Effective communication is key
Spoiler alert – this is going to be mainly about communication – so although we’re speaking about incident management I hope you’ll see that the principles discussed can be applied just about everywhere you have humans trying to get stuff done.
Effective communication is at the core of effective incident management. When an incident occurs it’s vital that the right people get the information they need in order to deal with the incident as it unfolds and also to put in place measures to prevent re-occurrence. Of course it’s also important that the system used is reliable and as unintrusive as possible – allowing the responders to get on with their jobs
Pros and cons of manual systems
Paper based systems can be great – paper forms are easy to create and use and will work when the lights go out !, but the fact that they can only exist in one place at a time makes information sharing difficult since forms have to be physically transported or copied/scanned for transmission.
It’s also difficult to manage any changes to the information that’s recorded – paper forms don’t usually have very good version control. Any actions resulting from the management process have to be communicated verbally or by fax etc making keeping track of who is doing what very difficult.
The same goes for spreadsheets – it’s easy to create a confusing mass of data with no audit trail, which will end up getting copied across multiple users, creating multiple un synchronised data sets (disclaimer – we love EXCEL for some things but we wouldn’t use it for action tracking!)
Digital Action Trackers in incident management
Digital action tracking systems can allow all relevant incident data to be recorded in a central location, available to all stakeholders. Any actions required can be allocated electronically with appropriate reminders as their due date approaches and with clear visibility to all stakeholders. One of our customers , North Star Shipping have a great case study here about how they use digital action tracking as the core of their incident management strategy. Their system allows them to capture all the data relating to an incident, including root cause analysis and ensure that information is quickly communicated to the rest of the organisation.