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Business projects affected by Coronavirus – what has been the impact?


Published: 14th October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected pretty much every business sector within the UK and overseas with many business projects affected by coronavirus. Some companies, including commercial giants, have even closed their doors altogether. Let’s look at how coronavirus has been impacting projects…

It is clear that many projects are no longer being delivered on time with a poll conducted by the Association for Project Management (APM) showing that 21 per cent of respondents have experienced delays to their projects. Other factors causing a negative impact include the requirement to review quality criteria and deadlines being missed – causing the need for project goals to be reassessed.

Have virus, will travel

COVID-19 is an opportunistic virus easily spread by contact and this means that the literal travel of people (or not as the case may be) is naturally affecting the physical travel of goods. The combination is proving deadly to the economic climate, and stakeholder and customer satisfaction. Not only are people contributing to the spread of the virus due to travelling for business and pleasure but this, ironically, then results in lockdown and travel restrictions. Colleagues and stakeholders being unavailable due to illness, self-isolation or working from remote locations are also other pertinent factors that entwine to further complete the COVID jigsaw.

The COVID challenge

Supply and demand have always driven company output but disruptions to supply chains means that even basic resources are unavailable or at least severely diminished and this is affecting our modern world of consumerism from every angle. Therefore, project managers are finding their job, that can be challenging at the best of times, even more of a challenge with multiple projects affected by Coronavirus The usual run of the mill issues faced by a project manager can be overcome with experience and the right training because these are unprecedented times, and further impact from subsequent waves of the virus, looks increasingly likely.

Supply and demand

Project managers have the advantage in that their role naturally involves the skill of adaptability. Effective project management is all about assessing and then responding to risk so this career sector is not diminishing in light of COVID 19; indeed, these sorts of skills will be increasingly necessary. The timeline of individual projects may be affected but businesses and communities will be relying on project managers more than ever to help them navigate this pandemic and protect their interests.

Adapting to the impact

Changes to schedules and budgets will obviously be overriding factors and, yes, goals may need to be amended or even changed completely but these changes are just a bigger version of what project managers undertake in their everyday line of work. In order to rise to meet this challenge, we are already seeing major organisations investing in further developing project management skills  to keep current, essential projects on track and provide the greatest chance of success for future ones, even if that future involves working alongside COVID 19.

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