By Sheila Roberts

Coronavirus is the type of unknown unknown which is doubtful anyone had on their risk register, whether corporate or project level. Yet it is now a huge issue for everyone globally. After the Chinese lockdown, the authorities in Italy have essentially closed the country. In Romania the authorities are escorting people arriving from high risk areas to quarantine areas. The USA have stopped people travelling from 26 countries. The list goes on and will continue to grow over the next few weeks.

What can we do and what should be done? We are all aware that once this pandemic is under control, like Swine Flu, SARs etc, our organisations still need to make progress and survive and so we need to maintain progress where possible.

The first thing is that we should all adhere by the public health advice we get, in order to stay healthy. Hand washing, responding to symptoms, isolating as required. What else should we do to keep things on track to maintain momentum as much as possible? There are a few areas to consider and act where possible.

Can team members avoid travel to other locations?  This will reduce risks associated with cross contamination.

Can team members avoid public transport?  This will reduce risks of being in extended close proximity with others.

Can team members work remotely using virtual tools?  This will enable them continue to be productive.

Can the plan be reviewed so that higher value products are brought forward or prioritise items which do not require as much physical presence? This will enable team members to continue delivery whilst some are remote.

Is it possible to bring forward time off? This will mean the full team will be present after restrictions.

Can alternative forms of delivery be provided? This will mean that teams will not have a delivery constraint imposed.

Can the time be used for training and development? This will enable team members to have deeper understanding and be more productive once the situation improves.

Now is the time to embrace the technology available. As a Training and Consulting organisation we have worked virtually with clients globally for many years and can use our experience during this time of uncertainty to help you weather the storms in this volatile and changing environment. The participants will benefit from the reduced stress of wondering if the course will go ahead and if it does will it be stopped.

The most important thing is for you and your team to be safe.

Sheila Roberts

Chief Operating Officer, CUPE International Ltd