Project Management

5-Star Crisis: Managing a Construction Project During the Pandemic

Johannes is a respected and globally experienced construction project manager based in South Africa.

This article shares the challenges a PM experienced while managing the construction of a 5-star hotel on the Caribbean island of Grenada during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Grenada enforced a total lockdown on the island in March 2020, after which construction was suspended before being resumed again in July 2020.

The disruptive effect on the project implementation strategy—as well as the dramatic changes to the enterprise environment—meant that the stakeholders had to revisit the original project charter, and significant changes had to be made to ensure project viability due to the revised business case.

I joined the project in May 2018 and was appointed Vice President, Construction by the development company. My responsibilities were comprehensive project management duties, ensuring that all aspects of delivery were achieved. The business case for the development was based on the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program sponsored by the Grenada Government, whereby investors purchase fractional ownership in the hotel real estate in return for a Grenada passport and citizenship. In addition to this benefit, investors also derive income from hotel operations once the project is completed and the hotel has opened for business.

The business case therefore relied on two basic fundamental supports: the first being the demand for CBI …


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"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious and immature."

- Tom Robbins