Crunching the Numbers
Step 1: Assess the Possible Impact
Look at your list of possible events. For each, answer these five questions, ranking each potential crisis on a scale from 1 (Least Impact) to 10 (Most Impact). Don’t worry about the chance of it occurring. We’ll get to that in a minute.
- If the crisis runs the risk of escalating in intensity, how intense might it get and how quickly?
- To what extent will your crisis fall under someone else’s watchful eye, such as the news media, the FBI or a government regulatory agency?
- To what extent will the crisis interfere with the normal operations of your business?
- Is your internal/external public image at risk?
- To what extent would your company’s bottom line be damaged?
Here’s an example of how this ranking process works.
Let’s say that you run a convenience store. Rank each answer on a scale from 1 to 10 on your Crisis Impact Value Rating Sheet (a sample follows).
A possible response could look like this:
Event 1 2 3 4 5 Average
1. Robbery 8 9 8 2 3 6.0
Here’s how we got these answers.
- Obviously, a robbery will escalate very quickly, so let’s say an 8 for question #1.
- Whether it occurs during the attempt or after a successful robbery, the police or another law enforcement agency will almost assuredly get involved, so #2 is a 9.
- It will shut your business down for part of the day, even longer if there is damage, an injury or a fatality, so an 8 for question #3.
- Will your image be hurt? Probably not since you’re the victim. So #4 would rate a 2.
- Any financial impact would be negligible, especially if you’re insured or the money or items are recovered. So let’s rate #5 a 3.
Divide the total by five (the total number of questions) and you’ll end up with a 6.0 Crisis Impact Value for this particular scenario.
Here’s a sample worksheet so you can see how a completed analysis looks. The identified crises are those of a midsized retailer, but you’ll get the idea of how it all works.
Table of Contents
2. Why You Need to Plan Now!
3. The Four Stages of a Crisis
4. Assessing Impacts
5. Assessing Probabilities
6. Putting It All Together
7. Plotting the Results
8. Rinse & Repeat
9. Developing an Effective Plan
10. Plan Components
11. Crisis Response Modules
12. Decision Trees
13. Resuming Operations
15. Templates & Resources