When the coronavirus pandemic erupted it also meant that many projects came to a halt. Companies in a wide range of sectors and geographies suddenly had to encounter a new reality and quickly prioritise their resources to survive in the market. In the current situation, the same companies experience major financial setbacks and need to rethink their strategy.
Now, as businesses step into the post-pandemic future, they need to quickly identify the most vital projects to put into operation. The complication in this new situation is that, besides choosing the correct project, companies must also accomplish the project fast to achieve a competitive advantage in the foreseeing future.
Good project management is equally important in good and difficult times, but the solution to the current complication is project managers that master the following skills.
1. Communicate actively. Now more than ever, communication is becoming the most essential factor of project management with teams being spread around the world. Project managers need to actively use communication tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, combined with a well-defined plan that monitors progress, workflow, and goals, which the proprietary business communication platform Slack can help with. By doing so, more productive working ways will be ensured within the team.
2. Revisit contracts. A global pandemic as COVID-19 typically indulges in contractual clauses about the implications of unexpected events. Thus, it must be resolved whether the clauses fall under force majeure or the use of contract provision to amend the law.
3. Centralise data. In the current environment, companies have no choice but to centralise their data including schedules, worksheets, reports and etc. When centralising the data, it is important the data warehouse becomes intuitive for the employees and is protected from potential cyberattacks. Without a centralised data warehouse, which is well-organised and protected, there will no longer exist good project management.
4. Efficient monitoring. The skill of monitoring the situation is particularly important for effective project management. This can be accomplished by using a business communication platform like Slack, where all communication and data is centralised in order to take immediate action in real-time.
5. Adoptability and resilience. Project managers must step up and provide their teams with the essential tools and guidance during this critical period. In order to adopt a new digital way of working, the project manager must lead the way and signal resilience. In addition, it is also important to formalise the non formalised meetings, which is important to adopt to ensure a certain team spirit during a project.
6. Effective risk management. Risk identification and management is going to be a particularly critical task for the project managers in the current situation. It will be necessary for the project managers to get a holistic overview of the new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will make it easier to identify new risks and afterwards review risk plans and revise key areas.
7. Technology and tools. As technology becomes, Several project management skills have been digitalised with technology becoming ever more integrated in Industry 4.0. During COVID-19 project managers need to embrace useful tools such as mobile apps to become more interconnected with the team as well as virtual reality (VR) and 3D printing to see and feel things essential to the project while being at the office.
8. Provide safety. In a pandemic, the guidelines given by the government and concerned authorities must be followed and the safety plans must be revised. Ensuring more safety during COVID-19 will allow the team members to focus on the project. As a matter of fact, while staying home, the team members will have less exposure and risk to other diseases that often fluctuates while being at work.
The project managers and project team members have to adapt and learn these new skills to manage and monitor the project using various IT-based solutions. This is however not an easy task in this new environment. Education and training must become a top priority since it will be a key element in changing behaviours and maintaining the required system. The internal communications system will also have an important ongoing role, which must be recognised in companies’ internal policies.
If the project manager master all the required skills and successfully help to create a resilient team, it will highly increase the likelihood of a successful project, now when the survival of the company depends on it.
In the post-pandemic future, it is all about being effective and efficient. On the one hand, the board of the firm must ensure they have the best environment for future projects by securing a skilled project manager and provide the needed education to its employees. On the other hand, the entrusted project manager must ensure he utilises the skills required in the time in a post-pandemic future and support the team members of the project.
Understandably, this is not an easy task for a company and its project managers, since it requires experience to lead a project and especially in the post-pandemic future. Through the help from LINNFOSS Consulting and its senior consultants with more than 25 years of experience, several international companies and project managers have previously been given the required help to make a project successful. Is it your turn now?
 A. D. Smet, D. Patchod, C. Relyea, B. Sternfels, “Ready, set, go: Reinventing the organization for speed in the post-COVID-19 era, McKinsey & Company, 2020
 S. H. Khahro, T. H. Ali, A. Vighio, Q. H. Khahro, M. A. Moriyani, “Post Pandemic Project Management Key Skills and Challenges”, IRATDE, 2020
 G. Robertson, “Corporate culture and governance: Crucial for pandemic and post-pandemic era”, Governance Directions, 2020