Most organizations are discussing 2021 plans, and in particular, the impact that COVID-19 is having on it. While we know far more than we did a few months ago, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty. Some experts predict that things won’t return to anything close to “normal” until the end of next year, while others are expecting a rapid reboot when a vaccine becomes widely available.

Of course, no one knows what will actually happen, which makes it difficult to plan for the future with confidence, so organizations are advised to retain flexibility wherever possible, allowing the opportunity to make adjustments with minimal disruption if necessary. Let’s discuss some of the best practices that can help deal with the ongoing uncertainty we all face.

Start clear

Paraphrasing Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” The idea is that before you can determine which path to take, you have to know where you want to go. That’s a good summary of how planning has to start – in any year, but perhaps particularly in the current environment.

The world has been severely disrupted by COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean organizations shouldn’t have a clear strategy for what they want to achieve in the next few years. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the strategy will likely look very different than it did…

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