Planning and conducting crisis management exercises for decision-making: the do’s and don’ts
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Organizations exercise to strengthen their crisis management capability, to identify possible improvements to plans, and to develop necessary skills. Taking part in exercises is one way leaders can test their decision-making abilities under emergencies and crises. Crisis management exercises provide arenas for learning and knowledge sharing. This paper discusses how exercises can be performed better and more efficiently. We draw upon practical experiences from 12 table top and functional exercises, involving a variety of military and civilian actors, and we argue that it is possible to improve the planning and conduct of many exercises, leading to more relevant results and greater benefits for the participants. We want to demonstrate that exercises are important tools for decision-making and strategic planning processes within units or organizations. The target audience for the paper is anyone involved in crisis management exercises, from strategic planners and decision-makers to practitioners. The paper identifies practical recommendations for successful crisis management exercises, both discussion-based and operations-based. Learning points are extracted and analyzed with the use of problem structuring methods, resulting in a list of success criteria for crisis management exercises with examples of what works well and what does not.
Grunnan, Tonje; Fridheim, Håvard. Planning and conducting crisis management exercises for decision-making: the do’s and don’ts. EURO Journal on Decision Processes 2017 s. 1-17