Using scenario planning to build an adaptive capacity

Strategies to build resilience in Australia’s national critical infrastructure

Following the recent Government announcement, there is a renewed focus on the ownership and resilience of Australia’s national critical infrastructure. A joint media release with Senator The Hon George Brandis QC stated:

“With increased privatisation, supply chain arrangements being outsourced and offshored, and the shift in our international investment profile, Australia’s national critical infrastructure is more exposed than ever to sabotage, espionage and coercion.

We need to manage these risks by adopting a coordinated and strategic framework. This challenge is not something the Commonwealth can address alone”.

The diverse number of threats and the need for an ‘all hazards’ approach presents significant challenges to owners and operators of critical infrastructure. In 2006 Janellis pioneered an integrated organisational resilience framework with critical infrastructure providers and key elements of the framework continue to be embedded in industries including: aviation; banking and finance; energy; transport; water and government agencies.

Areas of focus:

  • Clarity on the role of the Executive and Board in a crisis, including their role in ensuring the organisation is prepared for an incident, emergency or crisis.
  • Scenario-based planning at the Executive and Strategic level to uncover and mitigate against ‘catastrophic’ risks the organisation may face.
  • Crisis Communications and its effective integration within the crisis emergency and incident management framework.
  • Multi-agency Emergency Management Capability Awareness Programs providing multi-faceted resilience protection for key assets.
  • The effective use of decision support tools for Emergency and Crisis Management Teams to enhance integrated critical thinking and decision making.
  • Exercise development process to facilitate scenario-based exercises that build capability, highlighting areas for improvement and provide assurance to key stakeholders.
  • Resilience reporting to provide assurance to the Executive, Board and other key stakeholders.

The ‘all hazards’ approach to building resilience is growing in awareness and acceptance due to increasingly complex and unpredictable impacts. Developing and maintaining capability is a key requirement for critical infrastructure owners and operators and; non-critical infrastructure organisations who are operating in higher risk industries.

Greater levels of assurance are being sought by key stakeholders that teams and organisations have the capability to respond and resilience reporting is being used to assess the capacity and capability for specific assets and across the enterprise.

For more information on the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Assessment and Assurance Tools or the Organisational Resilience Framework, please email Harrison Orr – Harrison.orr@janellis.com.au

Organisational resilience in the face of a severe heatwave forecast

There are serious industry concerns New South Wales could be hit with blackouts from tomorrow afternoon due to record high energy demand, as the state grapples with some of the worst heatwave conditions that NSW has ever seen over the next three days.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has issued an alert predicting a tightening balance between supply and demand with forecast electricity demand to reach around 14,700 megawatts (MW), the highest ever demanded in NSW.

The AEMO said it was working to reduce the need for so-called “load shedding events”, like the one which saw 90,000 properties lose power in Adelaide on 8 February 2017. “Load shedding could occur instantly if the demand supply balance changed rapidly.”

Blackouts could happen instantly to protect supply. The resultant consequence for critical infrastructure owner/operators and other business though, could be catastrophic, resulting in widespread business and operating disruptions.

Business Resilience Advice

The key to effective business resilience in times of severe weather forecasts, such as the one NSW is facing over the next 72 hours is not to be REACTIVE. Organisations and businesses need to be PROACTIVE. Pre posture your readiness and response arrangements and activate your incident, emergency and crisis planning before the potential business impact.

The following key readiness initiatives have been provided to assist your organisational readiness in the face of this potential severe heatwave emergency;

1.    Avoid a delayed organisational response. Ensure relevant staff and managers are aware of your internal notification and escalation triggers and processes that will activate pre determined levels of response, as and if required.

2.    Ensure you have nominated and confirmed ‘on call’ membership of your incident, emergency and crisis teams, and that relevant contact details are current and tested.

3.    Conduct an Operational Readiness Check of both your automated incident/emergency notification systems and Incident Control Centres/Rooms.

4.    Situational Awareness. Convene a team briefing (face to face or virtual) with your IMT, EMT and/or CMT to establish situational awareness of potential environmental and business risks and threats. Develop and agree upon pre response plans to mitigate potential business impacts of excessive heat conditions.

5.    Staff and customer safety is priority. Ensure staff and customer welfare plans have been established to mitigate potential adverse health effects as a result of the forecast heatwave conditions. Reference state agency health alerts and warnings.

6.    Ensure key staff are aware of established business continuity plans and what their associated roles and responsibilities within these plans are.

7.    Reduce single supply point vulnerability. Seek assurance from key critical service providers that they have enacted operational and business readiness plans to ensure business continuity.

8.    Catastrophic bushfire forecast. For those businesses that have close proximity to, or are located on the bushland urban interface, ensure you maintain situational awareness via the accessing of the NSW Rural Fire Service website and Apps.

Finally, it is a lot easier to escalate and activate early, then de-escalate if not required, rather than explain to your key stakeholders why the impact of your business disruption may have been mitigated if only you had acted early.

If you require any assistance, advice or support relating to business readiness and resilience, please have no hesitation in contacting myself on 0498 853 736.

Is your organisation prepared for a CBD-wide emergency?


The need for CBD stakeholder groups to align and build a coordinated response capability has never been greater.

In 2015, the NSW Government updated the CBD-wide emergency management arrangements for organisations operating in the Sydney and North Sydney CBD.

These changes now demand that all CBD business leaders and property managers understand their new responsibilities – and crucial role – in responding to a city-wide emergency.

To help these groups interpret the new plan, and it’s impact on business, an online resource was launched jointly by Janellis and NSW Police www.cbdresponse.com.au in December 2015.

Leaders are now asking these questions with regards to a CBD emergency:

– Does everyone in the organisation understand their role in a CBD-wide emergency?
– Do we have confidence in our capability to respond?
– Are our plans aligned with the government’s and our property managers’ plans?
– Will we be able to coordinate our efforts in an effective way?
– Are we compliant with the Australian Standards and relevant regulations that underpin our response capability?
– Can we provide assurance to our key stakeholders and regulators that we have it covered?

Emergencies by their nature are challenging to respond to. CBD emergencies have additional levels of complexity including large numbers of people in high-rise buildings and a heavy reliance on transport infrastructure.

Dependencies between businesses, facilities managers, emergency services and property groups all need to be considered. Organisations must be confident that plans are aligned, CBD risks considered and teams responsible have the knowledge, capability and tools they need to be effective in their response. The need for these key CBD stakeholder groups to work together to build a coordinated capability has never been greater.

How can you be assured of your CBD Emergency Management capability?

To help businesses leaders answer their critical questions, build their CBD emergency management capability and provide assurance to key stakeholders Janellis have developed the City Resilience Capability Review for businesses.

The City Resilience Capability Review identifies gaps that require immediate attention, as well as ‘better practice’ approaches that can be applied more broadly across the business.

Our unique approach:

  • builds on investments already made in the areas of emergency management preparedness
  • creates alignment with specific CBD emergency requirements
  • ensures integration across all incident, emergency and crisis management planning; and
  • delivers confidence to all key stakeholders involved on their capability to respond.
CBD Response on multiple devices

CBD Response Digital Platform

We review a collection of relevant documents, conduct field inspections of CBD sites and have one-on-one meetings with nominated stakeholders. We specifically examine and assess the integration of the key requirements within CBD Response against your emergency management plans and procedures.

How have other businesses used this approach to create alignment?

By understanding the requirements set out in CBD Response and initiating a City Resilience Capability Review, businesses have gained confidence and assurance of their response capability in a city-wide emergency scenario.

The reviews have given them a roadmap to ensure that:

  1. Responses will be coordinated;
  2. People will be safe; and
  3. Impacts to the business are minimised.

Why Janellis?

  • Janellis are experts in the niche area of CBD emergency management and city resilience. We have specialised in this area for over 10 years helping complex organisations align, integrate, test and assure their emergency, crisis and organisational resilience capability.
  • In 2006, Janellis first developed the ‘CBD Emergency Management Guidelines for Businesses’ in collaboration with the NSW Government that received a State and National Award from the Attorney General’s Department.
  • In December 2015 Janellis partnered with Dexus Property Group to facilitate the launch of CBD Response with key representatives from NSW Police, NSW Police Media and Transport for NSW, held at the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.  The session was held to raise awareness of the new plans and the tools available for business leaders.
  • Janellis consultants have a diverse range of skills and experience across the spectrum of emergency and crisis management and all have over 15+ years experience in working with complex organisations and government agencies.

For more information on our capability and expertise in this area please follow the links below or contact Jonathan Durnall – Jonathan.durnall@janellis.com.au for more information.