3 Common Mistakes in Incident Management Communications
by Neil Conchie, on Nov 18, 2020 9:15:00 AM
Ensuring that your internal communication process is working as it should be can increase employee engagement, align the company culture and create a more open way to communicate between team members.
Another reason it’s so important to get your communications right is that a weak communications process within your organisation can mean the difference between make or break, should it come to a major incident.
Connecting the workplace, particularly remote workers, has become more crucial thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. If you don’t have a procedure in place to follow should you need to, you could fall prey to three common mistakes, which can be easily avoided should you have a good system in place.
1. Not Keeping Business Users Informed
Did you know, that in case of a major incident, fewer than 15% of IT departments have a dedicated Incident Manager?
Without any plans to manage communication during an incident, business users will most likely flock to, and overload, the IT department looking for answers. Chances are, IT is already at capacity whilst still making it a top priority to deal with the incident.
So, how does this happen? When you underestimate the importance of incident management and the power that good communication has during these crises, you then find yourself relying on others to get the problem fixed.
The time your IT department has to spend on responding to issues being flagged can be detrimental to any organisation, as time and resources are wasted in getting the systems back up and running – prolonging any downtime you’re already experiencing. No workarounds are communicated and therefore most of the team will be stood around twiddling their thumbs and placing all of their reliance on the IT department to solve it in the meantime.
In keeping your users informed, via the use of a reliable communications system, they can make a better business decision during an incident. This will not only help workers better utilise their downtime, but it will also take some of the pressure off of the IT department.
2. Not Considering the Reputation of your IT Department
When it comes to mass communication, you have to consider multiple factors. Alert fatigue, unintended recipients and a lack of variety in channels (SMS, applications, email) are just a few of the challenges faced in dealing with mass communications.
On top of ensuring that business users are equipped with procedures to make better business decisions during a major incident, having a reliable internal communications system will also ensure the internal reputation of the IT Department is upheld.
With particular reference to unintended recipients, you don’t want continual notifications of downtime in IT, to inform everyone all of the time. When a notification is sent to more than the intended recipient, only half of the information will be sent out and understood. This leaves room for misinterpretation and could lead to the undermining of the departments’ credibility.
Some communications are best left between specific parties which in turn will reduce alert fatigue and avoid any judgements in credibility. That’s why it’s so important to utilise a software that will let you send communications to intended recipients using a variety of notification channels.
3. The Cost Of Not Getting It Right
Fewer than 1% of IT departments can confidently put a figure on the cost of a major incident.
When considering the implementation of a new internal communications systems you may have familiarised yourself with the costs. But, have you taken into account how much it could be costing you by not getting it right?
In failing to prioritise communication during an incident you may experience four elements of damage that will significantly bolster your losses and recovery costs:
Internal Rework - This is a repeated activity which often occurs as a result of not getting the process right the first time. The impact this will have on an organisation always results in losses, the expenses of which add up quickly. In failing to get your Major Incident Management process operating smoothly, you open yourself up to the potential of internal reworking.
Lost User Time - Technology is more ingrained into our working process than ever before. When these devices are of no use or experiencing downtime, this equals lost user time. What follows is the loss of productivity, loss of scheduling and thus, loss of profits.
Business Impact and Reputational Damage - Your company’s reputation is worth its weight in gold. Whilst it’s difficult to assess exactly how much, when faced with a crisis incident, the aftermath it leaves and how well you deal with it will quickly decide for you. You should also consider the long-term effects of a damaged reputation concerning opportunity, customer retention and turnover.
All of these elements are measurable and can be used to justify investment in problem management. With that in mind, you’ll want a reliable system in place to be able to avoid common mistakes which can hinder your Major Incident Management process.
If the rest of your office is digital, why shouldn’t your communications process be the same? Manual communication takes time, is ineffective at reaching all parties and can overall escalate a situation rather than inform and resolve one.
That’s not to say any digital channel will do, either. The use of ineffective or outdated channels for reporting major incidents can also lead to escalation or confusion. If your software does not offer a feature to target certain individuals, you run the risk of informing the wrong people damaging reputations.
Klaxon is a cloud-based communications software that can work offline to allow for a pre-planned communications procedure to be effectively rolled out despite the state of your tech. This allows you to notify people within minutes that systems have failed and provides them with workarounds that keep everyone productive and those costs down.
Our central platform keeps everyone updated in real-time as the incident progresses. This sees a reduction in enquiries being sent to your IT Service Desk during a major incident, allowing the team to focus on being proactive rather than reactive.
Furthermore, the flexible deployment of Klaxon can be changed to suit the needs of your business, allowing users to activate the app themselves and set their own user preferences. But, there’s also a mandatory alert override feature to reduce alert fatigue whilst simultaneously keeping everyone in the know.
Sign up for a demo today to try Klaxon out for yourself and get your comms under control.