“Without a sound understanding of the organization’s core capabilities and critical tasks, sound evaluation may not be completed.”
On a regular basis, Emergency Solutions International (ESI) is asked to assist firms to design exercises and evaluate the preparedness and response capabilities of their executive teams and organization, to manage challenging crises.
Planning documents guide critical tasks when supporting core capabilities.
During or after a well-run exercise, participants should be in a position to honestly identify the gaps in planning documents or the execution of critical tasks. Participants get this chance to be honest during a hotwash, which follows quickly after the exercise. The hotwash is a facilitated session where the evaluator keeps notes on the strengths and areas for improvement or refinement. A more formal debrief is held with the evaluators and, many times, senior staff.
During ESI facilitated exercises, an Issues Board is created whereby participants chart their concerns about gaps as the exercise proceeds. Oftentimes, participants will say “I’ve always worried about this gap.”
Capability gaps become the output of the exercise evaluation process.
An Options Analysis will aid in the selection of the proper solutions to address the gaps. Action must be taken to remedy the identified gaps in procedure. There must be a communication process to let the participants understand the remediation process. Plans are modified, budgets are set, and responsibility delegated. When appropriate, training is provided and at the next exercise, the newly filled gaps become the focused priority.