Summary: Hosting #PMChat. 7th July 2020

As a regular participant to the weekly #PMChat on Twitter, I jumped at the chance when they asked for presenters to take on a topic.

What is #PMChat?

#PMChat is a weekly thread hosted by Dr. Alexia (@ruffh20) and has Project Managers and Project Management Professionals from all of the world participating. There’s a weekly topic which covers all areas of Project Management and it’s a great way to connect with other Project Managers as well using the hour to gain 1 PDU.

How does it work?

Firstly, you need to be on Twitter and after that, I’d recommend following Dr. A and the presenter. Alternatively, you can just search #pmchat in the search bar and you’ll find all of the comments and posts. During the hour, there’ll be questions posted by the host and then they’re immediately answered by those online and chatting. It’s also a great way to reply to others and start a dialogue about a specific topic or subject.

What’s the point?

Well, I think it’s a great way to learn more about a specific topic and develop your own skills. I always find myself thinking about the thread throughout the week and it definitely gives me food for thought in how I run my own projects.

My topic: Risk Management during pandemics/uncertainty

This is a topic that I find really interesting and it’s a very Hot Topic at the moment due to the recent pandemic which has affected is so severely. I wanted to share knowledge with the community for how I’m running projects and managing risks but also seeing what they are doing and if there’s anything different/better that I can adopt. I chose to make my questions quite broad to enable every project manager to be able to reply, regardless of industry.

What were the questions?

Q1: Do you pay more attention to risk during times of uncertainty? #PMChat

Answers: The resounding answer was Yes. Any sort of turbulance brings attention to risk and as you’re outside of your comfort zone, you’re more aware of the risk that may be present in your surroundings. There was a great conversation starting around how COVID19 has shone a light on the weaknesses that are present in Risk Management and specifically in Risk identification.

Q2: How might your risk response be different/altered during times of uncertainty? #PMChat

Answers: This was a really surprising set of answers for me. Almost all of the answers said that social distancing has been one of the biggest changes that has altered their behaviour. A comment which stood out was:

Q3: What have been your biggest lessons learned around risk management that you could give to junior project managers? #PMChat

Answers: Have a plan, be proactive rather than reactive was the overwhelming response to this one.

Q4: How do you manage risk during uncertain periods? Do you maintain an issue log? Review your risk register more? #PMChat

Answers: It’s very much Business as usual but on an emphasis to realise that Risk Management is an activity which should remain constant in your project and discussed with your project team on a regular basis. As a result of COVID19, you need to make sure that you have the governance in place in case you need to make adjustments in your project. This includes an emphasis on Talent Management.

Q5: Have you seen any responses to risk in the past few months that have given you food for thought? Or made you question your own risk response? #PMChat

Answers: There were lots of examples given for where the Risk Response was admired e.g. The New Zealand approach to managing the pandemic and where being “a bit radical, was not necessarily a bad thing”. There was also the reflection for how difficult it can be to accept these new changes and remaining positive and the role that your emotions play in your own risk response.

Q6: Let’s take a look at hindsight… it’s a wonderful thing. Would you change any of your behaviour or reactions that you’ve had in your risk response and risk management during the recent pandemic? #PMChat

Answers: There’s a lot of feedback around the importance of work/life balance as well as how our organisations handle and deal with issues like remote working and risk management.

Q7: The last question for today. How often does your organization reassess it’s “top risks”. Have you seen your organization behave in a different manner since COVID19? #PMChat

Answers: I think there are a few different slants to this answer based on your organisation. Some organisations will look at this as an opportunity to take positive steps for adjusting their organisation to be more agile and proactive. There are some organisations who remain risk averse and the lack of strategic direction will just cause a revert to the status quo.

Whats next?

If you found this topic interesting, please feel free to join my webinar that I’ll be hosting on this topic on 16. July. More information can be found here.

You can also keep the discussion running throughout the week using the hashtag #PMChat.

Why not join in the conversation?

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