ORGANIZING FOR SUCCESS
Emphasizing the value of independent initiative in
operation continuity and problem solving
16 October 2005

 

Abstract: The steps to critical mission planning are outlined here as an operation checklist and guide to planning. The listing is based on the principle of training for the institution of innovative independent action and the taking of responsibility at all levels of an organization or mission. The planning and training for initiative taking strengthens a system's ability to respond and take independent action when faced with a novel situation for which planning provides no solution, or when communication has been lost, or events on the ground are moving too fast for effective communication and response. The following provides a guide for decision making, a basis for a disaster recovery plan (DRP) or a business continuity plan (BCP) or any operation where overall success is more important than getting in and returning with the flag regardless of the consequences.

 

Note: This paper is not meant to be definitive and should be treated only as a preliminary outline for action

 

The following is relevant to any critical field operation as well as for group organization or for creating systems or products for clients. The terminology may be different but the conceptual framework is relevant to each of these fields and other instances in which some control is exercised over the outcome of events whether it is on the individual or group level.

 

 

The major causes of failure

Aside from lack of timing, inadequacy of supplies or access, inadequate planning, inadequate data gathered on current condition of environment within which mission is to be accomplished,

and a thousand other variables, the major causes of failure are:

Predetermination of approach before all goals set, data are gathered

Rigidity or inflexibility of approach precluding considering the reality on the ground

Grandstanding by leader or manager attempting to always take center stage

Inadequate division of labor causing overload on particular personnel

Inadequate or blocked access to decision makers with timely data

relating to changes in the situation

Inadequate access to innovative or alternative ways to accomplish mission

Inadequate support made available to team members

Inadequate provision for initiative and self determination on the

action level when communication to central command is severed

or before effective communication and active response established

 

 

 

 

Initiation of independent action

Something which we do not want to think about is the loss of leadership at the top. However this is always a possibility and until the chain of command can be reinstated there is a gap which if left unfilled by action on the ground may lead to greater loss, suffering and perhaps even defeat.

Any organization must be set up and trained so that in the absence of leadership from the top, the lower echelons, and the personnel on the ground can take responsibility and initiate appropriate action. This requires additional training and an atmosphere which is not usually present in many bureaucratic or highly organized systems. Training and rewards for taking the initiative and the assumption of responsibility for a bottom up or horizontal command capability provides a system with increased latitude and power. Any system instituting this concept throughout an organization would be far stronger and capable of handling any mission whether

it be a disaster or regular operation either within or separated from the normal chain of

command. Such a system will also often benefit from increased innovation in handling situations for which there has been no specific preparation (7).

 

What happens when independent initiative is not available as an option?

Level of training

Units and different levels of the command structure are less trained and prepared for

novel situations and are less prepared in general even for their own part in the

mission

Training for initiative and responsibility leads to novel solutions which can be

incorporated into the overall advancement of the mission

Advancement of mission

Units focus only on their own segment in a mission without a broader view which could

enable more understanding and flexibility to perform

Continuity

When faced with communication lapses for whatever reason, action which may be

critical to the overall mission is delayed when confronting a new situation or

threat

Morale

Morale is lower when units or individuals are not empowered

Preparation for initiative and leadership in small arenas give greater sense of

responsibility and pride in unit accomplishments

 

Training would include:

Set of expectations delineating assumption of initiative and responsibility bounded by

certain limitations

Leadership and overall command responsibilities

Training for effective cooperation between unit members

Innovation and problem solving techniques

Multi-tasking in a number of central and crucial possible situations to be encountered

Training in identification of signs of possible problems within the teams, the mission

and within the environment

Training in future ideation consequence timelines, and interaction juxtaposition

(how elements should work together)

Broad training in information access

Training in communication (making sure that everyone knows how to operate the

available technology and lines of access)

Knowledge of logistics at each level and access to supply chains

Coordination with other groups involved to avoid overlap and interference

Arena available materials identification, location of and use of instead of waiting for

outside supply

Flexibility management and adaptation

Use of local knowledge and information from the field in forming decisions and operational

strategy

Understanding of specific arena characteristics to obtain seamless operational efficiency

Training which will develop the basis for mature judgment through experience

Effective run through of situations so that each member of the team can see the overall

picture and how everything interacts

Advance planning and execution based on foreseen future requirements

 

Negative aspects which need to be countered are:

Lack of training

Lack of information

Lack of resources

Incorrect timing

Lack of integration with other efforts being pursued in the arena

Instituted when:

The use of independent action is normally part of any organization when the type of action

taken is within a narrow scope of activity or will have relatively little ramification on the

total mission.

A structure is federated and little emphasis has been placed on chains of command, rules

of action, or when the details of action are in principle left to the lower echelons.

When independent action is dictated by the emergencies of the situation and there is

no response from higher levels, or response is not forthcoming within the time frame, or

response is ineffective given the situation faced on the ground.

Independent, innovative action and the taking of responsibility has been built into the

system and is expected.

 

This paper focuses on the 3rd and 4th situations and provides a basis for the training,

instituting of rewards for independent and innovative action.

 

Stages of Critical Mission Planning

 

Basically, all of the steps covered here must to some degree be part of any operation or

response. The important first step is to identify the different stages and to assess their

timeline, overlap, and each stage's contributory influences to other stages. Many stages

may in fact overlap in time, material usage, and influence. The most critical job will be to

keep them running concurrently without interference between segments which could

compromise the mission.

 

Preplanning

This is the stage of developing the goals dictated by the problems or desires which must be

solved or fulfilled. It is the period of reconnaissance in which as much as possible is learned

about the possibilities, the 'lay of the land' and the collection of all data which will be used to

understand the situation within which the mission will be conducted. At this stage

documentation is started which will last throughout the project.

Planning

This is the stage in which goals will be linked to all of the possibilities and directions

necessary to their attainment within different possible settings and resource availability

including timing and integration.

Preparation

This stage places flesh on the bones of the structure created during planning. All materials,

and resources or capabilities for resource delivery are completed. All operations will be

realized in terms of their requirements prior to the actual execution of the plan.

Execution

This is the realization stage of the plan in which any gaps in the previous stages are

discovered and must be filled in real time. This stage is the one in which not being prepared

can easily lead to disaster. This is also the stage in which innovation, and necessity of taking

new roads for which there is no preparation needs to be taken.

Recovery

This stage runs throughout the execution and afterwards to repair, adjust, and reassess

enabling continuation of the operation and the next phase.

Wrap-up

Wind down of all actions, protection of all resources, assessment of all attainments and their

meaning for the continuation of and continuity of the organization in the present and the

preparation for the next operation.

Aftermath

This stage is all too often in actuality a new operation in its own right which should be

executed according to all of the stages. It is the result planned for but it is often not at all

what was envisioned. Therefore, in most instances, the preparation for the aftermath must

be scrapped and a new set of rules and procedures instituted to fit the realities of the

actual situation.

Review, evaluation and critique

This stage provides understanding to the degree possible of what occurred and an

assessment of what were successes and failures. This phase is critical for future operations

and must not be overlooked or minimized. At this phase it is very important to have outside

bodies participate in the assessment and to accomplish an independent review and

critique.

 

 

The following are details of the above stages and are applicable to all situations from individual actions to group endeavors.

 

Preplanning

Documentation

Logs, databases, forms, questionnaires, observers, transcribers initiated which will run

throughout all phases of the mission

Goals

Setting of overall goal/sub-goals/possible alternative goals

Think, plan and provide globally before devising the intricacies of any operations. Global

definitions will enter into every small part of an operation.

Devise different global views - an incorrect or flawed global view will necessarily lead to

disaster at some level if not to the total operation and its outcomes.

Analysis of goal fulfillment

Be sure of the reasons for the goals you have set

What will be the effect of these goals if realized?

What would be the effect should different goals be set?

What would be the effects of failure on the group?

Information

Before you do anything, find out all you can about the thing you are about to do.

Be able to navigate within the area. This may mean linguistically through the use of

interpreters, understanding of the protocols, prejudices, traditions, worldview of different

segments of the population or group concerned

History

Learn the history of those who will be involved and how your plan will impact them

and how this will effect the mission

Playing field

Study and know the area within which the plan will be realized, its parameters, obstacles,

the rules by which the plan will be unfolded and the way in which the participants will

interact

Determine the parameters of movement

Other players

Study the other participants and what they bring to the interaction

General environment

Environmental parameters which will aid or hinder progress

Within arena resources potentially needed which are already present and available

Available tools, materials, people, skills available within the arena or the population

Obstacles

Major obstacles to overcome and potential solutions

Previous attempts to accomplish mission by self or others

Successes and failures of past attempts

Available resources to obtain historical data

Analysis of historical data

Determine what is available or not available now

as opposed to previous attempts

Find historical incidents similar to the operation planned and learn by example.

Look at a number of well known and documented incidents either

related or unrelated) which succeeded or which went wrong and assess the reasons

for the successes or failures and what could have been done or avoided.

Risk assessment

Identify all possible risks natural and manmade which may enter into any response

pattern.

Always factor in the presence of outside and potentially disruptive elements - those which

can be foreseen and those which may be totally fortuitous and unpredicted.

Basic organizational structure

Units and chain of command should be clarified and known to all taking part in the mission

Basic funds and resources needed

The basic needs for each stage, the potential sources and methods of commitment and

timing of delivery

Time sequencing

Set the basic time sequencing of operations to accomplish task

Resources available including personnel

Basic skills available which will be needed to accomplish mission

Skills and resources within group

Skills and resources from suppliers and other resources

Other potential groups or individuals who may be called in to perform central support

or auxiliary functions

Delineation of the involvement of personnel and support groups, when, where, and how

much

Basic communications and structure

Communications available and potentially useful or critical to the operation

Types of analysis and monitoring needed

Initial analysis

Obtain the opinions of others (participants, analysts, experts) on the

general outline and on different parts of the planned operation.

 

 

Planning

General rules of planning

Generate a spirit of improvisation and willingness to take responsibility in performing

independent action suited to the exigencies confronted on the front line of any

operation.

Decentralization increases the opportunities for success

Never rely solely on your own view of events, or those of close advisors or players.

Most mistakes have been due to not taking outside and conflicting points of view

into consideration. And never attempt to plan or execute a plan on the sole advice of

yourself.

Never assume what the other party is thinking, their capability, predisposition or ability

to perform. Keep in mind that the other actors taking part in the operation may have a

totally different view of the situation and will themselves have factored in their own

security and protection.

Provide measures which will create the least negative effects should something go wrong.

Preplan methods of ameliorating negative fallout or consequences

Methods

Deal with planning and scheduling problems related to options available for

each task and the consequences of each action to determine the

most practical and goal effective methods

Always factor in pullout, shutdown, abort possibilities and methods for accomplishing

with least disruption. This often entails greater preplanning than the planning of the

operation itself.

Generate methods for handling unexpected events

Operations in obtaining goal

Determination of what operations are needed to succeed

Determine areas of flexibility what is flexible and what is not in terms of tasks, time

line, resource availability

Methods of handling and analyzing alternative suggestions and innovations

Establishing boundaries for the fulfillment of tasks

Establishing rules and methods for cooperation, engagement, retreat, and re-planning

Scheduling, timing and intersection

Timing and integration is critical at all levels

Determination of time line for each action and how it interacts with all other actions

involved in the operation and in the environment

Testing

Modeling and dry runs to determine probable success

Create a limited mission with few elements and game play with group of players to

discover what is needed, when, and how much.

Work through scenarios in which planned elements are changed to review the

changes created in the operation and the outcome.

Assess all possibilities so that there is no possible room for surprises

Always answer the questions what, what, what if, when, why, where, how and how much

as a rule of thumb.

Assess the consequences of each action to determine the most practical and goal effective

Push each operation to its logical conclusion and in some cases illogical fallout and

consequences

Test all modalities of mission critical equipment and functioning

Chain of command and division of labor

Determination of lines of command or responsibility

Determination of who does what and in what circumstances

Determination of backup for every critical position

Backups and redundancy

Redundancy measures for critical functions

Recovery modes for errors in task completion

Backups for each role or function

Have backup plans or capabilities for each operation

Prepare for backups, re-supply and re-delivery, including possible substitutes, alternative

means and routes of all expendables.

Overcoming barriers

Delineation of barriers which will impede progress

and methods for overcoming

Create what if? For every possible occurrence to determine what to do given

different types of circumstances

Rules of engagement

Delineation of basic rules of conduct and accountability

Support networks and resources

Support networks established for each position and task

Establish rules of communication

Provision of outside help in emergencies

Establishing parameters for cooperation from within the arena itself

On call facility and resources providers

Provision for cooperation from outside groups even in some cases competitors

Analysis methods of ongoing events

Provide for constant analysis of situational variables, progress and future possibilities

based on changes which are continually fed into the operations as they proceed.

Security and protection

Factor in security and protection of all members as well as those tangentially affected.

Prepare alternative means of protection given any contingency.

Brainstorm all possible scenarios where protection or security may be necessary.

Response protocols and rules

Develop specific responses for all risks identified and

general response protocol which will prepare for unexpected risks

Accountability

Methods of accountability and follow-up

Public accountability

Methods and rules for disclosure

Rules, types and methods for public relations

Consequences and outcomes

Factor in how the operation and its outcomes will effect other operations, players, social

and political bodies.

Re-plan sequences after each unforeseen change in the conduct of an operation.

Aftermath

Plan for aftermath and all possible consequences

Plan meticulously for aftermath - all possible scenarios including those not envisioned.

In many cases the aftermath takes more planning and has greater consequences

than the operation itself.

 

 

 

Preparation

This is the stage of logistics and training - the obtaining and positioning of materials and

players towards the stage of execution. During this stage a great deal of flexibility and re-planning must take place based on the availability of resources, capabilities of storage and positioning and arranging for the timing of receipt and planned use of resources.

 

This is the stage in which planning is finalized based on the availability and positioning of resources and the capabilities of personnel. Finalization must be created through in-depth analysis of all measurable factors involved.

 

Resources

Assess supply needs, acquisition, arrangement for storage and delivery at

appropriate times

Assess the capabilities of your team(s) and your own capabilities.

Always have sufficient players to fulfill all parts of the operation in terms of knowledge,

capability and training

Training

Training and overall preparation of all personnel

Mock play through, rehearsal, and simulation in real time or computer modeling

for purposes of training, and determination of gaps in knowledge, capabilities and

interaction with other team members and other teams

Multiple role training so that any individual can take over and fulfill a

number of different positions.

Training, information and written protocols which can be accessed in an emergency

Testing and evaluation

Run-through and testing of the different operation options to identify gaps and

areas needing further training or change in modality

Testing of personnel in terms of capability to perform within the context of the tam and

operation

Testing and finalization of procurement and delivery of all needed

materials

Equipment, training, knowledge of theater of operation

Training for optimum use of encounters with competitors, friendlies, or hostiles.

Checking of communications and alternatives available

Interaction analysis

Cohesion of teams and clarification of points of possible friction

What if? analysis

What if?' planning so that all possibilities of changes in scenarios of planned action

due to probable, improbable and unexpected factors will be covered

Identification

Identification of areas which are incomplete, lacking, or might produce problems in actual

interaction in theater of operation.

Identification of environmental variables (supplies, availabilities of material from previous

actions, reuse of equipment, possible replication) which can be used to advantage thus

reducing the reliance on centralized procurement and delivery

Identification and accounting of real time action variables (juxtaposition of forces, tradeoffs,

cross actions, turning points and changes in requirements in supplies, types of material

needed, changes in rules of conduct, changes in form of engagement)

Psychological factors involved

Establish the morale, knowledge and acceptance of goal and reasons for the action.

Establish an atmosphere for innovation, independent action and responsibility where

action must be taken and there is lack of communication or clear guidelines to action.

Integration

Integrate plans into wider area plans which are in place by other agencies or entities.

Integration and early warning systems should interact to provide feedback and support.

Set priorities for each agenda: action, protection, response, preservation, recovery

In the event of an emergency or during any operation is will not always be possible to

complete all functions which are the most valuable or necessary for continuance and

continuity (some are not necessarily recognizable as such).

Review operations in relation to timing, communication, supply, chains of command

Evaluate condition and characteristics of all environmental, social and physical factors

which could impact on the operation.

Develop a check list for updates on any changes which need to be considered.

Checking security

Checking and enhancement of security of operation on all levels

Checking and enhancement of the safety of personal including protection systems for each

entity personnel, material, communication, resources. Each grouping needs a

specialized protection system which includes protection against known dangers as well as

protocols covering any unknown or unexpected danger. This should also include the

development of maintenance procedures which will reduce long term problems

Monitoring capabilities

Special provision for real time monitoring using different modalities with backups and

redundancies.

Develop listing of telltale signs of problems, how to recognize them, and what to do when

they occur.

Maintenance and updating

Maintenance schedules should be set for all renewable factors in the mission

Procedures for updating all equipment, programs, communication should be instituted

 

 

Execution

This is self explanatory or is it? There are a number of indicators which test the degree to

which the preceding stages were accomplished successfully or not if any of the items below

are not fulfilled or actively in place

Early warning

Provide an effective early warning system which will reach 90+% of those effected

Provide for a way to monitor the receipt of the warning and action related to it

Follow up with a sustained and effective means of dealing with the effects of the

warning

Provide for the capability of effective response to the early warning. In many cases this may

be one of the more difficult parts of a mission.

Monitoring

It is during this stage that several types of monitoring must be in place:

Monitoring of all functions which will enable identification of environmental,

personnel and resource availability and interaction and sufficiency for mission

continuity in real time and to provide for review and critiques at later stages.

Monitoring of scheduling, delivery and sufficiency of supplies, sufficiency of personnel,
success and failures of each operation toward each sub-goal and the overall goal of

the mission

There must be clear indications and measurable indices of each of the above to enable

effective decision making, indices which can signal advancement, retreat, abort

sequences, or changing of the goals within the mission given real time necessities.

Constantly assess the resources available in the theater of action (already in the arena,

available through conventional resources, available as an outcome of the action itself)

Concurrent analysis

Concurrent analysis during active phases of the operation

Possible error analysis: Correction and decision making based on analysis of all things

which can go wrong given the actual operation on the ground

Flow diagrams of operation in progress to assess next steps given environmental,

personnel, interaction, equipment vectors

Real time feedback from different vantage points, and different modalities

Real time updating of those carrying out the operation

Provision for containment

Identification of the need for containment

Parameters of containment

Measures in instituting containment

Check against the major causes of failure of containment

Constant check of the effectiveness of containment

Contingency operations and shifting of preplanned actions

There must be latitude for shifts in operations provided by sufficient backups, and

preplanning for most contingencies.

Be prepared for sudden shifts in rules, projected occurrences, order of presentation some

of which may totally change the way in which the operation is handled and played out

including the possible consequences and needs for security and protection.

Be constantly prepared to reassess and adjust

Where there is no preplanning and a lack of supplies or command for certain

contingencies, there must be the ability, backed up by training and experience,

to take the initiative and the responsibility on the local level if lives are to be

saved or the goals of the operation are to be realized.

Decision making

Constantly check for clear chain of command without overlap from other groups, agencies

or individuals with an interest or legal right to intercede. These should be included as

detailed lines of approval within the chain and not pose as unplanned decision makers

Have alternative ways to do each operation accessible both theoretically and

operationally given changes in the arena or problems encountered

Always be willing to look at conventional wisdom as well as alternative and even highly

criticized theories.

Preplan all possibilities including those not generally accepted by conventional wisdom

and general knowledge of the field.

Feedback

Continual input of open information channels

Where public policy is involved, keep open well advertised public forums and capability

for response and question-asking along with follow-up and review by those making the

decisions.

Always have instant feedback capabilities to the participants from the decision makers in

order to provide information, timing, and change in direction or operation.

 

 

Recovery

Recovery should always be preplanned since any operation entails the possibility of some

form of negative risk, feedback, change in the parameters of 'business as usual', and there

must be sufficient planning to guarantee continuity. We usually think in terms of disaster

recovery, but in fact any large scale operation carries with it the potential of disruption,

changed fiscal position and liquidity and access to resources, as well as changes in the

atmosphere in the organization and within the lives of the individuals involved in the

operation.

 

Recovery is an ongoing part of any operation and should be meticulously planned prior to an

incident or initiation of action. Failure to institute recovery measures and providing for

continuity during an operation including the necessary personnel and material support and

expertise to accomplish it in a timely manner can severely compromise the effectiveness

of a mission.

 

Preparing for recovery and continuity

 

Identification of gaps

Establishing timing assessed length of time between breakdown of critical functions and

failure of sub-mission, length of time to repair or reestablish continuity (6)

Pre-identification of hazards or risks which will create a lapse in continuity during mission

critical operations (6)

Managing for external intrusion and internal compromise

Develop signs of potential breakdown which, apart from major

damage due to mission accomplishment and backlash, will

alert unit of impending breakdown or insufficiency.

Pre-established alternatives

Establishing alternative means to perform critical functions

Formulation of alternative measures to ensure continuity

Institute redundancies of materials and personnel which can

immediately fill any gaps in operation occasioned by

breakdown, exhaustion of resources, destruction

Reconstruction

Pre-planning for executing recovery of (a non-exhaustive listing):

data still existing on hard drives of computers otherwise destroyed, codes and plans

needed for continuation, etc.

Lost or ineffective communication

Personnel in the arena who are crucial to continuance but who have been compromised

momentarily for any number of reasons

Communication links which have been compromised through intrusion by hackers,

virus/worm attacks or spy programs

Material assets which have been damaged but are still viable with repair or part

replacement

Restoration of communication with those units or service providers and suppliers needed

for providing continuity

Identify backup or redundant personnel or services prepared to perform recovery

functions under adverse conditions if necessary

Develop protocols for repair and recovery of critical functions.

Institution of procedures

Perform regular checks of mission critical functions which should be automatic checks

where possible,

Recovery should be accomplished in accordance with preparation.

Where there has not been preparation or when the unexpected occurs, the training,

atmosphere and the command structure should be capable of allowing for innovation,

independent operation of personal, and acceptance of responsibility at the ground level

for maintaining continuity.

Have a cyber incident response (CIRT) plan

Make sure that all communications are secure or do not transmit sensitive information

Provide for remote capabilities in event of main communication breakdown

Develop strategies for filtering communications which are fraud, intent on disruption

or misinformation.

Recovery procedures and alternative means of communication should be instituted

Provision for dealing with disorientation, loss of morale, instability

Provision should be made for group support interaction, individual psychological help,

debriefing, and reality checks particularly in sensitive missions

Wrap-up

Wrap-up is not just the end of the operation and withdrawal from the field. It comprises a

number of identifiable operations. In actuality, wrap-up during the operations at the end of

sub-stages is possible and if handled correctly, effective in preparation for the next stages

of the operation

 

Stabilization

Make any successes stable and failures mollified or turned to advantage based on

new perspectives (lessons learned, data generated which can be useful for future

operations)

Debriefing

Debriefing to some extent should always occur for those involved to reduce

psychological load, to better understand what happened on the individual and

unit level, desensitization if needed, and learning from individual experiences

what transpired both physically and psychologically

Recording procedures

Recording of experiences and ideas for the next operation

Replay of crucial operations to learn for future use

Recording of events from the view point of the participants for

historical purposes and documentation

Recording for use in debriefing

To prevent reoccurrence or provide for greater access

Analyze and put in place measures which in a disaster will help prevent a reoccurrence

or ease dealing with it, or to help future missions to operate more effectively

Analyze

Analysis of data should be carried out to better understand the causes and lead-ups

to successes and failures and understanding of gaps in supply and operation

Editing of real time data transmissions and analyses made during the operation for future

use and reporting

Openness

public relations and reporting

rewards given for accomplishments

 

 

Aftermath

The aftermath is usually considered to be any operation after the main operation and is

therefore downgraded in importance and often performed with scant attention. However, this

is in many cases a new operation and should be treated as such. Many failures are

experienced during this phase which often degrade the successes of the 'main' operation or

in some cases actually saves the operation from its failures. In point of fact, the aftermath

is often more important than the operation itself since it pre-positions for the next event

which may be deadlier or costlier or wider spread.

 

Cleanup

Cleanup, repair, adjust, re-supply, reposition

Restart planning process

Adjust planning for new reality In many cases none of the old planning is relevant in the

new situation

Security

Instituting forms of security and protection of personnel for the long run in often a top

priority

Setting in place security measures and protection of affected populations from internal or

external forces

Initiate early warning systems on a number of levels

Reassess strategies

Reassess and develop new strategies in all areas to improve early warning, response and

control

Publish data

Position and make readily available documents and data which will be needed in future

actions

Analysis from unit and command levels

Analyze the outcome from the point of view of a number of different disciplines.

Reconstruct sequencing, timing, availability of materials, personnel and knowledge

available.

Have different parts of the analysis team focus on a different aspect of the operation and

provide for feedback and interconnectedness of teams and members during the analysis

process.

Gather all possible data and, where appropriate, materials involved and arrange for their

storage, security and safekeeping against all forms of intrusion, or disturbance.

Do not allow concentration on any failed portion of an operation to cloud all the factors

which might have contributed to the incident as it occurred.

 

 

Review, evaluation, reconstruction and critique

While part of this is accomplished in a number of ways in the

wrap-up, this is an ongoing process which many have little or

nothing to do with the participants in the operation but with the

overall successes or failures. In some cases this stage takes

years to complete.

 

Context

Some of the events and data can only be understood within the context of a timeline often

running years before and after an event.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction of what occurred and the reasons for successes and failures by the system

itself improves the future response of the system in general. Such reconstruction can be

the basis for reorganization and the changing of suppliers, equipment, data and

command flows, information gathering and use processes within the organization.

This is also a basis for learning and identifying best procedures

Critique and investigation panels

Set up criteria for the review and critique

This should be conducted by outside and independent sources provides the basis for

comprehensive understanding of the operation. This will often (if not always) highlight

areas not seen or looked at by all internal critiques and reconstructions

If the operation has been publicized, set up a public forum to obtain feedback and critique

some of which will have perspectives at angles often missed by regular panels.

Provide an information database for review and for any personnel who will be part of the

review process

Publication

Publish reconstructions, critiques and investigations including the successes and failures

as future guides as well as thoughts on how the operation could or should have been

accomplished and internal as well as external restructuring

 

 

Links to resources

 

http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=64326

Center for American Progress 100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From

http://www.afterburnerseminars.com/newsletter/2005/newsletter_200509-2.asp?id=us&source=google The Six Steps to Mission Planning A valuable overview of the planning process. May 3, 2004

(3) http://www.techcentralstation.com/092205B.html The planning Illusion by Arnold Kling

on the value of decentralized improvisation and adaptation when faced with real time problems to be overcome with less emphasis on bureaucratic planning.

http://www.gartner.com/5_about/news/disaster_recovery.html

 The Aftermath: Disaster Recovery and Planning for the Future Gartner research and analysis about the global information technology industry

http://www.issa.org/PDF/pressroom/IRBestPractices.pdf

New Incident Response Best Practices by Guidance Software

(6) http://www.fpd.finop.umn.edu/groups/ppd/documents/procedure/operations_plan.cfm

Developing an Operational Continuity Plan University of Minnesota

(7) http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/p525-70.htm

Military Operations Battlefield Visualization Concept, Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia 23651-5000 1 October 1995

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