Research by risk experts at Stratagem Partners reveals that most damages to a business from a crisis are not event-driven. According to Martin Massey, VP at Stratagem Partners “most issues result from lack of adequate crisis management plans and procedures that can be deployed rapidly through a central command center. The command center must have the ability to communicate instructions and mobilize response teams to effectively support new demands on the organization as the crisis evolves. This has proven to be the case during COVID-19”.

According to Massey, “organizations need to prepare by having a robust crisis management framework in place which can be quickly and easily adapted for any situation as it unfolds. Centralization of plans and procedures, communication to stakeholders, allocation of responsibility and activities, tracking, and audit trail are all vital requirements. The reason we recommend Groupdolists to our clients is it automates all the critical needs of crisis plans into an easy-to-use, dynamic workflow process that can be swiftly deployed to response teams. For those clients who have failed to plan, we can utilize our prevailing best practice pandemic response models and learnings from the current COVID-19 crisis into secure, quickly deployable, and scalable solutions that work on any device.”

A recent analysis by crisis management technology specialists Groupdolists identifies the top 5 pain points organizations are experiencing in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Limited command and control. All this adds up to an organizational struggle to manage response, even within organizational boundaries. Fragmented efforts impair the best, best-informed decisions, and of course, degrade follow-up and assessment.
  2. Inability to coordinate multiple groups or organizations. The old model of crisis management–one group in one room—can not effectively mitigate macro crises. During the widespread disruption caused by COVID-19, suppliers, customers, partners, infrastructure, locations separated by distance and time zones, and even government, are all affected.
  3. Limitations of email. Email is what people know, but it is not suited to deal with widespread, complex, or extended crises. The more you use it, the more fragmented email becomes, generating volumes of uncoordinated informational threads nearly impossible to manage, let alone leverage. The same is true of popular messaging apps: fragmentation and decentralization become problems instead of solutions. Furthermore, serious concerns over the security of these tools have been raised.
  4. More sources mean more overload. Personnel at all levels are being bombarded by uncoordinated updates across multiple channels, whether email, social networks, texting, phone calls, or others.
  5. Static, difficult-to-distribute, hard-to-implement plans. Most organizations have response plans in some form, but these are often outdated, not readily adaptable to fast-changing circumstances—or to a growing, changing group of stakeholders.

The recommended approach to managing the crisis

Create a representative set of plausible COVID-19 event scenarios for the crisis as it develops. Scenarios should be developed for each stage of the COVID-19 cycle and the resulting impacts identified. Scenarios developed by Stratagem Partners for their clients have included for example:

  • The gradual relaxation of lockdowns on a phased basis across economies with global travel restrictions, strict social distancing rules, widespread testing, and build-up of surge capacity in healthcare.
  • Winter lockdown due to a re-emergence of the virus in the autumn. Lockdown relaxation late spring or early summer.
  • The world returns to normal within a few months. Similar to the Chinese experience, lockdowns are ended as soon as the curve of new infections has been flattened. This is the best-case scenario.
  • Local lockdowns following the relaxation of restrictions, with full isolation of impacted areas for an undefined period of time.
  • Current restrictions escalate further, a more severe lockdown is implemented and remains until a vaccine has been tested and widely distributed. This is the worst-case scenario.

Economic, political, social, regulatory, fiscal, and legal factors will also need to be included within the scenarios.

Develop a flexible set of modular responses for use within an overall COVID-19 management framework. These responses should be designed as building blocks that can be combined in flexible combinations to meet a variety of scenario impacts. For example medical containment, communications, backup resourcing, team building, business controls, regulatory notifications, liquidity, etc. The overall COVID-19 management framework should be a common command and control approach used in the event of any scenario (or variant) coming to pass.

Groupdolists transforms response plans from brittle documents into robust, actionable, and flexible interactive procedures, guiding the team through planned steps, while flexibly incorporating new ones as circumstances change.

Create an event-triggered plan that maps the required modular responses to the overall COVID-19 framework. This becomes the core plan by which command and control are achieved.

Groupdolists includes “best-in-class” pandemic crisis frameworks to help organizations become better prepared and quickly.

Establish event initiation activation protocols. These are clear and well-understood triggers which rapidly mobilize the organization to a changed operational crisis footing

Groupdolists automates event activation protocols and mobilizes response teams within seconds, wherever they are, using native phone apps and web browsers. It confirms response team availability in real-time. It enables dynamic reconfiguration of the response team, which can also include third parties, by pointing and clicking. Groupdolists is cloud-based and can be activated easily. There are no dependencies on site-specific technology or communications infrastructure. User accounts can be set up and ready to use immediately. With training, crisis team members can be effective in under an hour.

Execute a crisis event response. Best practices favor centralized coordination, command, and control. Key requirements (supported by Groupdolists) include:

  • Rapidly onboard and orientate new crisis team members.
  • Efficiently provide updates (files, images, locations, audio, etc.) and add new actions as events unfold using a variety of communications techniques (text chats, calls, etc.) on demand.
  • Elimination email overload, lost threads, and time wasted trying to consolidate information across different sources or to reconstruct an incident’s timeline.
  • Provide leadership with peace of mind with real-time visibility of key issues and their progress.
  • Provide full auditability, transparency, and accountability of response activities and outcomes. The crisis management team will potentially need to review a chronological record of every action, update, and even every conference call.
  • Enable team members to join meetings by tapping (not dialing). Auto-record and transcribe calls.

We are entering a volatile and dynamic period of uncertainty. The World Health Organisation warns of recurring pandemic cycles over the foreseeable future. Businesses need to focus on short- to medium-term scenarios to address every stage of the COVID-19 cycle, the mutation of the virus, and virulent new strains. Organizations appreciate the need to maintain on-going crisis plans. Groupdolists has been designed with best practice in mind and has been adopted by global corporates to address critical crisis situations.

ADAM Global in association with Stratagem Partners, powered by Groupdolists can help you mobilize your team and focus on bringing operations back to normal with an increase in productivity. Contact us: marketing@adamglobal.com or call us at:+971 52 934 9727

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