Your COVID-19 PM toolkit

COVID-19 has officially been declared a pandemic and it is spreading quickly. Do you have a plan to keep your team and your org healthy? If not, it’s time to start planning. I wanted to share some helpful resources so you can make intuitive decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months about how to adapt and look after yourself and your team.

This virus has fairly serious consequences both from a health perspective and an economic one. The full force of this epidemic is expected to peak in May based on initial estimates, but the delay effect—where interruptions to your clients’ distribution or services and then eventually your own (if your teammates get sick)—means you may not start seeing impacts on your business for about one to six months. What does this mean?

Here are three things you need to think about to keep your business healthy:

Create a communication plan

How will you set expectations with your team and clients about when and how often you will communicate if anyone on your team goes down? How will client delays due to illness or interruption to their services impact your project delays? How will you handle late payments? Do your agreements include Force Majeure? It’s a good time to buckle down and get all this sorted. Plus, it’ll help you in future situations if you manage to avoid the impact this spring.

Feel free to use our communication plan Notion template.


Based on numerous reports and references, we suggest you consider instituting a work-from-home policy and test it immediately for edge cases. Will your VPN be able to handle a full team’s usage? Do your tools work remotely? Does everyone have a check-in overlap where you can communicate in realtime? Are your passwords saved to a team password manager? Are your company processes up to date? Do you know how privacy laws work when someone goes down with the virus? Do you pass the Alien Test?

Tighten up your project management

When shit hits the fan, it is critical that you can run lean projects and still keep them healthy (whether you’re client-facing and need to protect your margins or you’re not-for-profit and need to ensure you can cover operating costs). You need to be able to anticipate delays and how these will bump out other projects. You should also anticipate a significant drop in capacity as various teammates could each be out for 2–3 weeks unable to work. Money might get tight and you cannot afford project overages.

Here is a realtime report from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) to track COVID-19.

To prepare you and your organization, we’ve put together a helpful guide you can use and adapt:

Emergency Response Plan (Notion template)

Be safe and take care of each other this spring. We’re all in this together and we’ve got your back.

Digital Project Management Foundations

We’re tailoring this next cohort to help you work remotely, improve your cash flow, and ensure longer-term relationships so you can ride out the expected bumps.

We’re including a bonus module

Prepping for worst-case scenarios

  • Emergency planning
  • Remote work setup and maintenance
  • Asynchronous communication
  • Boundary setting
  • Handling project delays

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