crisis management

Crisis Management – Programs and Plans Development

Crisis Management Expertise

Mitch Price brings decades of crisis management experience to clients who want and need proactive planning for a crisis, from weather to pandemics, to terrorism. Selected by a Fortune 150 energy company as the initial executive to design, implement, and manage their enterprise crisis management program, Mitch aligned the program with the government mandated incident Command System. In that position, he had executive responsibility for the enterprise pandemic recovery responses to COVID.

What is Considered a Crisis and How to Start Planning

Though it applies to any organizational enterprise, the NSF, National Science Foundation, defines a crisis as: “In a manufacturing environment, a crisis is defined as an unexpected event or situation that can threaten an organization’s business, cause harm to the health and safety of employees and consumers, disrupt operations or damage a company’s brand or reputation.”

How an organization responds to a crisis depends heavily upon the advance crisis management planning in place and the appropriate training in its implementation. Other than organizational preparedness, crisis response depends upon factors such as organization size, maturity, financial characteristics, and operational scale. 

A 2018 Deloitte survey of global organizations asked them about the financial impact on their organization of a recent crisis. 31% reported no significant financial impact, while 47% reported a negative financial impact on their organization1Deloitte. Stronger, fitter, better: Crisis Management for the resilient enterprise. June 2018. ( Clearly, it is financially responsible for an organization to implement crisis management planning. Next, let’s get to the crisis management plan development steps.

Assess Threats to the Organization

Begin by taking a list of the common threats of all types to organizations and assessing them to determine which could have a negative impact on the client organization. Also, determine the warning signs for each crisis or threat. In this assessment process, multiple organizational factors are included:

  • location
  • activities and processes
  • market demographics
  • products or services

In this assessment phase, ask detailed questions of the management and personnel of the organization in order to fully understand how each possible crisis or threat applies and to what degree. Once completed and threats prioritized, it’s time to develop the plan.

Crisis Management Plan Development

A 2019 PcC Global Crisis Survey found that three factors contribute most to crisis management2

  1. a fact-based approach
  2. preparedness
  3. how effective are stakeholder communications

While every member of an organization at all levels will have some involvement in the crisis management plan, clear assignment of responsibilities of management contributes to success. 

Elements of an Effective Crisis Management Plan

The effective plan for managing any crisis is to develop a plan and follow it, including these steps:

Team Formation – Find expert resources, both process and legal. Factual information is crucial, so establish credible sources for necessary information, and make them available to appropriate team members. Finally, assign responsiblities for implementation, management, and reporting on all aspects of the program. Also set out the escalation of decision authority as a crisis develops.

Internal and External Communications Strategies – Internal: Set out talking points and messaging in order to properly communicate the plan internally to all involved and to assure success. Provide the tools, resources, and instructions for implementation internally for successful information flow. External: Everything in the internal strategies applies to the external as well, but with other targeted participants:

  • Government regulatory agencies
  • The public
  • Media 
  • Stakeholders outside the organization

The importance of effective internal and external communications cannot be overstated.

Crisis Management Action Plans – For each of the defined crises or threats, a detailed action plan should be set out with these factors considered:

  • Identify and isolate products or services affected by the crisis.
  • Formulate controls to preclude negative impacts on products or services.
  • Determine resources for backup of key systems.
  • Set up tracking of KPIs, Key Performance Indicators to measure performance of systems toward the desired result.
  • If products are involved and impacted, set out procedures for disposition.

Note that these steps in development of the crisis management plan are designed to set out the plan, manage it, respond to external and internal developments, and to monitor results.

Test the Plan – Once implemented, periodically test the plan with exercises simulating each crisis. This will point out any weak areas and contribute to quality improvement.

Monitor and Amend as Necessary – Constant monitoring of common crises and threats is necessary in order to determine if changes are necessary to the plan. Threats are constantly evolving, so this is crucial to longterm successful planning.

Plan for Business Continuity – No crisis management plan can be assumed to be perfect, and even if so, there can be damage to the business, products, or services. There should be a plan for how to handle damages and for continuity of business in spite of the crisis.


The COVID pandemic brought to the forefront for many organizations their need for an organized crisis management plan. It is something most or all will need to hire outside help for consulting or implementation. Mitch Price and Kimmons Investigative Services are ready to address your organization’s crisis management planning. For questions or more information, please submit this form and we’ll be back with you shortly:

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  • 1
    Deloitte. Stronger, fitter, better: Crisis Management for the resilient enterprise. June 2018. (
  • 2
Posted in Corporate Services, Global Security.