Operational Crisis Response
Quick and adequate response to source events causing (potential) crises: it is a very important part of crisis management. PM’s approach on an operational level includes forming well prepared and experienced crisis response teams that can swiftly detect and resolve issues in the field (potentially) causing a crisis. By intervening in a safe way, successful response teams can reduce damage and prevent a crisis from escalating further. However, an additional challenge is to take into consideration the need for coordination with other crisis teams. Through training, exercises, evaluation and providing crisis support by offering work processes, methodologies and tools we help organisations’ disaster recovery teams build the required knowledge and experience to deal with the first line of crisis responsibilities.
Most organisations have a structured way of approaching daily operations. After many years of service, your operational teams are probably very experienced and reliable in these daily operations. During crises, suddenly other rules apply in the entire organisation’s operations. Organisations have started to realise that in today’s turbulent world a sufficient operational response capability is required to anticipate both physical and non-physical situations. Does your team really know all the emergency management procedures when it matters? Do your people know how to collaborate with internal and external emergency services such as medical teams or firefighters? Is the team aware of interdependencies with emergency services, governments, institutions, insurances and other crisis partners? Is your team familiar with the information, people, processes, plans and documentation these external parties expect and request from your organisation after an incident? In other words, is your team ready to handle the unfamiliar and rapidly evolving context that is the operational side of a crisis situation?
High level operational teams are able to see and appreciate a complex situation. They remain calm, make decisions and execute the right actions necessary to return the situation to a manageable state. For such teams, it does not matter if they are facing a well-known scenario or a complex unforeseen situation without standard operating procedures or guidelines in place. They are in standby mode, knowing that they can rely on the work processes and methodologies in place to initiate coordinated actions.
PM can help organisations improve their operational crisis response capabilities by assessing the state of their crisis organisation in the field. We investigate and evaluate how operational teams react and make decisions during a crisis situation. During field training exercises we identify possible gaps between the procedures and the team’s actual behaviour. As part of our pre-crisis scan which is directed at revealing your entire organisation’s crisis preparedness levels, all findings regarding the crisis response teams are visualised into a dashboard and combined with the evaluations of other work areas. This allows PM to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation’s procedures and guidelines in a bottom-up manner. Ultimately, this helps your organisation to identify the right priorities and actions needed to dramatically improve your crisis response capabilities.