A couple of weeks ago, we experienced record-breaking weather in Texas. Not only did we break temperature records, but we also broke records for consecutive days of freezing. It was heartbreaking to see friends, family, team members, companies and our community suffer from loss of power, water, and food. As if that wasn’t bad enough, once we got power and water, many began to discover damages to their homes and businesses. Our communities and companies continue to have a lot of catch-up to fully recover.
From my view as a long time PM, I have always appreciated that at least 80% of my role is communication. Plus, a big part of my job is to mitigate risks and resolve issues for my projects. So with communication in my professional PM and IT DNA, I did feel for those working for companies addressing so many outages and exceptions. Plus, I reflected on the number of disaster recovery and business continuity plans that were required as part of my projects. Sometimes the entire project was creating those plans. There is a lot to it. All of it: Communication, Risk/Issue Management, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, etc. So many people, teams, and companies were exercising these plans over the past few weeks. We earn the return on investment of thought, preparation, and testing when the unthinkable happens.
During this event, I was on both ends, impacted by the situation, and also responsible for our own recovery. So it is with understanding and compassion, I sat as one of the millions impacted in our recent weather debacle. However, this time as I was on the receiving end, I wanted updates, timelines, and reassurance that work was underway to get us back on track. Kudos to those working around the clock to use their disaster recovery, business continuity, and communication plans.
All of us are bound to dust off our plans and make some updates with lessons learned and a new viewpoint that focuses on communication and planning. Two areas to evaluate: (1) Communication - to ensure consistency and availability (2) Planning - to mitigate risks, to recover from disasters, and to ensure business continues.
I’ve often heard the only thing worse than having a lesson learned (opportunity) is not learning from it! So while the lessons learned are fresh, I know that I will continue to push for these plans in projects and update the ones we have.
"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”
Vernon Saunders Law
Diane Johnson Morris, PMP, CSM
Diane Johnson Morris is an Industrial Engineer, certified PMP, and CSM. She has over 30 years of experience in the Defense, Retail, Restaurants, and Healthcare. She has supported Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Strategy and Information Technology functions in various roles including Engineer, Process Leader, Strategy/Portfolio Manager, Program/Project Manager, and PMO Director.
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