In September 2014 the new British Standard in Crisis Management, BS 11200, was officially launched by the UK Cabinet Office and the British Standards Institution at the second annual Crisis Management Conference held in London. A distinguished programme of speakers considered pivotal trends for the future of crisis management thinking under the theme ‘Coherent Crisis Management; Preparedness, Response and Communications’.
Crises Control was not represented at the conference, but the key themes that emerged from it read like a list of the objectives we had in mind when designing our new business continuity app.
Being prepared – The need to be continually prepared. This includes creating defined roles and responsibilities, identifying crisis leaders and rehearsing through exercises.
Triggers and escalation – The speed at which a crisis is recognised and can be escalated to the strategic decision makers will have a significant effect on the outcome of the crisis for an organisation.
Communication – Communication is critical in times of crisis, not only with external stakeholders but also internally.
Coherence – It is essential to achieve a coherent crisis response at all levels. The left hand of an organisation must know what the right hand is doing.
Resilience – Many organisations are moving towards the concept of resilience, which creates a culture of awareness, preparedness and adaptability at all levels, to support crisis management.
Value and reputation – The opportunity cost of investing in crisis preparedness is protected value, enhanced reputation and commercial competitiveness; all of which are at stake in a crisis.
The concept behind the Crises Control app is precisely to provide a robust communications platform that allows the business continuity team to launch an incident quickly, facilitate internal communications and ensure that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. But more than that, it is also designed to facilitate regular testing of the plan and of the responsiveness of the team, and provide management reports on how well they are doing.
As the new British Standard emphasizes, having a business continuity plan in place is vital to protect your organisation. But, as I never tire of saying, a great plan is only of value if you have the responsive team in place and the communications platform to put the plan into action when it really counts. That is where we think the app we have produced comes into its own and can really prove its value.