Chapter 1 People and Places
Knowing who is involved in responding to a crisis, where they meet, and how they communicate will help save confusion in and amongst the chaos.
Picking your team
Knowing which people in the business you’ll need is the first step. Try and consider all of the eventualities and which members of the team will be best suited to solve the problem. This will probably involve people from all aspects of the business, from tech and engineering through customer service.
Organise your team into doers and talkers; those responsible for physically attacking the challenge, who can be left to get on with their task, and those who will speak to other people within the business and your customers.
Understand who your team members are and organise their contact details somewhere you’ll be able to find them on short notice.
Have a place to talk
If you’re all local to one another, have somewhere organised where you can physically get together; somewhere private and sustainable. Perhaps it’s the office, perhaps it’s someones home; It’s probably best to avoid coffee shops and pubs (however tempting the strong spirits might seem).
If you’re distributed, then find a place to talk online or on the phone. We’ll talk about this more in our next section about getting a communication strategy.
"Even if your team typically works from home, it’s always best to huddle in person when you have a tough situation on your hands."
Nominate a spokesperson
It’s often going to make sense to have one key individual who is responsible for talking with customers. In the event of a serious outage, you’ll probably want this to be someone with real credibility such as a CTO or CEO, rather than someone in first-line support. Customers will then feel that you’re taking the problem seriously and that it’s under control.
Next up is to ensure everyone knows how to communicate.