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Setting Up Crisis Management Software for Success - A Simple Guide

When deploying crisis management software, configuring your platform for success can be a daunting task. Especially when you factor in the importance of carrying out effective crisis response. But it doesn't have to be this way, in this guide we outline a series of simple steps to setup you crisis management software for success.

This is a roadmap for anyone deploying crisis management software for the first time, or as a checklist for those with existing deployments to review and optimise their existing setup.

1. Define Objectives and Requirements:

It's always important to have clear goals to work towards! Typically, you cover this in the process of considering whether you need crisis management software. If not, this is a good process to carry out now.

  • Identify Objectives: Determine the primary goals of implementing your crisis management software, such as enhancing response time, improving communication, and minimising the impact of major incidents.
  • Assess Requirements: Conduct a thorough needs assessment to understand the specific requirements of your organisation, consider factors like industry regulations, company structure, and types of potential crises.

2. Customise Your Configuration:

In deploying your crisis management software, you want to ensure you customise it accordingly to the needs of you company.

  • Align with Workflows: Configure the software to align with your organisation's existing crisis response workflows and processes.
  • Set Up User Roles: Define user roles and permissions within the software to ensure appropriate access levels for different stakeholders.
  • Configure Templates and Broadcast Groups: Customise message templates for incident reporting, response plans, and communication protocols to streamline the crisis response process. Having a repository of pre-prepared incident response communications will accelerate crisis resolution.

3. Integrate Systems:

Leading crisis management software platforms will offer the capacity integrate with other third party systems through an API - analytics, HR systems, additional communication channels. Familiarise yourself with the integration capabilities of your system and act accordingly.

  • Integrate Data Sources: Integrate your crisis management software with other relevant systems such as ERP, CRM, and communication tools to ensure seamless data flow.
  • Establish Communication Channels: Set up communication channels within the software for real-time collaboration and information sharing.
  • Test Integration: Conduct thorough testing to ensure the integration of systems functions smoothly and data is synchronised accurately. Ensure you regularly repeat this process.

4. Training and Familiarisation:

One of the leading causes of failure when deploying crisis management software is a lack of training. Without the requisite knowledge on-boarding colleagues and getting buy in is an uphill battle.

  • Provide Training: Offer comprehensive training sessions for users to familiarise them with the software's features and functionalities. Check with your provider to see if they offer training as part of the on-boarding process.
  • Run Crisis Simulations: Conduct regular simulated crisis scenarios to allow users to practice using the software in a controlled environment.
  • Create User Guides: Most providers will have detailed documentation for using their crisis management software. Of course, we all have out own unique ways of working, consider developing user guides that align to how your company utilise the platform in a major incident.

5. Establish Communication Protocols:

The success of your crisis communications relies on having a set of clearly defined protocols from the outset. You want to set expectations and prepare colleagues for how they will be communicated with in a crisis and how they should respond.

  • Define Communication Channels: Establish clear communication channels for internal and external stakeholders, including email, SMS, voice calls, and video conferencing.
  • Adapt to Communication Preferences: Leading software systems will allow your end-users to set preferences for how they will be communicated with in a crisis. Pay close attention to these, but also ensure you have the means to override these in the event of serious incidents.
  • Outline Escalation Procedures: Define escalation procedures for escalating incidents to higher levels of management or external authorities if necessary. It's worth having these groups clearly defined in the platform itself.
  • Ensure Redundancy: Your platform is a system designed to come into effect when other systems have already failed or become compromised. Still, you need to be aware of redundancy options for your crisis system to ensure continuity of communication in case of system failures.

6. Test and Refine:

Once your crisis management software is setup, make sure continually test and refine. There is always room for improvement, follow these simple steps as a model for tinkering.

  • Conduct Drills: Regularly conduct drills and tabletop exercises to test the effectiveness of the crisis management software and response plans.
  • Gather Feedback: Solicit feedback from users and stakeholders after each drill to identify areas for improvement.
  • Update Procedures: Update crisis response procedures and configurations based on lessons learned from drills and real-world incidents.

7. Ensure Compliance and Security:

One of the key considerations in choosing crisis management software is compliance and security capabilities. While most systems come with these features as standard, you'll still be required as the end user to set them up. 

  • Ensure software compliance: Ensure you configure your crisis management software to comply with  industry regulations and standards that apply to you. 
  • Data Security Measures: Implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorised access.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits of the software and infrastructure to identify and address security vulnerabilities.

8. Documentation and Reporting:

Once you start using your crisis management software, ongoing documentation and reporting will play a crucial role in analysing and improving your major incident response capabilities.

  • Document Incidents: Ensure all incidents are documented within the software, including details of the incident, response actions taken, and outcomes. Many systems will track this information as part of the software.
  • Generate Reports: Use the software's reporting capabilities to generate comprehensive reports on incident trends, response times, and effectiveness.
  • Review and Analyse: Regularly review and analyse post-incident data and reports to identify trends, areas for improvement, and opportunities for proactive measures.


Following these simple steps, you can set up your crisis management software effectively to facilitate successful crisis response and ensure the resilience of your organisation in the face of major incidents.

Image credit: Photo for the blog cover by krakenimages on Unsplash

Edward Jones
Written by Edward Jones
18 Apr 2024
A digital marketing expert with 10+ years experience across the full range of disciplines. Edward has an extensive history as a writer, with more than 300+ published articles across the technology and digital publishing sectors.