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What is our role as project managers in this crisis? How can we contribute to fight the pain and to leverage the opportunities? What are you doing?
Your thoughts, ideas, actions.

Any crisis brings change and we are the people who can manage change. So where is our contribution.
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Perhaps because we are living in South America project managers that belongs to this part of the world are trained in this type of things. I mean, unexpected and unplanned events that comes from leading projects in countries where there are from local social rebellion to dangerous viruses (people from other regions have to take into account that we have a list of viruses quit similar to corona virus active). So, contributions? I think the contributions have to come from USA and Europe to help the companies that belongs to those parts of the world in understanding that we are here and promote the behaviour to consider the work life of people here the same than people that belongs to the countries where the company is located. In my case, I am working into a company that takes care on that.
Thomas -

Our contribution is on two levels:

1. Being better at "rolling with the punches" while delivering our current projects.

2. Helping our colleagues whether they are team members, sponsors or others to cope with the stress, fears and doubts that are caused by the crisis and modeling the leadership behavior we'd want them to follow. This means not spreading misinformation, taking a stand against any xenophobia, ensuring that staff are not being overworked and feel comfortable not coming in to work if they aren't well.

Kiron
Emergencies are a great time for project management. What is the problem? What are potential solutions? What are the ramifications? How long will it take? What are the threats and opportunities? What people and skills do we have available? What resources do we have available? How will we communicate? How will we know if the plan is working? How will we adapt?

These are all familiar questions for PMs.
Thomas,

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 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 doing a particular analysis using a kit detection in an laboratory is about between 100 and 200 Euros very expensive).

Alexandre
Dear Thomas,

For those project managers who are not on the front line dealing with this crisis either in Government Department, Agencies or other third parties contributing, at this stage it is amount managing the channels of communication and making sure that the correct message, information and facts are being relayed to members of the public.

Most hospitals have emergency escalation plans and these are coordinated at a National Level. For now our civic duty is listen to the public health advise that is being distributed and acting accordingly.

Daire
Thanks for your thoughts so far. A common theme is we should be able to help avoid the panic, apply our problem solution capabilities and stay calm. I personally like Kiron‘s comment to ‚take a stand against xenophobia‘ and share Alexandre‘s view that all of humanity is asked to step in.

This pandemic is an opportunity to re-enforce the value of community and mutual support.
The virus is the common enemy we need to find together.

It is true that certain regions are more exposed to insecurity and might not see this crisis as a big deal. I hope they can see it as a chance for humanity.

See also here
https://twitter.com/foundation_ma/status/1238317660871393280?s=20
I am so happy to find that we are discussing the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible role we could play,
As PMI certified project managers, I am convinced we are uniquely positioned to significantly contribute and help the world towards a resolution. Yes, better placed than Medical Doctors and even national, state and local governments. Our PM tools and discipline give us the edge.
How can we help?
By standardizing the issue and the response in a globally consumable manner. This engenders a common understanding, makes information readily available, enhances the pace of information exchange and treatment, reduces opportunities for errors in communication and defeats the spread of false news.
How do we do this? I can think of the first few steps.
We scour all the credible sources of information and compile them into a single but highly credible reference resource document devoid of any contradictory information and sensitive to the different cultures around the globe.
We work with medical professionals, community leaders and social workers in our number to validate the process at every stage
In such a document we will;
Define the objectives of this mission including the scope – limited to COVID - 119
We define COVID-19
We define the terminology
We explain how it spreads
We explain the testing process
We explain the treatment options
We explain and list in order of efficacy or depending on situation proposals on how to contain it.
We make available “Public Communication” samples to protect individuals, groups and societies
Provide guidance to return businesses and society to normal operations.
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Mar 15, 2020 6:13 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Dear Timothy,
agree we could do all of this, but we aren't.

It is the virologists who are considered to monitor the situation, provide predictions and recommend actions. If governments listen to them, they decide and implement. No project managers involved, or are they?

This crisis also is not like a project, it is more a defensive and reactive struggle as we go along.

One topic we could jump on is to help set the necessary culture, the sense of community and support, which also would help us elsewhere once the crisis is mitigated.
Dear Thomas
Interesting your question

Thanks for sharing

I am very happy to know that a Portuguese man had the initiative to raise funds and people for the design and production of ventilation equipment

What specific initiatives can we have? (in addition to calming the members of our teams)

Does anyone in this community have any ideas that we can develop?
Thomas,

As PM we should be proactive in preventing the disease to spread in our teams. When it is possible to push for remote work.

An interesting post I came across suggested on March 8th, that organization in Europe that have more than 250 peoples close their shops. That didn't happen. Where are we now? A serious outbreak in France, Spain,...

Check Next week, America is likely to have a major outbreak.

We just don't apply what we learned.

PM should protect their teams! it will be less delay in the project.
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Mar 15, 2020 6:08 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Dear Vincent,

agree. One characteristic of handling this crisis seems to be speed of decisions, implementing them AND being able to revise them quickly as new data becomes available.
The data comes from the own development of the virus impact (and if you even measure it), and also from other countries. So far, China and South Korea seem to have taken effective measures, while Italy acted too late, by maybe only 8 days. Let's see how UK is doing who are still in denial phase.

I do not observe project managers in charge, rather politicians making decisions and virologist monitoring and prediciting scenarios. How can we as PMs contribute?
Mar 14, 2020 6:32 PM
Replying to Vincent Guerard
...
Thomas,

As PM we should be proactive in preventing the disease to spread in our teams. When it is possible to push for remote work.

An interesting post I came across suggested on March 8th, that organization in Europe that have more than 250 peoples close their shops. That didn't happen. Where are we now? A serious outbreak in France, Spain,...

Check Next week, America is likely to have a major outbreak.

We just don't apply what we learned.

PM should protect their teams! it will be less delay in the project.
Dear Vincent,

agree. One characteristic of handling this crisis seems to be speed of decisions, implementing them AND being able to revise them quickly as new data becomes available.
The data comes from the own development of the virus impact (and if you even measure it), and also from other countries. So far, China and South Korea seem to have taken effective measures, while Italy acted too late, by maybe only 8 days. Let's see how UK is doing who are still in denial phase.

I do not observe project managers in charge, rather politicians making decisions and virologist monitoring and prediciting scenarios. How can we as PMs contribute?
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