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Monday, November 16, 2015

Discussion - Strategic Planning Process and FEMA

What are the major differences in the strategic-planning process when comparing the private sector and the public sector?How will you access the internal and external situations using the strategic-planning process? Explain. Support your response using appropriate reasoning, examples, and references.
The first major difference between the private and the public sector in the planning process is the profit motive; a private organization has one overall goal to achieve, making a profit. In contrast, any given public organization may be tasked with several goals. This leads to the second major difference in the planning process; the actors that influence the planning process. In a private organization, the planning process is conducted by insiders who may take into consideration the goals of outsiders, depending on how those goals affect the bottom line. In contrast, public policy planners are influenced by a wide range of factors, including; the actual goal of the organization, the goals of the public, the goals of special interest groups, the goals of bureaucratic interests, the goals of political parties, and the goals of individual politicians. The influence of any one of these outside factors can be stronger than that of other, or even over the actual goal of the organization. For example, Miller makes the argument that bureaucrats are the dominant influence in the policy process in the criminal justice sector (2004, p. 570). Finally, the argument can be made that there is less accountability for those involved in public policy planning than there is for their private sector counterparts due to the profit margin. It should be expected that the opposite would be true due to the “Mechanisms of accountability and oversight [that] make all actions in public organizations, even contingency plans or hypothetical scenarios, subject to review and interpretation by outsiders” (Nutt, 2005, p.294). And yet the example of Jamie Gorelick, moving from blunder to blunder in the public sector, demonstrates the reality. Gorelick first wrote the “Gorelick Wall” that played a part in the 9/11 intelligence failure, then “investigated” her own role in this as a member of the 9/11 Commission, than served as Vice Chairman of Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) as it slid farther into debt.
One of the special features of strategic planning is the attention it accords to external and internal environments. Coupled with attention to its mandates and mission, external and internal assessments give an organization a clear sense of its present situation and lay the basis for identifying strategic issues” (Bryson, 2011, p. 180)

Bryson, J. (2011). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement, 4th Edition. Jossey-Bass, VitalBook file.

Miller, L. L. (2004). Rethinking Bureaucrats in the Policy Process: Criminal Justice Agents and the National Crime Agenda: [1]. Policy Studies Journal, 32(4), 569–588. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/210571161?pq-origsite=summon

Nutt, P. C. (2005). Comparing Public and Private Sector Decision-Making Practices. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16(2), 289–318. doi:10.1093/jopart/mui041

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Using the Internet, review the FEMA Web site. You can search using the keyword “FEMA.” Critically analyze the information provided in the Web site, addressing the following:
  • What are the significant challenges faced by FEMA in managing critical incidents?
  • What initiatives and strategies is FEMA taking to tackle the challenges?
  • In your opinion, how effective are these initiatives and strategies?
The bulk of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strategic planning information suggests that the agency is more concerned with future planning as the “core focus is to understand the factors
driving change in our world,and to analyze how they will impact the emergency management field”(2012, p.1) than it is with identifying the current challenges to crisis management. Neither FEMA Strategic Plan 2014–2018 nor Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030:Forging Strategic Action in an Age of Uncertainty discusses current challenges, focusing instead of possible challenges of the future. While foresight in planning is necessary to avoid cresive change; efficient planning also defines which problems are the immediate priorities to resolve. However, FEMA does so via the National Preparedness Report it compiles for DHS. This report defines capability gaps within the coordinated agencies relating to 31 “core” capabilities.

In order to pursue their organizational goals, “FEMA has identified five strategic priorities and two strategic imperatives that will frame the Agency’s approach to mission execution and program implementation” (2014, p.5). FEMA considers these priorities in the following order:Strategic Priority 1—Be Survivor-Centric in Mission and Program Delivery; Strategic Priority 2—Become an Expeditionary Organization; Strategic Priority 3—Posture and Build Capability for Catastrophic Disasters; Strategic Priority 4—Enable Disaster Risk Reduction Nationally; Strategic Priority 5—Strengthen FEMA’s Organizational Foundation (2014, p.6).

No plan survives contact with the enemy, even when that “enemy” is the course of events. FEMA can never be be at 100% efficiency. As an example we can look to the response to Katrina. Christ describes the experiences of an ad hoc National Guard unit in the wake of Katrina. Two themes re-occur through the book; that the storm destroyed the capabilities of critical response organizations to carry out their planned duties, and that people often refused to be rescued for a variety of reasons. FEMA can not be at 100% efficiency in 100% of incidents, but as long as their planning continues to incorporate the lessons from past experience, they will increase their level of efficiency.

Christ, J. (2010). Katrina's wake: Task Force LAV in New Orleans; September 2005 (Kindle ed.). ISBN 978-0-557-93917-6

Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2012). Crisis Response and Disaster Resilience 2030:Forging Strategic Action in an Age of Uncertainty. Retrieved from January 28, 2015 http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1816-25045-5167/sfi_report_13.jan.2012_final.docx.pdf

Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2014). FEMA Strategic Plan 2014–2018. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1405716454795-3abe60aec989ecce518c4cdba67722b8/July18FEMAStratPlanDigital508HiResFINALh.pdf

US Department of Homeland Security. (2014). 2014 National Preparedness Report. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409688068371-d71247cabc52a55de78305a4462d0e1a/2014%20NPR_FINAL_082914_508v11.pdf

Using the Internet, review the NIMS Web site. Critically analyze the information provided in the Web site, addressing the following:
  • Analyze what are the roles of the NIMS components in managing critical incidents.
  • What is your conclusion about the effectiveness of NIMS in managing critical incidents?
Support your response using appropriate reasoning.

The National Incident Management System is the national standard for incident management and response, with all states and territories reporting its adoption and incorporation into response training and exercises “(DHS, 2014, p.13). It is comprised of five component elements: Preparedness, Communications and Information Management, Resource Management, Command and Management, and Ongoing Management and Maintenance (DHS,n.d., p.1). By standardizing the roles of these components across all actors, and in particular, communications, NIMS makes for a more efficient response in critical incident management. “Most incidents are local, but when faced with the worst-case scenario, such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, all responding agencies must be able to work together” (Jamieson, 2005, para .47)

In an ideal world, the use of a resource such as NIMS would put all involved actors on the same page. However, The British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico highlighted several issues with the efficiency of NIMS. McKay specifies several of the these in Emergency Management magazine. The first issue is based on politics; “the White House tainted the public message and perhaps compromised the collaboration and trust necessary for Unified Command in future disasters involving the public and private sectors.” (2010, para. 7). The second issue McKay discusses is a “disconnect” between government employees with a familiarity with NIMS procedures and private sector employees who were not. This level of disconnect was not limited to BP;”it appears that other responders and response leaders from a variety of government organizations involved did not share the same level of knowledge and commitment to NIMS” (2010, para. 19). A third issue is related to communications in that BP gave limited access to a data server due to proprietary concerns. One interviewee stated that “BP treated it more like a corporate security issue than a NIMS information-sharing issue” (2010, para. 16). Other issues that Mckay touches on are scalability, or the concept that there too many levels of organization involved, and a lack of drilling (as in practicing) NIMS as opposed to simply learning NIMS concepts in a classroom environment. One interviewee “said the key to an effective response to a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may lie more in training, drilling and collaboration rather than using NIMS/ICS” (2010, para. 23).

Jamieson, G. (2005, February). NIMS and the Incident Command System. Police Chief Magazine. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=517&issue_id=22005

McKay, J. (2010, September 13). Gulf of Mexico oil spill prompts debate on NIMS, Unified Response, Emergency Management. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Gulf-Oil-Spill-Debate-NIMS-Unified-Response.html?page=1

US Department of Homeland Security. (2014). 2014 National Preparedness Report. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409688068371-d71247cabc52a55de78305a4462d0e1a/2014%20NPR_FINAL_082914_508v11.pdf

US Department of Homeland Security. (n.d.). National Incident Management System (NIMS) fact sheet. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/NIMSFactSheet.pdf

1 comment:

  1. Strategic planning process has 9 steps to make effective use of human and material resources of organization for achieving objectives of organization.