Effective collaboration dynamics are at the core of crisis management in the transportation sector. Nevertheless, in today’s global environment, a very large number of crisis management initiatives fail to deliver the value expected, as the collaboration challenges in crisis are very high. This is because of the complexity of the knowledge integration processes as well as the diversity and distributed nature of the people, groups and knowledge involved in the management of crisis under high pressure of time. Thus, effective crisis management requires collaborative crisis management competencies at the individual, team, organizational as well as the inter-organizational level.
The project builds on interdisciplinary scientific / academic models and best / worst practices and experiences to identify the factors inhibiting effective collaboration in crisis situations in the transport sector (“Collaboration Traps & Challenges in Crises”), and the interventions required to reduce these risks (“Collaborative Crisis Management Competencies”). After integration, this know-how will lead to the development of:
- An innovative framework (Advanced Collaboration in Crisis Management – ACCM-Framework), addressing the effective development of collaboration competencies for the specific challenges of crisis management in the transportation sector.
- A set of widely deployable, advanced, interactive and experiential technology-enhanced solutions (“ACCM Simulation Games”) guaranteeing the effective understanding and internalization of collaborative decision making processes (1) under extreme time pressure, (2) facing the lack and asymmetries of information, (3) dealing with the diversity and emotions of people, and (4) effectively addressing the interpersonal dimension of speed-relationship building, trust and role definitions between crisis managers in the transportation industry.
Computer 'games' for learning crisis management skills
Learning skills to effectively deal with air and sea transportation emergencies will soon be available via realistic computer simulations that feature active role playing.
Crisis management in the field of air and sea transportation requires overcoming numerous challenges. Mobilising diverse and sometimes conflicting human resources and coordinating them cohesively under extreme time pressure is the fundamental pillar of success. Simultaneously, crisis managers are faced with ambiguities in or lack of information, as well as human issues such as emotional and cognitive difficulties induced by unexpected events.
Effective crisis management requires preparedness and simulation-based learning experiences provide a forum to master needed skills. A European consortium initiated the EU-funded 'Learning 4 security' (L4S) project to develop an innovative platform fostering collaborative competence in transportation crisis managers. In fact, L4S goes beyond this in providing tools to train managers, organisations, employees and the broader public.
The Advanced Collaboration in Crisis Management (ACCM) Framework (see http://l4s.fvaweb.eu/site/info.html) consists of five ACCM Simulation Games. Together, they address competency in high-performance collaboration during crisis, individual leadership, decision making in diverse teams facing a crisis and barriers to effective crisis management. Users participate in realistic role-playing incidents in which they learn by doing.
LS4 prototypes have been tested by nearly 500 pilot users resulting in valuable input for optimisation. Additional pilot and commercial activities are planned engaging hundreds more players and a detailed market analysis has been carried out. A multilevel exploitation plan has been defined for execution at project completion.
The project LS4 has clearly demonstrated the platform's high potential for important impact in crisis management in the air and sea transportation sectors. LS4's ultimate aim is to extend and customise the platform to other critical infrastructures such as energy, financial services and the food industry. The consortium also plans to incorporate deployment modes such as smartphones and other hand-held devices.