You will hear on the news, during emergencies, that a reporter was speaking to an incident controller. Who will be using some sort of incident management system. They gave an explanation of what was happening in a given situation. This is the person that has been given the overall responsibility to bring the emergency situation to an effective end. It might be a simple car fire, which as you could imagine. Would only take a few firefighters and a couple of trucks to bring to a conclusion.
Command and Control for the incident controller:
Firstly, let’s say that the fire was a bushfire. That had been going for some days and had destroyed a number of houses and communities. Secondly, we don’t just send fire trucks and hope that they will put it out. There has to be an overall controller (incident controller) to manage the potentially large number of resources both physical and human.
It’s possible to have 100’s of trucks and 1000’s of human resources. For instance, trucks need to be fixed when they break down, refueled and must perform at peak condition. This is the same for people tasked with responding to the fire. They have to be fed, rested, given briefings and supported in many many other ways.
The firefighters responding to the call needed to be employed
Business is the same – depending on the complexity. They require support at every level to ensure that the business doesn’t head on a downward spiral of disasters and ultimately fail. As with the small car fire I spoke about, there was still a requirement for equipment to be prepared and ready to go. Notably, someone had to be able to take the phone call from a member of the community (‘Triple Zero’). There had to be a method of getting the truck out of the fire station and taken to the car fire.
The firefighters responding to the call needed to be employed (let’s talk about career firefighters in this instance). They must be kitted out with suitable firefighting gear. When they get to the scene there needs to be someone in charge and to take responsibility for fire suppression (the Incident Controller). And others need to be trained adequately to deal with the fire without hurting themselves or others. I could go on and on.
System and Processes:
Let’s associate this incident management system with the corner cafe’ and the simple purchase of a cup of coffee. Firstly there needs to be a shop in a position that people can get to easily and purchase the coffee. In that business, there needs to be someone to manage it. Therefore ensuring that physical and human resources are available to produce that cup of coffee. What if there were no cups? It wouldn’t really matter if you had coffee, milk, sugar and some nice hot chocolate for the top, because there would be nothing to hold it in and drink from.
Furthermore what about power, gas and other utilities? Who will deal with these and can we do without them, “probably not”. There are things like permits and higher of staff before we really can start to do anything. This all needs to be managed (Incident Controller), controlled and coordinated. I will talk about these concepts in future posts.
The more complex a business becomes the more planning
As I’ve now outlined above – to send a fire truck out to a car fire and to make a cup of coffee in a cafe’. There needs to be a manager who has an action plan and resources to produce an effective outcome in both given situations.
The more complex a business becomes the more planning and subsequent processes that will need to be put in place to achieve goals. There it is! “Goals” every business plan needs overlying and underlying ‘Objectives/Goals/Aims’, whichever you would like to call them. Throughout this blog, I will mostly refer to them as business objectives.
I believe I have now identified the need for a single person to take control of business. Including managing every aspect therein, delegating and providing leadership (like the Incident Controller). Specifically ensuring that functions like planning, operations and logistics are effectively dealt with in a way that will achieve business continuity.
I will speak about the specific functions of the Business Controller (Incident Controller) later in other posts to outline what you need to do to be successful in any business. The incident management system is universally used across the world.