Saturday, November 04, 2006

Steps Zero, Two, and Three in Crisis Management

Max Leibman practically wrote my next article in his comments on "Step One in Crisis Management". The second step in crisis management is to form a quick plan to address the crisis. The key word is "quick" as opposed to "ideal." Grab anything that will address the problem quickly: better to grab a stack of napkins than get out the perfect towel for the job.

And Troy Worman chimed in with step zero of have a plan. I think that's not quite right for crisis management. In crisis management I think step zero is to be prepared with warnings and options. For example, to prepare for the crisis of a fire, we have the warning of a smoke alarm, and the options of sprinklers, fire extinguishers and a local fire department. In our spilled milk example, we have a roll of paper towels at hand.

Step three in crisis management is to appropriately clean up the mess caused by the imperfection of step two. Once the crisis is averted, you have time to go into regular project management mode. You have the time to address the problem in a more ideal way.


Troy Worman said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, my friend. I still think the first step, Step 0, is to make a plan--a Disaster Recovery plan, if you will, at which time it will be determined what is the appropriate weight of paper towel, what number of rolls are needed, where will they be stored, who will be responsible for retrieving them, etc...

Having resources on hand isn't good enough... N.O. had resources on hand... but they weren't the right resources... and they didn't have a plan.

Ken Flowers said...

After looking at both threads, I think we are closer than we thought. I initially thought you were proposing to make a plan when the crisis occurred. I think we both are agreeing that it is important to have an action plan in advance of the crisis. The part of the action plan I focused on was to have the right resources in place to deal with the crisis, but yes, you are right: you have to have a plan in place to use them correctly. Do I understand you correctly?

By the way, what is N.O?