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Coronavirus: Planning Your Next Move


The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The impact the virus is having on people’s lives, families and communities is huge.

In these uncertain times, most organisations are facing significant challenges to which they must respond to rapidly.

Is it too late to plan?

No, it’s not too late. Read on to learn about the latest advice from Forrester and PwC’ on how to set up your coronavirus response.

Potential coronavirus scenarios

Firstly, there are three potential coronavirus scenarios ahead that all organisations should consider (according to PwC):

  1. Hot spots:

Rapid rise in cases avoided. Ongoing disease hotspots emerge, but thanks to successful testing, contact tracing and quarantine, an ongoing rapid increase in cases is prevented.
Timeframe: 12 to 18 months, timing of peaks uncertain.

  1. Early Peak:

Rapid rise in cases with cases peaking in summer 2020, declining as population immunity levels increase. However, severe cases will significantly exceed health system capacity. Potential further peaks will depend on the seasonality of the virus.
Timeframe: 12 to 18 months, peaking within 3 months.

  1. Delayed Peak:

Public health measures, like testing, quarantine and social distancing, spread the peak over a longer period. However, the impact on health systems will be somewhat reduced compared to the ‘Early peak’ scenario.
Timeframe: 12 to 18 months, peaking in 6 to 9 months.

Five key steps to plan

For each of these scenarios, Forrester has identified a five point schedule to plan how to retain business continuity:

  1. Build the response plan – make sure that every key team member need both a fully-empowered backup person and a succession plan in case they fall ill
  2. Identify what is critical for a rapid Business Impact Assessment (BIA)
  3. Plan for different scenarios – including different conditions that may affect the availability of workforce, sources and technology
  4. Build your specific plan – take into account your employees need specific and prescriptive communications
  5. Test your plan – if there is any system/process that hasn’t been stress tested already, do it now

Questions to consider

Across the six key areas for all organisations, PwC has identified identified the three questions that are critical to ask as part of creating your plan:


  • Have you identified the critical work which delivers your P&L?
  • Do you have full visibility of your people and have you completed workforce profiling to understand where work levels are likely to decrease or increase?
  • How can you enable flexible/remote working arrangements, and do you have the necessary infrastructure in place?

Operations and supply chain

  • Have you performed an operational risk assessment and considered the impact of disruptions on critical business functions?
  • Have you liaised with key third parties to ensure they will be able to continue to deliver desired service levels during the coming period?
  • Are you monitoring exposure trends and restrictions against your supply chain?

Communications strategy

  • Have you created an internal and external stakeholder map for key communications?
  • How are you keeping employees regularly informed about the latest updates/guidance and to reassure them?
  • Do you have a clear communications strategy that can be implemented in a crisis to protect your reputation?

Focus on data

  • Do you understand how an affected country/region might impact the commercial performance of your industry/business?
  • Are you able to access robust data insights to underpin key decisions that you need to make?
  • Do you have the time and skills to digest and analyse existing data sources in new ways to enable decision making?

Customers and revenue

  • Have you updated your sales and demand planning strategy, including assessing changes in customer behaviour?
  • Have you formed a coherent customer communications plan?
  • Do your policies reflect the need to protect both your customer and commercial interests?

Head office functions

  • Do you need to financially or operationally restructure your business to reduce risk and protect value?
  • What access do you have to emergency funding, increased production funding needs or government supported financing, tax and liquidity e.g. CCFF, CBILS, tax deferrals, rates holidays, etc.?
  • How are you securing and maintaining your IT systems and data?

For daily updates on coronavirus visit:

The DMA has gathered information from the Government alongside advice from our partner organisations to help with the running of your business throughout the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Visit our Coronavirus: Advice and Help page, you will be able to access a list of all the measures announced by the Government to aid the economy during the outbreak.

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