Regardless of the size and type of adverse events, such as a war, an economic catastrophe, or a health crisis, as we are currently experiencing, the reconstructive period that comes afterward is both challenging as well as helpful. The examples for what is challenging are plentiful, and not necessarily worth going over, but what defines the time as convenient is what we need to focus on. After each crisis listed above, there was a time of innovation, creativity, and a chance to either start over again and or make significant changes to the way we work, live, and plan for the future. And although we are still currently in crisis mode, we can also start planning for what comes next.
Reconstruction Management (RM), as the term implies, is a collection of applications, processes, and guidelines to rebuild what has been affected, and what we can now see as deficiencies from the past that need to be overhauled. In addition to the typical components of any type of management, such as defining the scope of reconstruction, the cost, and timing, RM also includes added focus in integrating other elements of:
- Change Management
- Crisis Management
- Resource Management
- Risk Management
- Stakeholder Management
So how does RM work? The general steps and their chronology are as follows:
- Planning: here is where we define what needs to be done within our organization, which includes the scope, schedule, and finances. Scope, however, has the added tasks of:
- Creating a gap analysis between what “is” and what we “have,” and compare it to where we want to be and what we need; and
- Developing a more global strategy for our organization, since, as we are currently seeing, our work and lives are more intertwined than we had thought. Therefore, if we are working in any type of manufacturing, for example, we need to coordinate better with our supply chain vendors.
- Scheduling the proposed goals, deliverables, and objectives in stages so that you do not get too far ahead.
- Executing: during this phase, which usually can start as soon as the planning phase is complete, will now need to be partitioned into smaller and more compartmentalized components to address the timing of other external services, as they come online, as well as not to move too quickly, should there be setbacks and or delays in getting to what the new “normal” might be.
It will be crucial during this phase to execute work in stages and perhaps reschedule and adapt if the job you are carrying out is directly and critically dependent on external factors and resources.
- Monitoring: once the reconstruction plan is set in motion during the execution phase, it will be crucial to perform the following tasks:
- Carefully and closely monitor and control the planned activities, schedule and milestones, and budgeted funds being used.
- Closely track changes and risks and act upon them promptly, as well as be vigilant of any upcoming risks and changes.
- Closing: this phase is not limited to closing the entire reconstruction plan/project, but rather ensuring that it is completed in stages and that you do not move too fast and, thereby, place yourself at higher risk in the form of threats to your organization. To that end, ensure that the stage-gate requirements are adhered to, to avoid during more work than planned and, thereby increasing the amount of adverse risk.
Of course, writing and talking about this in a vacuum may seem unrealistic and, to a certain degree, naïve. However, the purpose of Reconstruction Management, as in all types of management, even crisis, and emergency response management, is to have a plan with a set of processes, activities, and alternatives, which we can deploy effectively and efficiently in stressful times because the project was prepared when we could still think clearly.
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Please feel free to call or email us with questions or comments. We would also be happy to assist you in developing and implementing a Reconstruction Plan for your organization.