Short Exercising Success with Scottish Continuity

Posted on 23 May

Our consultancy team helped businesses and business continuity professionals understand how they can deliver short exercises on a budget to improve their resilience when it counts.

PlanB Consulting hosted and led a learning event on behalf of Scottish Continuity for business continuity professionals at their headquarters in Linwood, Scotland. The event, Effective Short Form Exercising, showcased some of the methods that our award-winning consultants deliver across the globe, often when time or resources are particularly tight. By sharing our ideas, we hoped to help ensure that organisations in the central belt of Scotland could benefit from our experience and ensure their teams go above and beyond the typical annual exercise. The delegates first tackled a round-robin style morning session, with both 'Outside Now' and 'Crisis Briefing' methods on show before coming together for a fast paced 'Speed Exercise' session.

The 'Outside Now' stand used the example of a spontaneous fire alarm and building evacuation to address how mobilising a response team, activating the plan and escalating up the response structure can prove difficult when certain precautions aren't taken. While many organisations store their business continuity plans on more than just paper in a desk drawer, ensuring the required staff can access that plan if their work-issued laptop is still in the building or unable to connect to the internet is a priority for all resilience professionals. The exercise also highlights some often overlooked welfare concerns for organisations found in those situations. Can all staff members return home safely? If they left the building without their wallet or purse and left their keys on the desk, can your organisation source locksmiths and emergency cash in a hurry?

The 'Crisis Briefing' stand helped delegates to gain an insight into how a crisis management or incident management team would respond to an incident. Assuming different roles within the team, the delegates were introduced to a set agenda format and offered the chance to practice using it before helping to set the priorities and actions of the response effort. Working together to uild a clear path to concluding the incident, the exercise format helped attendees to gain an understanding of considerations of a response beyond the traditional business continuity manager role, as well as help showcase how information sharing and situational awareness is vital in leading an effective response.

PlanB Consulting lead a business continuity workshop with Scottish Continuity

The session then came together for an interactive 'Speed Exercise' session, using scenarios the delegates had discussed over breakfast with our team. Addressing four high-impact, low-probablility scenarios in an incredibly short period of time, delegates had to decide what their priorities and considerations were for events such as national power outages and a breakout of pandemic flu. After a hot debrief of each of the scenarios, the workshop came to a close with a short Q&A session with our Director Charlie Maclean-Bristol, who is currently penning a book on the subject.

The session was met with overwhelming positive feedback, with the event hailed as 'an enjoyable morning delivered by knowledgeable presenters' and 'entertaining, unique, informative and professional.'

"The concept of short, snappy exercises is really good. Quick wins which raise the profile of BC and highlight big issues that need to be addressed. The three hours flew by - a really worthwhile event." ~ Head of Resilience & Safety at a leading Scottish university.

Looking to breathe new life into your exercise programme? Speak to one of our consultants today about how we can help.