In last five years, organisations started to embrace state of the art technology to slash the development times, quicker time to market and to handle bigger portfolio’s in an efficient way while delivering uninterrupted service delivery to their customers/ consumers.
This also brought a wave threats, unnecessary attention and exposure of business model and information to the outside world through different means including social media.
It became pretty evident that the organisations needed to make their operations and services more resilient to sustain the factors which could jeopardise the business continuity and or existence.
Even though, there is no guarantee that the organisation will not face a situation. Likelihood can be minimised by implementing stringent controls throughout the processes and lifecycle, however, consequences cannot. Organisations can only limit the damage by responding in an efficient and controlled way.
Most people confuse incident management and crisis management, let’s take a closer look at them by considering the above context.
“A process that deals with the events that disrupt the business process, assess the cause and restores the services and operations back to normal routine”
It can be a technological incident, electrical incident or environmental incident.
In order to restore the service/ operations, there must be a plan/ procedure which tells the employees what to do. It is called an Incident Management Plan.
An incident management plan is deployed when a disruption in production or business activity is reported and ends when the normal operations resume and the situation has been successfully dealt with.
Incident Management Plan encapsulates a framework to assess and respond to disruptions that have financial implications or which can degrade the services.
Employees use this plan to respond to the disruptions by coordinating with the recovery teams and other concerned departments who are related to the disruption.
“A process that deals with high degree of uncertainty following a disruption and poses a risk to organisation’s image, value and or existence”
During Crisis, organisation’s reputation, brand value and existence is at stake. Crisis can occur due to various reasons and not necessarily because of incident. It can be caused by rumours, posts on social media, false and misleading information about organisation or its operations or any other hostile situations where lives are in danger.
Standard operating procedure and rules of engagement with the media are also defined for better clarity and to quickly regain the control over the situations.
Incident and Crisis Management plans are very distinctive and diverse. However due to the nature of the response mechanisms, they have similar workflows and components. Because the operating models and rules of engagement are different, both should be developed and documented separately.
Most of the organisations only opt for one plan or have merged both plans into as single plan to reduce the operating and maintenance cost.
As time continues to be the critical factor in dealing with any incident or crisis, several complexities develop and makes it harder for the teams to respond precisely in an efficient way.
Organisations can efficiently respond to an incident or crisis by creating strategy and plans with precise yet simpler workflows which are developed by strategic planning, decisive execution and thorough testing.