Tuesday 30th April 2019

Crisis Management Teams need to use workflows

Crisis Management Wokflow

When most people think of workflows they think of complicated flowcharts but we think of workflows like a checklist that can support your crisis management team during an incident. For us, each step in a workflow has a specific step before it and a specific step after it, with the exception of the first step. In a linear workflow (which is a checklist), the first step is usually initiated by an outside event i.e. an incident which results in someone having to do something. That person follows the workflow step by step until the incident comes to a close.

So, here are 5 reasons why your crisis management team need workflows:

  1. Incidents don’t happen that often – Your senior leadership team are caught up in the day to day running of the business i.e. sales, new business development, operations, finance functions and so on. Do we really expect them to become superstars following a few days training once every 12 months when they are called into action and expected to perform the role of the crisis management team? A workflow is the ideal tool to ensure the crisis management team at least have the basics covered and can respond are per the plan.
  2. CMT need support too – As subject matter experts, whose role it is to prepare the crisis management team for incidents and crisis, are we expecting too much from them? Yes, they are senior members of the organisation with lots of experience in the business but not necessarily in dealing with incidents and crisis. A workflow is a very handy tool, that will support them throughout the incident.
  3. Workflows will make you look better – Think of workflows as cheat sheets i.e. by preparing role specific workflows you will give them the answers for the questions they will have. What do I do next, who do I call then, where do I find that document on the shared drive and what’s that guy’s extension??? An easy to follow workflow will speed up the response and ensure your team do what needs to be done with the minimum of fuss. A workflow is a very handy tool that will guide and support them throughout the incident and ultimately make you look better.
  4. Avoid Information Overload – You have a plan? Great! But you know what’s in it and they don’t (I don’t mean to generalise, but it’s been our experience in the majority of cases). The CMT need to respond quickly to limit the impact to the business and minimise the associated costs. There is no use in giving the CMT the latest plan, then watching them spend 30 minutes trying to find the relevant information – remember you may not be in the room when they need you and a workflow, which may be role specific, is one way of empowering your team.
  5. Retain Corporate Knowledge – Workflows have a great way of capturing corporate knowledge within the business. This ensures your crisis management team (and their deputies) respond with a similar level of effectiveness to an incident or crisis in most cases. Like any organisation, when people leave the business, the likelihood is that their expertise leaves with them so by developing workflows you’ll capture that corporate knowledge before it walks out the door.

Here is your very own workflow to support your Crisis Management Team:  http:// Crisis-Management-Team-Workflow.xlsx (1709 downloads )

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