Project Management During a Pandemic

In normal times, the role of a project manager is an important one. During a pandemic, it is even more vital to a project’s success. According to a survey of project managers across North America, 89% of states and provinces deemed construction an essential service. However, 70% of projects are experiencing setbacks as a result of the pandemic, ranging from furniture and supply chain delays to decreased labor availability and difficulty attaining permits. But a good project manager has the capability to save an organization time and money in the midst of a massive transition by properly managing and planning for these obstacles. Here are some examples of the varied roles we project managers take on.

Workplace Strategy

Prior to lease negotiations, Cresa project managers (PMs) help clients develop their workplace strategy, gather programming requirements, and review design standards. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this process has become even more comprehensive. In addition to traditional responsibilities, project managers are also analyzing alternative employee schedules and spatial distancing guidelines to ensure all potential solutions are taken into consideration and full circle due diligence is being performed.

Managing the Risk

Cresa PMs manage projects on a local and national level and can leverage this experience to mitigate risk when it comes to schedule, budget and scope. Due to the high volume of projects they manage, they have extensive expertise on what to expect and continually learn valuable lessons from each project. With this proficiency, PMs can properly plan for and reduce changes that arise due to pandemic delays.

Time is Money

Many active projects are experiencing delays with everything from materials lead times and IT equipment, to permitting and inspectional services. As a result of these setbacks, 76% of project managers surveyed are actively formulating plans to minimize the impact of potential delays. PMs have a keen insight into manufacturer shutdowns and material delays, and can plan around these restrictions while guiding clients to make decisions early in the process in order to reduce exposure.

Furniture Design and Planning

While construction is overwhelmingly deemed essential, many of the important roles supporting the industry are not. Furniture procurement is typically one of the longer lead times on a project and due to the pandemic, many large-scale projects are experiencing manufacturer shutdowns and lead times that are even longer than normal. In fact, 64% of project managers are seeing furniture delays. PMs have the ability to guide clients through the selection process and make adjustments in the schedule to expedite order placement.

Relocating or Returning to Work

The Cresa team is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to planning for your employee re-entry or relocation. By managing relocation logistics and employee communication, we provide timely guidance and methods to ensure your transition period runs smoothly. PMs can assist with both temporary and permanent solutions to accommodate employees as they return to the workplace.

While the role of a project manager is a complex one with many moving pieces, Cresa’s project management team understands the importance of planning, organizing and executing the completion of both small and large-scale projects. Whether in the midst of a pandemic or not, our comprehensive experience will help your organization navigate difficult situations.


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