Testing and exercising is designed to ensure that your organisation is ready to deliver something big. Therefore, an effective testing and exercising programme is valuable to a great variety of industries and purposes, in any situation where a large project needs to be delivered. Here, we identify six key benefits to testing effectively.
- Visibility. Doing these exercises forces you to consider the readiness of your people, places, plans and processes - rather than just hoping or expecting that everything is up to standard. Once you develop your list of scenarios and exercises, you will have great visibility over everything that needs to be in working order.
- Engagement. The same is true of your staff and other stakeholders: an effective testing and exercising programme engages them and gives them their stake in what needs to be done.
- Collaboration. Work in partnership with different stakeholders and authorities, establish relationships and lines of communication, and build friendships. This will create a much more cohesive group who are ready for the real thing, as well as introducing different perspectives that challenge and refine your plans.
- Action. For your exercises to be effective, you must test, learn and act - it is no good doing only one or two of those things! Test your plans and processes, learn what went well and what did not, and take corrective actions to make the plan function more effectively next time. When you identify a weakness, take action to resolve it.
- Training. Testing is a training exercise too: training people in the processes, places and equipment that impact on the management of your venue. Use these exercises as training for your staff to carry out processes, allowing staff to familiarise themselves with standard operating procedures and incident responses.
- Accountability. In short, planning, delivering and recording test exercises gives you the ability to say that you have planned, delivered and recorded a test exercise! You need an indelible audit trail recording every test, lesson and action, both to be accountable legally, and to scrutinise the data to learn more lessons for next time.
Carrying out a successful testing programme will bring you the above benefits and boost your readiness for delivering your large project. It is an often neglected part of planning but one that can bring great visibility, engagement and confidence into your plans.
WeTrack has readiness, testing and exercising software that enables organisations to plan and carry out exercises like these in a collaborative and accountable way. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more.