Project Management

Plan C: Unanchored Project Management During the Pandemic

Michael is a technical project/program management manager.

It was March 19th, 2020 when I awoke to the chirping of parakeets in my tiny Airbnb room located in the small fishing town of Loreto in Baja, Mexico. I had been traveling on my motorcycle through Baja for over a month, continuing my adventures as a digital nomad project manager. This is a lifestyle I had successfully navigated for almost three years, of which I had overcome numerous obstacles and was confident not only in my unanchored PM abilities, but my abilities living as a minimalist off a motorcycle.

Within 30 minutes, all that confidence went out the window as a harsh reality set in.

The chirping of the parakeets quickly turned to the chirping of my phone from family and friends texting me, all to the theme of “Time to return home, NOW!” Barely coherent in this early hour, I decided to brew a cup of dark coffee in the outdoor kitchen as the parakeets chose to out-do the sound of my cell (which was still alarming), and I slowly began to digest the news.

The U.S. State Department raised its global travel advisory to a Level 4 (something that no one had ever seen before), stating “Return home now or plan to hunker down wherever you are for an indefinite period of time.” My head began spinning as I attempted to absorb this news. My manager called me to check in and randomly asked how I was managing with the “sheltering in place,” …

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That's the true spirit of Christmas; people being helped by people other than me.

- Jerry Seinfeld