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Crisis Management Plan & Strategies in Project Management

Planning projects is a complicated task. You need to account for every possible outcome. You don’t want to be caught off guard. Things don’t always go according to plan.
Prepare a crisis management plan to help you and your team deal with unexpected situations that could negatively impact your project’s success.
What is a Crisis Management Plan?
A crisis management plan is a list of actions, procedures, or resources that your team will take in the event of a crisis. This plan will require you to assess potential risks to your project, determine their impact, and identify the skills, knowledge, or facilities that you need to manage them.
Learn more: Understanding the Risk Breakdown Structure
A Crisis Management Plan: The Benefits
Helps to Reduce the Impact of a Crisis
You can reduce the impact of a crisis by being prepared. Having a plan will help you avoid problems that can cause irreversible damage. In times of crisis, it is almost always crucial to act quickly.
Builds trust and confidence
Trust is built by being prepared for and aware of crises. This shows that you are fully aware of the risks and that your decisions have been carefully considered. This also shows your ability to handle adverse situations, if they arise.
Keeps team calm under pressure
A solid game plan will help your team stay calm and collected when unexpected events occur. A crisis management plan will prepare your team mentally and operationally to handle any situation.
Avoids Potential Crises
Ironically, being able to identify crises can help you understand how to avoid them. You might be able to identify bad situations and take preventive steps if you can.
Read more: Risk Assessment Matrix
How to create a Crisis Management Plan
Identify Worst-Case Scenarios
Prioritize Most Relevant Crises
Make a plan
Secure Resources
Document and Review
Identify Worst-Case Scenarios
Before you can plan how to respond to a crisis, it is important to first identify them. Take a look at your project milestones and plans. Consider the factors that could impact your operations and your resources.
These are some examples of different crises that you might consider:
Natural Disasters: Volcano eruptions, typhoons, earthquakes, etc.
Man-Made Disasters: Violence, cyber crime, political unrest, etc.
Technological Service Interruptions (e.g., a social network outage)
Price increases and shortages: An abrupt shortage or price rise in materials (e.g. the recent fuel price explosion)
Accidents and Health Calamities: Fire, explosions, etc.
Prioritize Most Relevant Crises
Different types of calamities may have different impact levels depending on the project.
Natural calamities can be a major concern if your project operations are mostly outdoors. Remote work might be more important for you than traditional work.
You should consider the impact of natural calamities, man-made disasters, and other crises. A risk register is an organized way to do this.
Make a plan
Now that you are aware of the most pressing crises for you, you can create a plan to manage and mitigate them.
Identify the trigger that will cause the protocol to start: Does someone need to approve it? Is there a specific date or situation? To facilitate collaboration, will you need to create a new chain or command?
Consider what you need to do, who will do it and how it will happen. These are all things you might not have the time to think about when you’re busy.