Leadership Solutions

Public-Private Partnerships in the Tabletop Exercise Cycle

Public-Private Partnerships in the Tabletop Exercise Cycle


How to Design a Tabletop Exercise while Incorporating Public/Private Collaboration

This paper provides specific guidance on how to design a tabletop exercise, how to integrate public and private sector stakeholders into the exercise.  It also includes a simulated critical incident that can be the basis for a tabletop exercise that you manage. Within the tabletop exercise cycle are five phases, which include:

  • Phase I is the foundation, which consists of obtaining approval, creating a time frame, establishing the planning team, and hosting planning conferences
  • Phase II focuses on designing and development of the exercise, which consists of identifying objectives, clarifying capabilities and specifying tasks
  • Phase III focuses on conduct, which includes the step-up, briefings, exercise, and wrap-up activities
  • Phase IV centers on the evaluation process, which consists of documentation, hot wash, debriefing, and After Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP)
  • Phase V emphasizes the improvement planning process, which consists of corrective actions and the scheduling of subsequent exercises
Interspersed throughout this guide is a simulated crisis scenario of sabotaging a railroad train travelling through a city. The scenario can easily be adapted to a tabletop exercise.

Equally important is information on the value of either a government agency or business that elects to enhance their organizational tabletop exercise by inviting the other sector to participate in the exercise. Business, government and nonprofit organizations that involve the other sector (partner) in their planning, response and recovery exercise can enhance the level of collaboration, communication and commitment.

** Note: This resource is available as a part of the MSU/SEC Business Continuity Working Group.  It is also available at no cost or at a discount to the Council community and strategic alliance partners based upon their level of involvement. Please contact Rob West if you need assistance.

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