Project Management

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Topics: Construction, Government, Organizational Project Management
An area where there is surprisingly little information available is project management and disaster recovery. How is disaster recovery different and what resources are out there for project managers?
When I first took on the challenge of managing a program of disaster recovery projects as a result of flooding in our city, I did not have time to do any research on best practices in these scenarios. I relied on what I believed to be sound program and project management principles. For the most part they served their purpose well.
Having said that, it would be interesting to hear what others have experienced especially since there does not seem to be a lot written on the topic.
While a disaster recovery project may in many ways be just like other projects, the context is very different.
What do you think?
Hi James, Interesting that there is little response on your question :), so I felt compelled to tell you some of my thoughts on the subject.

I believe that the problem lies in the fact that PMs classically are not the ones who tackle the "operational" or "service mgt" realm of practice, but usually skirt along the side of Project Mgt that deals with new endeavours that require lots of upfront planning.

In the area od DR, we hope that the planning has occurred and that you are merely implementing the plan that was devised in such incidents (ie. flooding).

I happen to work in IT Service Mgt currently and find that Project Mgt is not the at the forefront of thinking. On my team are persons that handle disaster recovery and continuity of operations and we deal with vendors that are the leading edge providers of DR. I would think in the vendor community there are some key players who own the best practices for handling DR projects (can find out who these are if you write me directly :).

As well, I think the role of the PM is best served in developing the Risk Analysis Matrices around protecting the most vulnerable resources. In the Government that I work in, we certainly pay heed to and rate the level of risk and ensure our stakeholders are aware of all risk scenarios and the consequences, so that the right plan is in place when/if that risk occurs and ensuring proper risk acceptance.

I would think that working in DR should also yield many valuable PM lessons learned that need to be published or communicated to key govt officials on how these can be prevented or severity be lessened.

My humble opinions...

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