Developing and testing an incident management process shortly before having to test it during the response to major flooding.
It is not simply enough to take a senior team from the organisation, provide them with a plan and expect them to respond appropriately to the adverse situation which has arisen. Most senior managers are very good at problem solving. After all it is what they do on a day-to-day basis. However incident management requires more than simple problem solving techniques. Rather a formal decision making process should be used to provide structure and ensure that the various factors are taken into account before reaching decisions regarding strategies to adopt. A large amount of incoming information has to be handled efficiently and effectively, assimilated and then used to determine the facts of the situation and the implications for the organisation, the negative impacts over a time line, the coping strategies available and the actions required to implement the chosen strategies.
The value to be gained by regularly encouraging the organisation’s Incident Management Team (or equivalent) to rehearse their response to an evolving scenario cannot also be underestimated. Often, managers who are highly competent in the business as usual situation, cope much less well with crisis management or incident management scenarios. Refer to the related page Exercising & Training for more information.
We at Teed have a tried and tested process, based on wall boards to make the information visible, which supports the Incident Management Team in ensuring that information is handled correctly and appropriate coping strategies are adopted in order to maintain continuity of business at the required level.