Crisis Management Structures



Add a note hereEach company will define the composition and structure of its own crisis response group dependent on the nature, size, and scope of the organization, as well as the operating regions and risk types it is exposed to. The tiering of response groups creates an effective commandandcontrol chain that meets both corporate and field requirements, as well as reflecting the size and complexity of response needs. Four basic layers might be found within a typical crisis response organizational structure:

1.     Add a note hereCorporate
2.     Add a note hereCountry
3.     Add a note hereProgram
4.     Add a note hereProject

Add a note hereA company should consider the value or determining participation from external groups in support of crisis response measures at each level, as well as drawing on its own knowledge, resources, and capabilities. Both parent and operating region governments and military or law enforcement agencies can provide considerable support during crisis events, often bringing influence or capabilities far outside of a commercial organization's area of expertise—although these should not be relied upon. The company might also wish to consider collaboration arrangements where mutual support is offered to other groups in return for reciprocal levels of assistance during a crisis event. The engagement of specialist subcontracted vendors is also an area where the company may wish to identify, retain, or contract support for services outside of its area of competence (see Exhibit 1).

Add a note hereExhibit 3.5: Crisis Response Organizational Structuring
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Exhibit 1: Crisis Response Organizational Structuring

Add a note hereThe following information captures some layers of crisis response structures as well as key participant leadership that might be found within a crisis response organization.

Add a note hereCorporate Crisis Response Team

Add a note hereThe corporate CRT is responsible for strategic risks and issues that affect the company as a whole, as well as for mobilizing resources and financial assistance to support the overall management of the crisis event. The corporate CRT may also liaise with government agencies in order to leverage support and will contract with outsourced advisory groups and resources to bridge gaps within the organization's capabilities. The corporate CRT will also liaise with corporate partnering companies and subcontractors in order to ensure that all appropriate measures are being taken, in terms of operational support as well as business continuity and recovery, legal, liability, reputational, and media liaison. The corporate CRT will also liaise and advise investors and shareholders as to the situation, to mitigate the effects of speculation, rumor, and erroneous reporting.

Add a note hereThe corporate CRT should ensure that any partner companies or subcontractors that fall under the umbrella of the business activities CRT are informed of response activities, and also conform to agreed response measures (especially media management). The corporate CRT should also ensure that any subcontracted security vendors provide the appropriate levels of support throughout the incident, supplying both operational services, as well as capturing information and performing in a manner that reflects the standards and ethos of the company. In addition, the corporate CRT will ensure that human resources, media, and legal groups are linked between vendor and teaming companies to coordinate any information releases or responses.
Add a note hereMost important, the corporate CRT will ensure that information sharing with employee families as well as support and care for any persons involved in the incident are appropriately addressed. In addition, direct support to families and repatriation measures will be established and coordinated to support the country CRT. The corporate CRT will mobilize all human resources, media, government, and legal specialists in order to offer support, guidance, and management of the incident and personnel in practical resource terms, as well as mobilizing resources necessary to support a crisis event and deploy specialists and support staff to augment country management initiatives. The corporate CRT will have overall decisionmaking authority and will be responsible for strategic planning and seniorlevel liaison. The corporate CRT will also typically guide business recovery measures and decision making once the situation has stabilized. Following an incident, the corporate CRT will be responsible for capturing all information, decisions, and details in order to conduct an audit of the incident, as well as provide instructions on any policy or procedural changes. This team will also determine whether the business or operational activity remains viable, or whether business approaches require change.

Add a note hereCountry Crisis Response Team

Add a note hereThe country or national CRT is typically comprised of the most senior managers responsible for a geographic region, typically led by the country or general manager or chief of party. The country CRT will coordinate all nationallevel activities and support as the focal point of regional crisis management. The country CRT has the local expertise and relationships to mobilize resources and support incountry to deal practically with an incident, on behalf and under direction of the corporate CRT. The country CRT will normally provide expert advice and recommendations to both corporate and program CRTs, and also coordinate all support in the area from both internal and external resources, including military, diplomatic missions, law enforcement, and other supporting or commercial organizations. The country CRT will focus information flow from the program incident response team (IRT) to the incountry subcontracted security vendors and teammates, as well as act as the coordination point for tactical and strategiclevel advice, requirements, decision making, and actions.
Add a note hereThe country CRT may also act as the national reception team for evacuations, and may deploy supporting company resources from other projects to meet resource gaps for an affected group. In addition, the country CRT may locally contract supporting vendors to provide medical, transportation, security, legal, and life support needs. The country CRT will also liaise closely with teammates and subcontractor management to bring coordination to a multipleparticipant response, ensuring that all crisis management needs are being met and that information is shared among affected parties. The country CRT may also initiate local reciprocal or mutual aid agreements, as well as memorandums of understanding.

Add a note hereA country CRT may be led by the most senior commercial manager and security or risk adviser for the region, and will typically be the group that establishes or evaluates national and subordinate crisis response plans and policies. The team should therefore be intimately familiar with each subordinate program or project and should be capable of supporting operational decision making from a local perspective, as well as relaying detailed and personalized information upward to the corporate CRT.

Add a note hereProgram Incident Response Team

Add a note hereThe program incident response team (IRT) will often bridge the gap between incident management and crisis response, dealing concurrently with both the event effects as well as considering strategic issues. The program IRT might, depending on the size and complexity of the program as well as the scope and nature of the team's appointment, either focus more on strategiclevel or crisis management initiatives or, if more tactically aligned, concentrate on managing the granular aspects of the emergency situation. The focus area of the program IRT will also depend on whether the program has been directly affected and the team is dealing with emergency requirements firsthand, or they are supporting a subordinate project experiencing a crisis situation. The program IRT will use both the IMP and more detailed and eventfocused response plans as guidelines.
Add a note hereThe program IRT is principally led by the most senior security consultant or company program manager within the program. If a company or vendor security manager leads this team, this security manager typically does so in close partnership with the senior company program manager. The point at which management decision making transfers from the program manager to the security manager must be defined in order to streamline decision making—as often the program manager will initially lead decision making during the opening stages of a crisis, up until the crisis has reached a certain stage when operational or security and safety decision making becomes more important. The program IRT manager and staff must ensure that all security staff and supporting military, medical, and other external service support groups are directed to assist the local incident response team commander in order to effectively evacuate personnel and assets from the risk area, as well as ensure that any medical support is readied to receive casualties. In addition, the program IRT will often integrate any vendor's or teaming partner's staff into the existing program IRT, ensuring they complement each other's efforts and avoid duplication or unnecessary confusion or friction.
Add a note hereThe program IRT's secondary function is to notify all company management chains of the incident in order to initiate the country and corporate CRTs. At appropriate junctures, the program IRT manager will provide documented accounts (in predetermined formats) as to the status and details of the incident, as well as formal serious incident reports. The program IRT may also assess the risk implications to support decisionmaking requirements. Any subcontractor program IRTs should be expected to conduct similar reports and documentation concurrently, liaising with its own country CRTs. The program IRT will typically report directly to the country CRT.

Add a note hereProject Incident Response Team

Add a note hereThe project IRT may be led by an experienced security manager, or the project manager in the absence of a security professional. A transition of control may also occur if both a project manager and a security manager are within the project team, with the security professional assuming a command role, rather than an advisory role, only if the risk exceeds certain limits—typically where security and safety are central to the nature of the emergency situation. These limits should be clearly defined to avoid friction and ambiguity of leadership roles during a crisis event. Typically the project IRT will focus on dealing with the actual crisis event, leveraging support from program, country, and corporate crisis management structures in order to mobilize resources outside of the project's organic capabilities. The project IRT may deploy response groups within its structure and may also instigate local agreements and support capabilities within defined plans and protocols. They will be the main users of the IMP and may under emergency circumstances implement more complex crisis response protocols and plans, such as emergency evacuations and disaster response plans.

Add a note hereThe project IRT is normally tactically focused, rather than dealing with the strategic and nontangible aspects of the crisis, such as reputation and liability concerns, although managers should be aware of the implications their actions and the crisis event may have further up the chain of responsibility, and should act to mitigate these risks where possible or appropriate. The project IRT will, however, be responsible for feeding information, insights, and guidance to more senior management teams so as to ensure an accurate representation of the event to support sound decision making, as well as making sure that threat and impact evaluations are fed throughout the crisis management structure. The size, complexity, and makeup of the project management team will determine the degree of autonomy and responsibility the project IRT will have.

Add a note hereSpecial Response Teams

Add a note hereA special response team (SRT) may be mobilized to support the corporate CRT in dealing with strategic crises, such as public relations and media advisers, legal counsel, or investigative services, or they may be deployed to the region or area in which a crisis is occurring in order to bring knowledge, experience, and additional capabilities to bear to support incident management groups. The configuration and objectives of an SRT will depend on the nature of the crisis, as well as the operating environment in which an event is occurring. The SRT may be highly specialized, such as advisers in kidnapping and ransom situations, legal counsel, or technology consultants, or may be more tactical in nature, such as security consultants and disaster and evacuation response managers. A series of SRT options may be defined within the contingency planning component of the Business Continuity Management Plan in advance of a crisis event occurring, and may require retainer fees or preagreed contractual and operating arrangements. Conversely, an SRT may be created ad hoc to meet unique and unplanned crisis events, requiring the mobilization of either inhouse or outsourced support.

7 comments:

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