Training and Rehearsing the Control Centre
Having a control centre in place does not guarantee that leaders will be properly supported in a crisis. That requires people in roles and teams that know what they are doing and that the strategic management have confidence in. To equip your control centre staff with the knowledge and experience to be able to operate in the control centre takes training and rehearsal time. The following is a useful process to achieving that.
- Operators: Make sure the vital basics are covered in terms of how to receive, record and prioritize information. It will also be important that they have the skills to be able to contribute to briefings and handover their roles effectively.
- Managers: Managers need to understand how to create a situational picture from the numerous information sources and how to develop key issues from the strategic aims that have been set. They need to be able to control the functioning of the centre and confidently brief senior staff or VIPs.
- Joint Rehearsal: Managers and operators must be familiar with each others’ role and the associated pressures so it will be critical that training takes place to bring these two groups together and expose them to working in the pressurised environment that is a control centre.
- Crisis Management Team: Ultimately this is all about supporting decision making by the CMT. Therefore they too need to be trained on their role in directing the operation of the control centre and what they should expect in terms of its output. Expectation management will be key to future success.