A Crisis Simulation Checklist


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Got a random call the other day from a Powerlines reader who asked me how I would critique a Crisis simulation exercise.

Here is an extract of my partial response:

I try and always facilitate a process with the group after a simulation to process the learning experience after a simulated crisis.

This involves each person providing a 2 – minute feedback about how they experienced the simulation, what they believed went well and the areas necessary for improvement  as well as completing an exercise critique form.

Apart from their feedback, this is what I will be looking for during a simulation:

  1. Adherence to plans -  I will need to review the plans beforehand, and verify adherence to plans during the exercise (but see below)
  2. Improvisation – cautiously review any improvised steps and assess these against:a) divergence from plans, i. e. have plans turned out to be dysfunctional, b) personalities, i.e. have individuals improvised to the benefit of the organisation
  3. Behaviour and personality interaction- how do people react to the challenge, albeit simulated. IMHO this is the most difficult area to look at, but it is something that must be done to reflect on people’s abilities.
  4. Outcome – how did the organisation perform against pre-set expectations or defined outcomes.
  5. Discontinuities – failed, aborted, modified exercises, or generally the underlying reasons for an exercise that went wrong.

What do you look for?

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