Helping others during the coronavirus outbreak: A message from APM’s CEO

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Helping others during the coronavirus outbreak is a project – one that has real social benefits

by Debbie Dore, APM chief executive

I am sure for you, like me, it is hard to comprehend how much life is changing and how we will all need to adapt and support each other.

This time last week I was enjoying a lovely sunny break in southern Spain. I was, of course, aware of the coronavirus outbreak and had been working with my team on contingency planning before I left, but with no idea how different life would look a week later.

After struggling to leave Spain and make it home – and being exposed to thousands of people attempting to do the same via Malaga airport – I have spent the week in self-isolation working remotely with the team to ensure we do the right thing for our members, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and the wider community. It has thrown up lots of interesting dilemmas and shown how, as individuals, we all view the same advice very differently.

But most of all it has made it very clear how much we need each other’s support and understanding to successfully navigate the next few months. Navigating successfully through this outbreak of coronavirus and the illness that it can cause – COVID-19 – is going to be a major project. What skills do we have that we can utilise to help?

The project profession is well equipped to help in many ways. Could we offer our skills to a very stretched NHS in ensuring some mitigating action can get completed on time? Could we help organise support for the elderly in our street or local neighbourhood? Could we share our expertise in communicating change to those struggling to comprehend what is going on around them?

If you take time to reflect, every one of us could be doing something to help in the fight against COVID-19. We just need to find where that help is needed. I would encourage every one of you to take time to reflect where that might be, reach out to people where you feel your skills could help and share with us and others what you are doing so we can learn from each other and show how the great skills of project professionals can truly make a difference.

  • Are you or your employer lending your project management expertise to help others? If so, share your stories, advice and examples of innovation and best practice with us, so that we can share your inspirational examples with the entire project community. Email APM’s communications manager matthew.johnson@apm.org.uk 
Posted on 18th Mar 2020
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