Readiness is the state of being fully prepared for something. It is most often used in the world of investments and business but, given its importance, it is surprising how little the term is used. In fact, it's such an underused term that my first role in events, as a 'Readiness Tracker', was rarely understood by friends or family.
There's even an International Standard for Readiness - ISO 22398 - which "describes the elements of a generic approach to planning, conducting and improving exercise programmes and projects".
How a major event readiness programme works
In short, a readiness programme tests the operational plans to make sure everyone and everything is ready to deliver the best event possible. Delivering an event is difficult, especially if it's a new event or if there are significant changes to the last time the event was delivered. This makes readiness a natural link between operational planning and event delivery.
There are many benefits to having a readiness programme:
- Allows staff to practise communication and escalation processes
- Validates assumptions and plans
- Identifies gaps in plans, processes or resources
- Builds confidence and resilience in the team by applying stress testing before, rather than during an event
The readiness system that WeTrack built
Traditionally, mega event readiness programmes capture their feedback from these testing sessions through spreadsheets and written documentation. This is fine, but there should be a better way - so we built one.
At its core, the user creates 'capabilities' which can be categorised however needed. Quite often these include venues, clients, departments, equipment and procedures. Simultaneously, they build out their readiness activity programme. Again, this can be highly customised but usually includes desktops, simulations, walkthroughs and test events.
Next, the user maps which capabilities are going to be tested at which activities. This gives everyone a simple lookahead of the entire readiness programme, so everyone knows what is going to be tested, when and where. This gives everyone the added benefit of being able to prepare fully and keeping admin overheads low for the team delivering the exercises.
During the exercise
System users can choose to use WeTrack's run sheets, incident management and event control tools during the exercises to facilitate the communication and issue escalation processes. Keeping event technology in the same look and feel significantly reduces training needed at this step.
As a pure technology company WeTrack does not conduct the exercises, but we do provide the system to allow moderators to capture results. Capabilities at a particular activity are marked as fail, pending actions or pass. Users can also enter any lessons learned and specific actions that need to take place. This means that everything is captured in one place, integrated with other parts of the system.
Reports can be generated based on any combination of the parameters or tags created, ensuring you can quickly build any report that you need.
So how can this be applied more widely?
When events come back there are obviously going to be huge differences from before. Experience will play an important part, but more is needed. The 'new normal' processes and plans/equipment etc will need to be tested. The results can be shared internally and externally, learned from, and improved upon.
We have made a few small improvements to ready our readiness system for wider use:
- We've made it easier to tag items to be audits (internal/external) as well as the more traditional readiness exercises
- We've made a simpler dashboard to get overall 'readiness' status, so you can choose to see what you need to without any of the noise
- We've created lookahead, calendar and list views, so that you can digest your readiness information in the easiest way for you
We want the tools available to the biggest and best prepared events in the world to be applied to events and venues of all types. With a simple interface and under 30 minutes training required, please get in touch to discuss if our readiness software could boost your venue or event operations.
View our full guide to re-opening your venue, event or attraction during COVID-19 here.
Or, learn more about our Readiness system here.