The last few weeks have seen businesses face potential threat after threat and it doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon. So, how can response teams keep on top of changing situations across multiple events?
photo: Twitter - @9AbbeyOZ
James Sharp, Product Manager
The last few weeks have seen organisations face a myriad of threats. Each different in nature, but all having an impact on the health and well-being of staff and severely disrupt business operations. Raging bush fires, unhealthy air quality and the rapidly spreading coronavirus to name a few.
The most difficult thing about all these events is that they are all completely out of the control of the organisation.
So while you are watching for updates and waiting for something to happen, how can you best prepare to respond as quickly as possible?
Separate out each incident. Don't try and keep track of all the various pieces of information together, this will just become overwhelming.
Create a separate event in iluminr for each issue that could threaten your organisation. This will help keep the relevant information separate and clear.
Use the whiteboards on each event to record relevant information and updates. Some examples of things that you should record are:
Key websites that are providing regular and accurate updates.
Attach key fact sheets and reference material to the whiteboards.
Any internal updates that you send out or receive.
Create a few incident communications templates to make updating stakeholders simpler.
By keeping the incidents separate, it means when you have to activate a team (or teams) in response, you can immediately direct them to the most accurate and up to date information
Just because these things are happening doesn't mean your day job stops, and keeping track of multiple situations takes up time. So use your team, start delegating and get some help, allocate an issue to other members of your response team and have them update the info on iluminr.
Check in regularly to see if they need any support.
3. Prepare to activate multiple teams
"Always prepare for both the most likely and worst case scenarios, this will mean when it does happen, you will be as prepared as possible"
If elements of your worst-case scenario unfolds, you may be required to activate multiple teams to deal with issues that are occurring simultaneously or you may be managing one issue and then be required to quickly react to another.
Before this happens, get your response team(s) together, or at a minimum your team lead(s) and have a discussion about how you would handle this eventuality. At the same time, discuss what you think your realistic most likely and worst-case scenarios are and record these on iluminr.
A great place to record your most likely and worst case scenarios is on the Issues whiteboard
4. Set a daily rhythm/schedule
Tracking these issues may go on for weeks or months and nothing significant may actually affect the organisation over that time. To overcome fatigue and complacency, set up a routine that allows you to check your sources, update iluminr and then get on with your day job.
Consider who else can support you in this job to give you a break as well.
You may also want to consider a regular meeting with the response team lead(s) or team(s) to keep them updated on the situation. These might be daily or even weekly depending on the perceived threat to the organisation at that time.
As always, preparation is key to being able to respond as quickly and effectively as possible. Unfortunately, issues strike at the most inconvenient time (2am on a Saturday morning). When people are hard to get hold of and there is nobody at work. This is where being prepared will help you get on top of the situation so you can start building a plan to manage it.