On Crisis Management

Crisis management has been at the forefront of my considerations. It has been something that I have been thinking about for several weeks…

Project managers are often brought in to manage various forms of crisis. Most project managers are not experts in risk management or crisis management. They get brought in based on availability. Building out a project plan to resolve a crisis might seem like a great idea. That plan has to fundamentally address the root cause of the problem or the plan will be predestined for failure. A crisis or two is bound to occur within the workplace. Some of them change the very nature of the business by putting it at risk and some of them are relatively harmless.

People sometimes try to turn an escalation into a full brown crisis. Some of those actions can be very self-serving. Escalations can be a very healthy part of how an organization handles business. Unfortunately, some work streams can become so inundated with escalations that the original method of doing business no longer works. That breakdown in process can have devastating effects on the employees and the quality of the work being done. Environments where everything is an escalation take on different types of cadences.

Working with an escalation manger is often a very interesting process. They typically work from the framework hear-listen-do (HLO). They have to figure out the problem. It could be a process that got very far off the tracks or a fundamentally broken part of an application.

Building out a plan to address a crisis presents an interesting challenge. The timeframes are usually compressed. Results are usually measured in interesting ways.

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