In episode 12 of the PreparedEx podcast we discuss exercise objectives. One of the most important, if not the most important step, in the design and preparation of an exercise is to determine exercise objective(s). It is not unusual for individuals planning an exercise to want to begin by focusing on a specific scenario. While the particular scenario they want to use may work, we have experienced situations where the scenario may not allow them to reach the objective(s) they want to achieve. Focusing on why you want to conduct an exercise first and then the scenario and exercise design specifics will fall into place.
Try to follow the S.M.A.R.T. method when developing objectives. Try to keep objectives:
1. Simple & Specific. A good objective is simply and clearly phrased. It is brief and easy to understand. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Ask the question, “Why are we doing this?”
2. Measurable. Can it be measured? The objective sets the level of performance, so that results are observable and the evaluation can tell when an objective has been met.
3. Achievable. Should not be too tough to achieve. Should be reasonable in its commitment of resources. Can you get it done in the time given?
4. Realistic. Even though an objective might be achievable, it might not be realistic for the exercise. Will it lead to desirable results?
5. Timely. When will it be accomplished?
Once the objectives are determined, then you decide what game mechanics and scenario will allow you to address the stated objective(s) during the exercise.
Objectives areas to consider:
3. Coordination and Control
4. Information Sharing
5. Damage Assessment
6. Medical and Health
7. Public Safety
8. Resource Management
10. Effectiveness of Warning