What’s the story?
A previous tip (‘Log it or lose it’) highlighted the importance of event and decision logging, largely from the standpoint of being able to justify, or defend, our actions at a later date.
But this isn’t the only reason for event logging. And the detailed event/decision log, containing all the things suggested in that previous tip (such as reasoning, context, options considered, information/advice available, etc) isn’t the only kind of log that has value.
Yes, it’s important to have all of that detail available to refer back to at a later date. But a concise, high-level log of the main issues, decisions made and actions planned, writ large on flipcharts or whiteboards (or, for the more technically-minded, projected from a computer onto a screen) can help the crisis or incident management team immensely during the heat of battle.
This type of high-level event log provides a ‘story board’ to keep all team members up to speed with what’s happened so far and what needs to be done. It helps the team to remain focused on the important stuff. And it’s particularly useful at handover times or when there’s a need to brief someone who hasn’t been all that involved so far – for instance when those pesky executives come asking questions!
In the context of crisis or incident management, a short story can have as much impact as the event logging equivalent of ‘War and Peace’.