Ask all partners to use the following questions to come up with a list of activities and tasks that might be a at risk.
- Can you and your team work effectively from home?
- Do you have access to all necessary lab equipment/facilities?
- Do you have access to all stakeholders necessary?
- Do you have trials and tests planned that require face to face contact and cannot be scheduled online?
- Do you have workshops/meetings/trainings planned that require face to face contact and cannot be scheduled online?
- Has additional work appeared on your desk due to corona (online teaching, extra management tasks etc.) which has increased your workload?
- Are there other things we haven’t addressed that is influencing the work for your project.
- Which deadlines/results are under pressure? (deliverables, milestones, code to be completed, trials, tests, etc.)
- What are the tasks that can be performed, but will take more time?
- What are the tasks that can be performed in a moderated form?
- What are the tasks that cannot be performed at all?
Make a list of mitigation measures (postpone or adapt activity) and identify the tasks that can not be mitigated at all.
- Check if your partners are still up and running during the crisis. (Small SME’s might have trouble during this crisis and you do not want them to collapse. Is vital staff sick at partners sick, or not able to work. Some PhD’s are stuck at small rooms without a lot of social support, check if they are still OK.)
- Check if additional resources are available at a later stage (additional hiring?). Also check if resources might be available after the project’s deadline in case of an extension.
- Check is the contracts of the PhD’s/Postdoc in the project could be prolonged in case of an extension.
- Are there tasks that can be done already that were planned later (Literature study, software development, analysis, dissemination)
- Are there tasks that can be postponed?
- Are there tasks that need to be postponed and will need additional resources to finish them in time?
- Are there tasks that can not be performed before the deadline?
- Identify new deadlines for deliverables and milestones and is necessary a later ending date for your project.
Once you have done the inventory, and rescheduled your project, you will have a new overview.
From a project perspective there are a couple of options:
1) Continue as planned. If everyone can work from home and you do not expect any big delays, make sure to keep up communication with the partners and keep your risk analysis updated as often as possible.
2) Continue with an extension. You can continue as planned, just need more time at the end of your project due to delays in tasks. You can ask for an extension due to Force Majeur. (You can extend up to 6 months) The project will have to submit an amendment. Discuss this with your PO. (And make sure all your necessary resources are still available for the duration of your extension and all partners are on board with the idea. Don’t assume they are by default.)
3) Continue with adaptations. Make an overview of tasks that can be adapted while trying to achieve the same results (f.e. online trials, online workshops etc). Contact your PO to see if you need an amendment, or just informing the PO and reporting on it in the periodic report will be sufficient.
4) Project is in trouble. Contact your PO as soon as possible. Discuss with her what would be a solution. (Temporary stopping the project (not preferable), an amendment with significant changes, any other solutions the EC might help with…)
In almost any case, do contact your PO, but know what you want the communication to be about. Inform, ask for information, ask for help etc. The PO’s are working from home as well and might not have a clear overview of how projects could be helped during the crisis. The EC in their FAQ (search for COVID-19-> useful info) are talking about giving maximum flexibility.
If you have questions, or want to talk to a Project Manager, feel free to contact Grants Office or look at the FAQ of the EC.