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24.0. INTRODUCTION

Project managers have become accustomed to managing within a structure process such as an enterprise project management methodology. The statement of work had gone through several iterations and was clearly defined. A work breakdown structure existed and everyone understood his or her roles and responsibilities as defined in the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM). All of this took time to do.

This is the environment we all take for granted. Now, let's change the scenario. The president of the company calls you into his office and informs you that several people have just died using one of your company's products. You are being placed in charge of this crisis project. The lobby of the building is swamped with the news media, all of which want to talk to you to hear your plan for addressing the crisis. The president informs you that the media knows you have been assigned as the project manager, and that a news conference has been set up for one hour from now. The president also asserts that he wants to see your plan for managing the crisis no later than 10:00 PM. this evening. Where do you begin? What should you do first? Time is now an extremely inflexible constraint rather than merely a constraint that may be able to be changed. Time does not exist to perform all of the activities you are accustomed to doing. You may need to make hundreds if not thousands of decisions quickly, and many of these are decisions you never thought that you would have to make. This is crisis project management.


  

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