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A project should always consider anything that might cause a participating company to execute all or part of its Business Continuity plan, which covers highly unlikely but highly impactful events such as CATASTROPHE (flood, earthquake, severe storm, volcano, epidemic, famine, meteor strike, etc), STRIFE (war, terrorism, civil disturbance, alien invasion etc), ECONOMETRICS (power outage, labor issues/strikes, international incidents, market instability, currency exchange, etc), CRIME (thievery, arson, cyber attack, saboutage, etc), and OTHER business-specific risks.
Covid19 outbreak, pandemic all over the world, is no longer a risk. It's a reality, an issue impacting your plan.
Risks would be the organization suspending or even cancelling the project, team members unavailable due to disease, etc. In this context Covid19 might be the trigger.
I haven't include world pandemic in risk register back in January.
While Europe, Africa and America are still facing the first wave, China, Japan and others while returning to BAU, suffering the second wave.
One of the many uncertainties, unknown unknowns, is how the quarantine will end,
how people will get back to the offices,
would it be all at the same time?
Most of us haven't though about it and are dependent of governmental policies and board decisions not yet discussed.
On or off risk register, he keep reacting, about Catastrophes, strifes, econometrics, crimes and other sort of risks, such as meteorite hitting the planet, not much of idea about tomorrow.
No one would believe the consequences of Covid19 back in January, EUA (Trump), UK (Boris J.), Brasil (Bolsonaro) don't yet believe its true we are facing.
If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you'll be right. Steve Jobs
Hello Sante: I must be looking at this differently than my peers, because I have added COVID-19 impact as a risk for my projects. I work in the healthcare industry, and resources are being taken from my projects to help with the overload in hospitals. Projects that were going through implementations have been paused because we cannot take staff away from what they are doing to attend training prior to go live. I was working on a supply chain implementation, and the staging areas were needed for additional patient beds, etc. There have been many risks and impacts to the projects I am leading. These are risks that are being transferred, mitigated, avoided and accepted as appropriate.
COVID-19 is not a risk anymore - it is rather an issue now, that could potentially trigger other events. It is on my risk register as such - an issue to be dealt with.
We do not regularly put pandemic events on our risk registers, but US Government shutdown is a fixed feature :)
I agree with the group of commentators that see COVID-19 as an issue. It was a risk three months ago possibly included in the Known-Unknown class of risk. Now that it is an issue its impact may result in increased probability of other risk events as well as give rise to a whole new family of risk events. Depending on the nature of your industry and project it may be an opportunity.
Time to rework the risk register; adjust probabilities, add events and reconsider mitigation measures.
I would agree with the previous comments that COVID-19 is the trigger and not necessarily the risk. Influenza and inclement weather could both trigger a reaction or change to our daily functioning. The true risk is how prepared are we to react to the change...are we fully operational in a telework mode, can we maintain productivity when our resources may be limited due to self-isolation or quarantine. This is a challenging time where "business as usual" is being redefined on a daily basis.
Interesting view on this question by David Hillson
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