In this mid-pandemic period, as we sit precariously balanced between the end of wave one and the beginning of wave two it may seem a little premature to consider the future, but this is exactly what leaders should be doing if they want to ensure that their businesses survive what is in front of them.
What should you focus on?
There are a number of areas that need to be focused on, and questions that you should be asking:
- Is your business doing as much as it can to ensure its core operations remain the same?
- Are you creating and maintaining a list of any changes you make or that you are being forced to make?
- Do you have an up to date list of revised strategic priorities?
- Are you using communication in the most effective way?
Using all of these project management skills together is a full-time job but it is also the most effective use of your time whilst you implement a recovery strategy.
Future investment areas
There is considerable uncertainty surrounding how the pandemic might develop, how severe the numbers will become and how long restrictions may be in place. This means, as any project manager will tell you, that flexibility and plenty of it is vital. As recovery begins it will be important for plans to evolve. You will need to put yourself in a position where you have the ability to spread the available funds that you have across the likely investment areas available to you.
Supply chain interruption will have hit your operational infrastructure, there will be productivity losses, impacts on support and demand. Whilst some of these may solve themselves there will be some need for investment. There may be potential week spots that you may need to eliminate.
Continuity of business
You will have already seen weaknesses in your business model, now is the time to address these. The pandemic and its impact were impossible to predict. Now is the chance to take stock and see just how resilient your business so that you know how well it will withstand future disruption.
Customer and employee engagement
Recovery is going to be a lot more than returning to the workplace, returning to a social life, and going about the day to day as though nothing has occurred. There will be a need for companies to have an understanding towards the well-being of customers and employees if they are going to recover. To put it simply – people need to learn to trust again.
Business fundamentals are unlikely to have change. A good investment will still be a good investment but those initiatives that can make the biggest contribution to your ability to deliver need to be prioritised.
It is important to remember that in these unprecedented times we really cannot be certain what is around the corner, a good project manager will plan for every disruption they can think of. One thing that is certain is that if you have PM qualifications, they are likely to be in big demand in the near future.