How to Lead Projects During a Crisis
Let’s face it: some of your projects will be canceled, or you will have to manage scope-reduced projects. Project management today can be a real challenge, and you need to quickly spot the red flags. How should you lead projects during a crisis?
The IT industry has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic; clients are terminating their contracts or limiting work to the bare minimum. While some companies are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis, others are joining forces to build alert apps and solutions to help us get through the pandemic. Some projects are also being carried out unchanged.
You need to create awareness among all team members more than ever, and you’re probably struggling to define how much information you should share with your colleagues. Read on to learn some project management guidelines.
Notice the early signs
Some clients may be concerned about the current situation, so start by evaluating each of your ongoing projects. Gather all available information and factual data regarding the project and then act.
Start your own investigation to see if and how your clients’ priorities have changed. It’s good to know the status of your clients’ business, so your analysis will make it easier to suggest potential changes to clients before they decide to end your cooperation.
Follow changes carefully to determine whether certain functionality is within the new requirements. Perhaps you need to change the frequency of review meetings. You should address even minor client concerns and ensure better outcomes when dealing with challenges. Plus, if you need to modify the contract, you can help with all formalities.
Communicate with your team
Talk to your manager about the project risks associated with the epidemic. Organize a meeting with other project managers to select the projects that will require the most changes in the near future. You should focus on them first. Be prepared that you may have to give up some projects if they are no longer profitable.
Another thing to do is decide on a form of communication and choose the tools to facilitate cooperation among your team. If remote work is new in your workplace, develop new processes and provide best practices to the team.
Once you are in control of communication, it’s easier to stop the bleeding, keep your team focused, and keep people motivated and engaged to drive the work forward. It is up to you as a project manager to implement a positive attitude and give others moral support. It affects both the pace and quality of their work.
Trust is essential, so be transparent and regularly communicate updates to your teammates. It will prevent misunderstandings and clear up existing ones, especially now, when the situation is changing dynamically. When management has decided to down your workforce, you must be as transparent as possible, show empathy, and be genuine with the people who are let go.
Anticipate problems as best as you can when a crisis hits you in the face. Keep a cool head and be solution-focused, but accept your manager’s decisions, especially when it’s about reducing your team. Perhaps the project uses too many resources, or it needs some budget cuts.
As a project manager, you lead the ship, so dealing with the COVID-19 crisis may mean having to make difficult decisions. Follow up with your team and make sure they understand organizational changes. Being transparent with your clients and team members will help you move forward with problem-solving.