The way we live our lives, has changed with the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, quite swiftly. This change has prompted the entire nation to move indoors. The usual getaways of the general Indian population such as shopping malls, movies, theatres, events, and vacations have all vanished overnight. The economy has come to standstill. While we all hope and pray that the current situation is temporary, there are larger questions ahead of us and this is the time we need to think and prepare.
Most of us have read and watched movies about the last world war (WW2) and the havoc it created globally. While there have been sporadic incidents in the last sixty years, a general balance has prevailed. In our living recollection, this is one global episode that has brought the entire planet to its knees. This situation prompts us to think about what our future looks like beyond the lockdown.
The answer probably lies in us. We humans have demonstrated extreme resilience and an ability to bounce back. Above all is our ability to innovate and face challenges that has helped us overcome devastating incidents recorded in history such as the Spanish Flu, Cholera Pandemic or even the Black Death. Coronavirus has presented a disruption at a scale unimagined before. From a future readiness assessment, what can we do in the future when a similar event occurs? Can we bring agility in the economy to lockdown in a day? Can we be disciplined enough to self quarantine and follow social distancing norms till we beat a future virus strain? Can we build a virtual collaborative style of working to minimize international travel? Can the medical fraternity accelerate the lifecycle of vaccine development projects?
This situation is an eye opener for all of us to rethink how we will live beyond the current outbreak. We have to plan for a new world that is far more virtual than imagined before. Different businesses have to plan their models that help employees and consumers stay connected and yet distanced socially. We have to accept that the impact will have far reaching consequences that will impact many facets of our everyday lives. While economic goals had overtaken all other concerns, we had ignored some of the basic terms of coexistence with nature. In the few weeks of lockdown we already see that there are positive outcomes in nature. But did it require a pandemic to open our eyes to the unseen impact of everything we do?
We have also realized the importance of families and friends and how much is really required to sustain. In our pursuit of development goals, we have ignored the closer ties that bond us.
When the world gets back to normal activities in a few weeks, we have to ensure how we can have a more sustainable development approach. In the world of project management, we need to rethink how we will approach projects, what will be our readiness in terms of business continuity, how will we serve our clients while we work virtually and still not impact productivity using better collaboration.
Thanks and Best Wishes
Subramanyam Krishnamurthy (Mani), PMP