Business Continuity Tip of the Month

The wheat from the chaff

Information is a key ingredient for effective crisis or incident management. Without it, decision making is likely to be, at the very least, difficult and risk or error prone.

At times the crisis/incident management team may find itself working with insufficient or incomplete information at its disposal (as discussed in the previous tip ‘The information gap‘). At other times, there may be a glut of information available, from a number of sources, including employees or other business contacts, eye witnesses, the news media or social media channels, to name a few. Some of it may be reliable but some may be inaccurate, uncorroborated or based on rumour, speculation or false assumptions rather than hard facts.

It’s important that our crisis/incident management planning considers how to address this crucial issue. One option is to nominate an information management team, to monitor the various information sources and to analyse, filter, assess and present the resulting intelligence – as distinct from unprocessed information or data – in a format that gives the decision makers improved situational awareness and enables them to make more informed decisions.

Sorting the wheat from the chaff isn’t easy and can take a fair amount of effort. But it’s quicker and more efficient if the right machinery is put in place and operated by people who know how to use it effectively.