Once you venture into the world of business, it is best to admit that nothing is stable and that at any time your business may face a crisis. At any time, your company might just soar up and at any time it may face its downfall.
It is very important for you to be prepared to face any situation. This is to ensure that your company is able to tide over any crisis it may come across. So, if your company is one which still do not have a crisis management plan, then now will be a good time to sit down and start planning.
The task of forming and creating an efficient crisis management plan seems to be quite daunting. But worry not! Here is a list of some steps which will help you form a plan. Overtime, with more experience you can of course enhance your plan.
Without any further ado, let’s begin!
Steps to Creating a Crisis Management Plan.
1) Analysis of risk
The first step is analysis of risk. This step involves outlining the potential situations which can disrupt your business. You do not need to identify specific risks but do cover a broad range. This can include cyber-attack, data leakage, natural disasters, financial crisis, technological failure, etc. among many others.
Work in correspondence with the top staff members of your company, your crisis response team and other key stake holders in order to list potential vulnerabilities that could lead to your business suffering an impact.
2) Identify the business impact
A Business Analysis Impact (BIA) is a way of understanding the impact of a potential vulnerability to your business.
A BIA is a crucial step to analyse every angle of a potential threat to your business. This can also be a great way of letting an individual truly understand the value of crisis management plan.
3) Triggers for response
Always be sure to include triggers to every type of crisis, as the very first response will often be paralysis. The triggers should be based on the level of emergency of each type of possible crisis. Define the circumstances that activate a particular emergency crisis response.
Also, the staff should also be directed beforehand on how to respond on the basis of the type of crisis. In addition, some type of signal which symbolizes the end of the predicament should also be put in place.
4) Determine retaliation
Once you have identified the potential threats and vulnerabilities, it is time for you to determine retaliation to every type of risk.
Identify the steps which would be useful in resolving a given crisis, the resources which will be involved and how the employees can contribute.
5) Chain of authority
It is best that you include a crisis management related organization in your plan. This will help in making it easier and clearer on who is the final authority and who has to report to whom. It promotes consistency and communication.
Depending on the seriousness of the vulnerability, your plan may call for additional layers of command or authority.
6) Create the plan
After you have sorted through the retaliations and authorities, it is time for you to create or build the crisis management plan. In order to create and efficient plan, discuss the plan with relevant stake holders.
High-level employees can be reached out who will help provide insights into the available resources and potential hurdles. In certain cases, you may also employ the help of outside parties, such as contractors and people who work in close association with your business.
In order to be able to efficiently carry out a crisis management plan, every employee must be aware of the roles they play. Any flaws in the plan should be detected and corrected through regular rehearsals. Practice will help your crisis team to be more comfortable in their individual roles.
Training should be done on a regular basis so that every individual is familiar with the plan, can respond confidently and can access additional information.
8) Revise the plan regularly
Once your plan has been approved and tested, it does not mean that the plan should be stacked away. The plan must be up to date and therefore, the plan should be revised on a regular basis. This follows especially as employees leave or join the company, new technologies are introduced and implemented and other changes take place.
It can be helpful and is suggested to revise the plan at the minimum, few times a year to keep the content relevant and fresh.
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