Contingency Planning

Contingency Planning Unforeseen threats never knock on the door before their arrival. They just arrive and destroy everything that comes in their path. Contingency planning provides protection against these unforeseen threats. In the case of an organization, contingency planning covers failures of critical systems, equipment, automated processes, energy, communications, suppliers, personnel, and natural calamities. It consists of the actions taken by the organization to prepare the organization for an impending emergency. It is a management tool used to analyze the impact of potential crises so that adequate and appropriate arrangements are made in advance. It is general enough that it confers different ideas to different disaster managers and emergency personnel, depending on their circumstance and area of concern. The cost to implement and activate a contingency plan can be high, but the impact of its absence is prohibitive. Further if a small contingency is not curtailed in time then it can create a snowball effect and rapidly generate a greater crisis. In the organization, it is essential to have mechanisms that ensure constant operation. When there is an unexpected disruption, an appropriate contingency plan can make a huge difference. The definition of an optimal contingency plan is a complex problem involving diverse resources such as systems, equipment, spare parts, services, and specialized manpower etc. The contingency solution involves alternative processes and recovery strategies so that in the case of a contingency, all the necessary resources are available in order to bring the system back to normal operation using the minimum resources and in the least possible time. Chinese general Sun Tzu has said, “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small. The difficult things in this world must be done while they are easy; the...

Crisis Management

Crisis Management  Crisis is an event which harms an organization, its facilities, its finances or its reputation within a short period of time. A crisis can occur as a result of an unpredictable event or as an unforeseeable consequence of some event that had been considered a potential risk. In either case, crisis almost invariably requires that decisions be made quickly to limit damage to the organization. Crisis management is the application of strategies designed to help the organization deal with a sudden and significant negative event. Crisis management is the art of making decisions to head off or mitigate the effects of such an event, often while the event itself is unfolding. This often means making decisions under stress and without the support of key pieces of information. Crisis management is the management and coordination of the organization’s response to an incident that threatens to harm, or has harmed, the organization’s people, structures, ability to operate, valuables and/or reputation. It takes into account management’s planning and automatic incident response, but must also dynamically deal with situations as they unfold, often in unpredictable ways. The study of crisis management originated with the large scale industrial and environmental disasters in the 1980s. Under the present day environment crisis management is an important and necessary component of managing an organization since in the current day situation, no organization is immune to crisis. Crisis may hit an organization in the shape of terrorist attack, industrial accidents, product recall or natural calamity etc. Crisis management is closely linked to public relations where the organization’s image and pride are at stake. Following three elements are common to a crisis. A threat to the organization The element of surprise A short decision time Crisis is a process of transformation where the...