Crisis can come to any organisation in various shapes and sizes.

Background work

Every organisation needs a specialist to identify applicable events and applicable outages. Specialist can be internal or external. So first create your own list with consultation of historical events, industry peers, and likely events. One can never make a complete list but it is better to have ‘the most likely’ ones in place, and prepare the organisation towards them.

The next step is to nominate personnel in the organisation who will be responsible for managing the crisis. Call them ‘crisis managers’.  The general rule for responsibility allocation is that events that are external and impacts the organisation are to be faced by external facing teams, and the internal ones by internal support groups. Ideally it is the head of departments who should be nominated.

How to Prepare?

Each head of department or ‘crisis manager’ should have a list of applicable list of crisis that he/she is entrusted with. Documented procedures/steps should be discussed and finalised with them before making him/her ready.

3-layer approach

Crisis Management Exercise should be done at 3 layers:

  • Round 1 – Within team members responsible for a specific crisis
  • Round 2 – With other ‘crisis managers’
  • Round 3 – General Staff – for awareness

Round 1 – Crisis Management – Table Top Exercise for Specific Crisis

The audience is here are those that are responsible for and are ‘in the front’ to face the crisis and taking steps to minimise, mitigate, manage, and communicate. So involve everyone in relation to that crisis. Ensure everyone has understood their own individual role at the time of the crisis.

Round 2 – Crisis Management – Table Top Exercise with other ‘crisis managers’

Once the round 1 is complete, on a given day, each ‘crisis manager’ should speak about the crisis and how he/she plans to manage the risk to an audience of other ‘crisis managers’. One by one each one should explain their own ‘crisis’ and their ‘plans’. The members of audience get to understand both the ‘crisis’ and ‘their readiness’.

Take Feedback – It would be good to have a feedback of all staff present. For the crisis coordinators (CRO/BCP Manager) the feedbacks will help to improve the processes, and scale up exercises for future.

Round 3 – Crisis Management – General Staff

Round 3 can take many forms as generally it is not possible to gather everyone in one place together. It can the form of emails, posters, team specific meetings to name a few.

Once the process is complete, you can add more ‘crisis’ in your list and rehearse with applicable teams, thereby ensuring that this is now ingrained in your organisation culture.

Hope this helps!