In any organization, crisis management is key to weathering unexpected storms.
But what happens after the storm has passed? Is your organization prepared to quickly and effectively recover? Remediation planning is the critical next step in maintaining a strong crisis management plan. Here are 5 steps to ensure your organization is prepared for post-crisis recovery.
Step 1: Create the post crisis After Action Report
Building a successful post crisis After Action Report (AAR) begins with understanding the objectives of the AAR’s purpose. This is done by identifying what worked well and what did not during the crisis and determining if there is another approach or area of improvement that could be made before similar crises occur in the future. In order to achieve this, everyone involved in handling the crisis must review the experience with an open mind. They should carefully analyze their individual roles in responding to the situation and look for discrepancies or areas for improvement. Additionally, key stakeholders should be consulted to gather feedback and advice on how best to respond next time something similar arises. With this data, organization leaders can begin crafting their post crisis AARs. The same process can be used after you simulation exercises.
Step 2: Review and agree on After Acton Report findings
It’s important for teams to review and agree on findings from an After Action Report(AAR). This process helps to identify what went well, reflect on potential improvements, and provide a platform to discuss the way forward. The most successful reviews involve every member engaging in an honest conversation over what can be learned. By leveraging this dialogue, teams are able to build off each other’s insights and insights, come up with actionable strategies, and strive towards continuous improvement. AARs are an invaluable way to start conversations that help teams improve their processes and create positive outcomes and create opportunities for lessons to be learned.
Related: PreparedEx Podcast – Finding Gaps During Exercises and Creating a Remediation Plan
Step 3: Create the remediation plan from the after action report findings
A comprehensive remediation plan should be developed based on the findings of the after action report. This plan must include a clear evaluation of the event to ensure that lessons are learned and risks are reduced in the future. It must also address any specific problems identified within the report, such as lack of resources or communication issues. To create an effective remediation plan, management needs to assess all the facts and feedback received to determine what went wrong and why. Knowing this will enable them to create a realistic plan for overcoming obstacles in the future, as well as providing strategies for boosting morale among affected staff or other stakeholders. Implementing this plan effectively will help prevent similar issues from arising in the future and keep operations running smoothly.
Step 4: Execute on the remediation plan by distributing tasks and timelines
Once the remediation plan has been completed, it’s essential to ensure that all identified findings that need addressing are remediated in a timely manner. To ensure success and increase efficiency, an effective remediation plan should include clearly defined tasks and associated timelines that are overseen by the Crisis Coordinator. Without this baseline structure, it’s unlikely that the desired outcomes will be achieved in a reasonable time frame. Strategic allocation of responsibilities to team certain team members with the necessary skillset is also key to successful execution of the remediation plan. When everyone is working together towards agreed upon end-goals, your crisis teams can reach new heights of crisis preparedness.
Step 5: Validate changes during next tabletop exercise or after a real incident
Once you have made the changes based on your remediation plan, its time to validate they actually work. Validating changes made following any incident or exercise is critical for ensuring that similar issues are prevented in the future. After all, making changes without reviewing them and ensuring that they work properly can lead to even bigger problems down the road. For this reason, it’s important to always validate any changes made during a tabletop exercise or after a real incident. This not only ensures that all potential risks have been adequately addressed but also helps organizations become more resilient over time as issues are quickly identified and addressed. Validation also provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from mistakes and build new systems that are better prepared for unexpected issues.
Related: Finding Gaps During Simulation Exercises: Now What?
From the After Action Report findings, a Remediation Plan can be created and executed to prevent similar incidents in the future. The successful implementation of this Remediation Plan requires careful distributed of tasks across the team, along with compatible timeline objectives. Even after implementation, it is essential that changes are validated during exercises or post real-life incidents to ensure change effectiveness. Ultimately, creating an After Action Report allows teams to move forward with greater confidence and save precious time where chaos may otherwise construe. Taking responsibility and thoroughly investigating any issues immediately after a crisis is key in gaining back customer trust while simultaneously reinforcing your own internal crisis management planning and processes.
About Rob Burton
Rob is a Principal at PreparedEx where he manages a team of crisis preparedness professionals and has over 20 years of experience preparing for and responding to crises. Part of his leadership role includes assisting PreparedEx clients in designing, implementing and evaluating crisis, emergency, security and business continuity management programs. During his career Rob has worked for the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, as a crisis management consultant in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he negotiated with the UN and Pashtun tribal warlords and he served with the United Kingdom Special Forces where he operated internationally under hazardous covert and confidential conditions. Rob was also part of a disciplined and prestigious unit The Grenadier Guards where he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Palaces in London. Rob was a highly trained and experienced infantryman serving in Desert Storm and commanded covert operational teams and was a sniper. Rob has keynoted disaster recovery conferences and participated in live debates on FOX News regarding complex security requirements and terrorism. Rob has a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.