For organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging on an unprecedented scale. Business leaders have suddenly had to focus on keeping their companies above water, as well as sustaining future growth potential. Given this unpredictable environment many organizations will need to revise their strategies, services, and products. With this, the PRINCE2® themes can help, as they describe aspects of project management that must be continuously addressed.
Whenever there is a big change in the business environment, such as a global pandemic, organizations should undertake a strategic review to understand whether their goals are still viable. Actions such as downsizing, outsourcing, new products, or investing in new areas may be necessary. All stakeholders should be engaged in the process so that everyone has confidence in the new business case when it is developed.
A major business case update should always be accompanied by a review of everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Even if nothing ultimately changes, it is crucial that business leaders confirm that staff structures and capabilities are stable and suitable, and that they will help the organization progress towards its new goals.
A major shift, like moving to home-working, should trigger a process to check that everyone knows what they are responsible for. It might even be necessary to hire more staff, contract external consultants, or give individual employees additional responsibilities in order to cope with the new normal.
We are in a very volatile environment, where change has become the norm. This means that businesses need to be more diligent about quality. They must continually reassess their products and services and how they compare to market demand. When the environment is volatile, the service and product requirements must be equally flexible and adaptable to the end user’s changing needs.
When the going gets tough, it is important to stop and reflect on where the business was, is, and must be. You need a robust plan if you want to rescue an ailing business.
Strategic planning should include considerations like long-term vision, changes in business structure and culture, whether a turnaround consultant is required, SWOT analyses, budgets, cash flow and so on.
Risks, both positive and negative, are everywhere. For many businesses right now, the most significant one is the damage caused by not adapting.
Managers should consider how their actions will affect the business’ viability, income, and reputation, as well as the impact on customers and employees. Try to learn what can be done to mitigate and manage risks by using past experiences, market analysis, and other research.
Changes are integral to a project. No plan is perfect, so changes may be needed to ensure that the primary objectives are achieved. In this environment, businesses must be eagle-eyed and ready to swiftly adjust keep up with rapid regulatory and user demands. Plan to have a larger-than-usual change budget, and to ensure that the appropriate people have the authority to make and manage these modifications effectively.
Management must regularly review and analyse their organization’s activities to track progress. If they do not, projects could be derailed without anyone noticing, which could stall any developments. It is crucial that everyone knows who is responsible and accountable for tracking progress and taking appropriate action.
For a successful recovery, organizations must have a strong business case, a sound plan, controls, a monitoring framework, clear responsibilities, frequent communication, the commitment of the stakeholders, and fast decision-making abilities. This may sound daunting, but PRINCE2 with its themes can help you to tackle these issues logically and effectively.