The focus areas were basically designed to help us find our way through a great disruption, and now we find ourselves in one with a worldwide pandemic, and the abysmal reaction to it in the US.
To get much of anything done -- large or small -- it can help to have a plan. It doesn't have to be specific to the unfolding crisis. A plan can be for anything that you need or want to make happen.
In this moment, a plan might be as simple as writing out your grocery list on a rough floorplan of the store you're headed to and where everything is, so you can be in and out of there more efficiently. Except for, of course, some time standing to the side waiting for the potential disease spread vectors wandering about recklessly without masks on to get out of the aisle you need to enter.
For a bigger plan, we'll use a wildfire for an example.
Let's say you have a medium-to-large wildfire threatening a bunch of stuff. You need objectives and goals to start (for any plan, it can help to be intentional and purposeful), and then you get risk information and situation and resource status information to inform your strategy and tactics.
Objectives on such a wildfire might go like this: 1) protect life and property, 2) contain fire, 3) protect nursing home on east flank, 4) keep fire from reaching high-tension electrical power lines that feed the Port of Long Beach.
You would design a strategy to meet those objectives, and tactics that support the strategy.
Then you execute.
Here's the thing: execution of the plan may not be 100% in alignment with it - because your situation, resources, and risk will change while you're executing the plan. So you have to think strategically and tactically on the fly to change your actions. However, with a comprehensive approach like this - you keep your objectives in mind even as you adjust.
At some point, you can also iterate, and update the plan. It's not usually efficient to do plan updates constantly - because the point of the plan is to help the execution; the action. Yet it does help to step back from all the execution action from time to time to update the plan, especially to account for a changing situation, changing resources, and changing risk.
In incident management, plans are formally changed every operational period - which in wildfire is typically every 12 hours. There's something called a "Planning P" which you can google that is a framework for this.
Project management planning is not much different than big disasters - because planning is planning. Critical thinking and problem-solving are essential, too.
We do coaching and consulting to help with all of this. There are ways through. Again, the focus areas were designed to help with exactly this kind of moment. Blog posts and resources below touch on planning as well.