Whether it is within the armed forces, in business or within civil service this dictum is still valid. Ask any logistician, fireman or (military) planner and he or she will confirm this. In times of crisis, you do not want to have to (re-)invent the wheel. The effect of which leads to stress, financial distress and/or even fatalities.
In recent months, we have witnessed the effects of bad planning most noticeably in governments' response to the influx of large refugee numbers. In the Netherlands one can observe this in the sheltering of refugees, who are placed with little notification in communities who are uniformed and overwhelmed. The results have been clear; citizen's unrest and even violence spurred on by activities on social media and craftily exploited by fear mongering figureheads.
What has become clear? Authorities are overwhelmed and do not have the resources allocated to deal with a sudden onset of crisis. It has become clear that there has been little to none contingency planning in recent years. Even worse those who advocated in favour of this were silenced or ignored.
Is all lost? The answer depends on whether one wants to learn. Now that we have seen the effects of the 5Ps, in case of the refugee influx, we have to (re)learn the art of contingency planning, i.e. if scenario a happens, what do we do? How about our reactions in scenario b? And so on. Point being by thinking ahead one can plan for situations in order to perform when push comes to shove.
Some simple cost effective tools: there are many methods that can use to support contingency planning. Ranging from a SWOT analysis (light), to scenario planning (medium) to wargaming and/or tabletop simulations (heavy). These tools help you gain insight into trends, strengths and weaknesses and the effectivenesses of existing plans or strategies. All in order to save time, lives and (financial) resources.
GS&A has developed multiple validated tooling and formats to help decision-makers prepare for future challenges. Contact us at email@example.com.