Luck and quick thinking are great in all aspects of life, but they aren’t business recovery strategies or risk mitigations. They aren’t always there when needed to avoid a serious disruption or emergency. A near miss event should be treated very seriously, not as a success, and as a warning to bolster training, revise business recovery plans and implement additional risk mitigations.
A near miss is any adverse event that almost happened or happened but didn’t result in serious consequences. Examples of near misses are, well, near infinite, but here are a few examples:
How should organizations react to a near miss event to improve the odds it won’t happen again?
Immediately after the near miss, convene the recovery team to conduct an after-action review. It may be useful to have a knowledgeable and impartial outsider facilitate some or all the steps below, in order.
Of course, a near miss event is preferrable to a disruption or emergency. And taking seriously one near miss won’t prevent others. However, the prudent organization will take each near miss very seriously and learn from it to prevent another like it.
Your organization has a choice regarding supplier resilience. You may assume that suppliers have sufficient plans and recovery procedures that will reduce the risk and impacts of disruptions to their operations. Or, you may choose to actively verify supplier resilience.
The painful reality is that our power utilities aren’t as reliable as we want to believe, and their facilities are vulnerable to attack. It’s time for organizations to actively mitigate and plan for disruptions of electricity and natural gas.
After a disruption or emergency occurs, it’s tempting to suspend some routine protocols, procedures and standards to recover as quickly as possible. It is often prudent and effective to do so but recovery teams should be mindful that cutting the wrong corners can increase risk, worsen the situation and increase recovery time.