A group of 15 UK government organisations wanted to improve multi-agency communication and collaboration in response to complex incidents. Each organisation had operational independence and employed people in across the UK, spanning the devolved administrations. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings were not an option.
Nous worked with the government agencies to find a way to identify key issues, expose differences in perspectives, identify improvements, agree on a route forward and build relationships.
To achieve all this we developed a bespoke ten-week program that involved weekly online scenario exercises.
There were several key features of the scenario exercises:
Each week, we presented recommendations based on lessons learned and tracked agencies’ actions in response. This helped participants to improve their readiness to respond to the scenarios and to real-world situations.
Participants derived so much value from the sessions that attendance and engagement increased with every scenario session – starting with 20 people and growing to 40. The lead department initially commissioned Nous to run five scenarios but was so impressed by the facilitation that it commissioned us to run five additional sessions, and these have now been continued as monthly events.
The sessions have enabled Nous to identify each agency’s key challenges as well as critical co-ordination and communication issues within the sector in which the agencies operate. We use methods to help agencies track issues and reduce risks thoroughly and consistently.
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