Blog provided by RockDove Solutions

The lack of definition and structure around crisis management, especially in the Fortune 500, is astounding. Most organizations claim to have a crisis management plan, but shockingly few of those plans are actually well-defined, executable, and real world-ready.

In 2015, Deloitte surveyed board members at the world’s biggest companies across every major industry and geographic area on this topic, and the results were nothing short of staggering. When asked if their organization had defined a specific set of actions to respond to crisis scenarios, only 49% answered ‘yes’ and 33% were uncertain. Fifty-eight percent had no clearly defined roles, and 59% had no clearly defined coordination or communication plans.

Three years later, a follow-up survey found the same patterns persisted. Companies pointed to effectiveness of team work and the clarity of roles and responsibilities as their most significant crisis management challenges.

A basic truth of organizational effectiveness is that a team’s level of coordination directly correlates with its level of success. This is no less true in crisis management, and yet so many organizations struggle to assemble their teams around the messaging and actions that will make their crisis plans successful. How can crisis management leaders avoid this malaise to make their organization truly battle-ready in confronting crises?

The power of workflows

At its heart, crisis management is project management. Successful project management hinges on the use of accurate, well-tuned workflows—sequences of tasks needed to accomplish a specific objective, with each assigned to a specific owner. The completion of one task will often automatically trigger the start of the next task in the sequence. As teams pursue similar objectives over and over again, workflows are typically templated to be repeated with increased efficiency, specific best practices, and greater predictability. They are powerful tools for assembling teams to execute all types of work—and crisis management is no exception.

Following are the best ways crisis management teams can deploy workflows to improve their ability execute their processes:

1. Breaking down silos with real-time access to one consistent message

Workflows can create the ideal gathering place for all team members to see what is being done, what their role is, what they need to do next, when it should be done, and their progress toward the workflow’s completion. When the workflow is housed in a central, easily accessible location (preferably cloud-based) data remains universally available, not locked away in silos. As conditions or plans change, everyone remains on the same page.

2. Gather the right people quickly and securely

When a workflow is activated in a well-tuned crisis management platform, notifications are automatically triggered to inform teams that it’s time for them to work on their particular issue or task. As those issues or tasks are completed, new notifications go out to the owners of the next tasks in workflow. This happens as task statuses change or updates occur. Checklists display task statuses in real time, so crisis managers can alway see what’s being done.

This all happens automatically as a situation unfolds so crisis management leaders need only pull the trigger to put the process and all of its actors in motion. They spend less time on the phone or sending out emails, and more time guiding the overall effort.

Of course, this is only possible if organizations invest in understanding and mapping out each step of their most common crisis scenarios and then recreate those as workflows in their crisis management platform.

3. Focus on integration with commonly-used systems

Workflow management tools work only as far as they are adopted by all involved parties. This presents a challenge for teams accustomed to working with their own particular tools. With this in mind, crisis management leaders should seek out a crisis management platform tool that will integrate easily—instead of compete—with the different teams’ and stakeholders’ most common devices, software, and operating systems.

For instance, a proper crisis management platform should be usable on laptops, desktops, and smartphones alike. It should be available on Mac OS, Windows, and other common operating systems. Moreover, it should integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Teams and other common office management software suites to make adoption as simple and frictionless as possible.

Assemble your team with workflows

Investing in an intelligent workflow management tool can be a powerful way to remove your team’s silos and provide key information to all involved stakeholders. Investing time into bringing together multifunctional groups to craft scenario-specific workflow templates can assemble your team with ease as crises loom and ensure an orderly, coordinated, and unified response from all involved. Choosing a tool that plays easily with existing devices and systems will ensure that your tool gets the adoption it deserves—ultimately, a tool that will empower you to deliver the ideal crisis response.

Learn how RockDove Solutions’ In Case of Crisis 365 risk management platform provides the ideal crisis management workflow by visiting