Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Questioning the answers

A previous tip (“The wheat from the chaff”) suggested setting up an information management team to aid the crisis management team’s situational awareness, thus helping them to make more informed decisions.
In order to do so effectively, there are five simple questions that such a team should be constantly asking:
1. What do we know?
It’s important to distinguish between confirmed facts and rumour, speculation or assumption.
2. How do we know?
Did we hear first-hand from a reliable source? Has the information been corroborated? How confident are we that it’s true and accurate?
3. What don’t we know? 
We sometimes have to admit that there are things that we just don’t know, rather than trying to fill the gaps with guesswork. 
4. What would we like to know?
What crucial pieces of information are we missing and what is the impact of not knowing?
5. How can we find out?
What information sources can we tap into? What are the primary sources and what other sources can we use to confirm the information is correct? 
The answers to these questions will help ensure that information passed to the decision makers is accurate, validated and fit for purpose. 
In order to make absolutely sure, however, it’s as important to question the answers as it is to answer the questions.