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UNIT 11 Discussion Based (Tabletop) Exercises. UNIT 11 Objectives. AT THE END OF THIS SESSION, PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ABLE TO:  Define the purposes and characteristics of a tabletop exercise Describe the 8-Exercise Design Steps as used for a tabletop exercise

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UNIT 11

Discussion Based (Tabletop) Exercises

unit 11 objectives
UNIT 11Objectives
  • AT THE END OF THIS SESSION, PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ABLE TO: 
    • Define the purposes and

characteristics of a tabletop

exercise

    • Describe the 8-Exercise Design

Steps as used for a tabletop exercise

    • Describe facilitator skills necessary to conduct a tabletop exercise
tabletop exercise methodologies
TABLETOP EXERCISE Methodologies
  • PLENARY
    • Conducted in a large room or auditorium
    • Group players by function or responsibility
    • No small group discussions
    • Active facilitation
  • BREAKOUT
    • Divided into small groups at different tables
      • Players seated at separate tables according to common interests or responsibilities
      • Each group reports back to the reassembled plenary
tabletop exercise categories
TABLETOP EXERCISE Categories
  • Basic – The complete scenario is provided to the players and remains constant
  • Advanced - Scenario advances through delivery of pre-scripted messages from the beginning to the end
tabletop exercise common features
TABLETOP EXERCISE Common Features
  • Group problem solving
  • Familiarize senior officials with their responsibilities
  • Conduct of a specific case study
  • Examines personnel contingencies
  • Examination of group message interpretation
tabletop exercise common features1
TABLETOP EXERCISE Common Features
  • Participation in information sharing
  • Assessment of interagency

coordination

  • Achievement of limited or

specific objectives

  • Preparation for a more complex

exercise

tabletop exercises
TABLETOP EXERCISES
  • Informal discussion to evaluate, clarify or resolve questions of coordination & integration
  • Facilitated group discussion/

problem solving

  • Narrative, messages, or

problem statements used to

drive discussion

tabletop characteristics
TABLETOP CHARACTERISTICS
  • PURPOSE
    • Solve problems as a group
  • FORMAT
    • Discussion guided by facilitator
    • No simulators
    • No elaborate facilities or communications
  • EVALUATION
    • Observers may be present
    • Success measured by participant feedback, impact on policies, plans, procedures
problem statements messages
PROBLEM STATEMENTS, MESSAGES
  • PRESENT VERBAL PROBLEM STATEMENTS TO:
    • Group
    • Individuals, then open

discussion to group

  • DELIVER PRESCRIPTED MESSAGES TO INDIVIDUALS, WHO COORDINATE WITH OTHERS AND RESPOND
designing a tabletop exercise
DESIGNING A TABLETOP EXERCISE
  • Use 8 step process, job aids
  • Steps 5-8 are simplified:
    • Only partially simulated
    • Little scripting
    • No simulators
    • Informal evaluation
8 design steps
8 DESIGN STEPS
  • 1. Needs Assessment
  • 2. Scope
  • 3. Purpose statement
  • 4. Objectives
  • 5. Narrative
  • 6. Major events/minor events
  • 7. Expected Actions
  • 8. Messages
applying the design steps
APPLYING THE DESIGN STEPS
  • NARRATIVE
    • Shorter
    • Printed (or in person, TV, radio)
    • As a whole or in parts
    • Discussion items
  • EVENTS
    • Closely related to the objectives
    • Only a few are required
    • Used as basis for problem statements
applying the design steps1
APPLYING THE DESIGN STEPS
  • EXPECTED ACTIONS
    • List serves as a basis for developing problem statements and messages
    • “Actions” may be discussion that leads to change
  • MESSAGES
    • A few may suffice
    • May relate to major or

detailed events

facilities and materials
FACILITIES AND MATERIALS
  • Operations Center or Conference Facility
  • Materials:
    • Emergency plans
    • Maps
    • Other references
key actions
KEY ACTIONS
  • Set the stage
  • Involve everyone
  • Focus on in-depth problem solving
facilitating the exercise
FACILITATING THE EXERCISE
  • STRATEGIES FOR SETTING THE STAGE
    • Welcome
    • Briefing
    • Narrative
    • Ice breaker
facilitating the exercise1
FACILITATING THE EXERCISE
  • STRATEGIES FOR INVOLVING EVERYONE
    • Organize messages
    • Encourage
    • Elicit - do not provide - solutions
    • Eye contact
    • Positive
    • Reinforcement
    • Redirect if necessary
unit summary
UNIT SUMMARY
  • Reviewed how a tabletop exercise works
  • Discussed facilitation guidelines
  • Examined how the eight design steps are applied to tabletop exercises
  • Developed problem statements and messages