Guest Column | March 18, 2013

The 6 Stages Of Effective Incident Management

The incident management life cycle begins long before an incident. Effective incident management begins with pre-incident planning, which includes mitigation and preparation.

By Hannah Snyder, xMatters

01 | Mitigate Risk

In order for a business to be resilient, it must be well prepared to respond to unexpected events. All Business Resiliency disciplines require proactive planning that focuses on mitigating risk. For incident management and crisis management, this means identifying and documenting all hazards that would present a threat to employee life safety and property. For business continuity planning, this means identifying and documenting all hazards that would negatively impact business operations. Once these risks are identified, they need to be understood, prioritized and plans must be developed that address how to respond to these events. Risk assessment is the identification and analysis of risk conducted in preparation for risk mitigation planning. Mitigation includes reducing the likelihood that a risk event will occur and/or reduction of the impact of a risk event if it does occur.

Risk mitigation strategies and specific action plans characterize the root causes of risks that have been identified and quantified in earlier phases of the risk management process. The plans evaluate risk interactions and common causes, identify alternative mitigation strategies, methods, and tools for each major risk, assess and prioritize mitigation alternatives, select and commit the resources required for specific risk mitigation alternatives and communicate planning results for implementation. Some risks, once identified, can be eliminated or reduced. However, most risks are more difficult to mitigate, particularly high-impact, low-probability risks. Therefore, risk mitigation and management must be “living” efforts, and being able to respond to various types of risk requires preparation, which must occur before an incident disrupts business operations, causes harm to employees or damages property and assets.

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