SummitET® assists organizations in addressing resiliency by employing proven scientific methods, educationally grounded research, and best industry practices for Strategic Communications. Our goal is threefold:

  1. Improve organizational resiliency through communication.
  2. Move organizations efficiently and cost-effectively toward preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, and reentry.
  3. Maintain continuity of operations.

Utilizing industry experts in crisis and emergency management and leveraging our scientific and technical expertise, SummitET’s communication team can build a comprehensive solution to address any organization’s current or emerging threats. By highlighting an organization’s competency through training and exercises, our team can build upon this foundation to minimize any vulnerabilities discovered through this process.

COVID-19 has changed the threat paradigm organizations face which is why critical thinking and preparation for any possible threat that can disrupt continuity of operations, must be considered. Our Team has developed the APSTERTM process which addresses six critical tenants to comprehensively prepare organizations for these unforeseen events:

  1. Assessment
  2. Planning
  3. Solutions development
  4. Training
  5. Exercise
  6. Reassessment
SummitET APSTER Process
Figure 1.1, APSTERTM Process

Assessment

Our assessment process methodically identifies the highest potential risk an organization may face and aggregates evaluated outcomes from those potential threats. The APSTERTM process uses a 3X3 innovation risk matrix to visualize the probabilities of such risks occurring and the severity of consequences should they impact the organization.

This 3X3 Innovation Risk Matrix:

  1. Assists assessors in determining likely organizational impacts
  2. Prioritizes risk based on severity
  3. Aids in planning an execution of emergency plans and procedures
  4. Provides insight into resources needs for response activities
Risk Assessment Matrix from David Ball
Figure 1.2 Risk Assessment Matrix
David Ball, Risk Management, The Future of Risk Assessment, April 2012

Planning

Our planning approach not only effectively aligns itself with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives, but also the less tangible corporate culture and environment. These planning considerations help capitalize on the existing talents and strengths an organization possesses while exposing the less obvious vulnerabilities and organization may overlook.

Figure 1.3 symbolizes one of the many planning methodologies models which can be integrated into the APSTERTM process.

Strategic Planning Process Model from Key Associates, Inc.
Figure 1.3 Strategic Planning Process Model
Key Associates, Inc. Helping Leaders and Organizations Grow, May 2015

Solutions development

Our approach to developing impactful and resilient solutions focused on our client’s ideation from our Assessment and Planning processes produces alternative solutions, selects best solutions, and informs plans for implementation and integration into existing business practices.

Solutions Development

Training

Initiating and incorporating these solutions into the corporate culture starts with effective and impactful training. Training benefits organizations through maintaining, enhancing, and increasing:

  1. Knowledge, skills, and abilities
  2. Correct deficiencies
  3. Enhance organizational performance
  4. Meet organizational goals, objectives, and missions

The strategic communications APSTERTM process utilizes the educationally proven ADDIE methodology to assist organizations with identifying training deficiencies. The ADDIE method is a fivefold process: (1) Analysis, (2) Design, (3) Development, (4) Implementation, and (5) Evaluation. Figure 1.4 defines each ADDIE component.

ADDIE Process from Genesis International
Figure 1.4, ADDIE Process
Genesis International, 2020

Exercises

In parallel with current government and industry practices, SummitET’s Strategic Communications Program phases an effect exercise program to stress the organization’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Evaluating and capturing critical data points, our approach reinforces the strengths of the organization and capitalizes on the weakness and failures these exercises present. To fail or expose organizational weaknesses presents an opportunity to grow and is a very important part of the APSTERTM process. The outcome from these exercises leads the organization into the importance of the “Reassessment” tenant, which incorporates a continuous improvement process that methodically reduces the probability and the consequences of those risks, while promoting preparedness through awareness and continuously enhancing the state of resilience.

SummitET’s Strategic Communications Program conducts three types of exercises, (1) drills, (2) Tabletops (TTX), and (3) Full-scale exercises (FSE).  Exercises reinforce issues such as response preparedness, adequacy of plans and procedures, and validation of personnel and equipment.  Exercises are SummitET’s premier, most highly sought-after client service. Integrating the APSTERTM process ensures SummitET’s methodology in the design, development, and implementation is well-thought out, deliberate, and focused on organizational needs and requirements. Figure 1.5, Exercise Program Management, serves as an example of the exercise planning process.

Exercise Program Management
Figure 1.5, Exercise Program Management
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Role of Transportation Management Centers in Emergency Operations Guidebook, 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Reassessment

Our reassessment process methodically addresses three key areas: (1) gap-analysis, (2) lessons learned, and (3) best practices.

  1. Gap Analysis: Findings from gap analysis are used to assess needed improvements, provide improvement recommendations, and develop solutions to ensure organizational requirements are met.
  2. Lessons Learned: We document experiences to provide insight into organizational effectiveness and efficiencies, successes and system breakdowns, and improvement recommendations.
  3. Best Practices: We capture and document best practices that produce results that are noteworthy. Best practices can evolve into an industry standard while elevating in areas such as regulatory compliance, tactical or operational response(s), or inventing a new process contributing to organizational resiliency.
Risk Management Process from pmis
Figure 1.6, Risk Management Process
Project Management Informed Solutions (PMIS)

Conclusion

By design, the APSTERTM process employs an innovative academic approach by using the industry’s leading experts, cutting edge industry practices, proven scientific and technical methodologies, making our process not only unique, but the most effective solution on the market to make your organization prepared and resilient against current or emerging threats.

As emergency management and preparedness continues to evolve, our Strategic Communications team’s APSTERTM process addresses (1) organizational resiliency, (2) continuity of operations, and (3) continuous improvement efforts.

The APSTERTM Process

  1. Overlays existing emergency management processes and procedures
  2. Enhances short-/long-term improvement efforts
  3. Promotes a culture of preparedness
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