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Sounds like you need an ITSM strategy such as ITIL. One of the first you need to do is distinguish a service request from an incident (something unplanned) or change request (something planned), and an issue can be yet another category.
Although the PMBOK Guide defines a project as a unique, temporary endeavor, that is not objective enough to help companies separate projects from "small" changes.
Most of the companies I've worked with will come up with a set of objective criteria such as effort, cost or duration to differentiate the two types of work.
In my actual work place all related to this has been implemented in the framework of ITIL. But trying to address the last part of your post the criteria is about to understand why a project exists. A project exists to create a solution to a business problem which happends when a need to put a strategy in place happends.
As well informed persons, i think our role is more in influencing and educating our teams to avoid panic, be flexible in their work style, be aware if they need to work from home, if their family is affected by some measures taken by the governments and be comprehensive and emphatic. Also trying to influence the high managers to start a transformation where we can minimize the need of the presence of workers in the company.
Panic is not a good adviser, so if some of us that are used work in chaotic situations, we can be good facilitators in calm people, and contribute to a serene environment. Managers in the health sector must deal with the situation without spreading panic and misinformation.
I do not agree completely with @Sergio that should be the USA and Europe to help everyone, the world should constitute a health task force to contain this pandemic, China , japan, Australia etc.. there are may powerful countries capable of helping and with valid resources. But lowering the prices of the kits for detecting the disease and spread this kits all over the world it would already be a good beginning. (In Portugal do a particular analysis using a kit detection in an laboratory is about between 100 and 200 Euros very expensive).
Thank you all for your great input. So far there are endless options to address this but I guess my focus is whether establish project intake criteria to support the service desk / service center environment or develop a will designed process. Once again thank y'all
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