Phase 1: Pre-Planning
Planning for a Functional Exercise is very important, and the moreplanning you do ahead of time the better your exercise will be.Below you will find a list of things you should do that will help inthe preparation of your exercise.
1. Review your Plan
Review and become familiar with the plan you'd like exercised. Share the plan with potential exercise stakeholders.
2. Establish an Exercise Planning Team
The Exercise Planning Team oversees and is ultimately responsible forexercise foundation, design, development, conduct, and evaluation. Theteam determines exercise objectives, tailors the scenario to meet theexercising entity’s needs, and develops documentation used inevaluation, control, and simulation. Planning team members also helpwith developing and distributing pre-exercise materials and conductingexercise planning conferences, briefings, and training sessions. Becauseplanning team members are highly involved in the exercise, they areideal selections for the exercise facilitator, controller, and/orevaluator positions.
The Exercise Planning Team should be of manageable size yet representthe full range of participating entities, as well as other relevantstakeholder organizations. Planning team members should represent eachparticipating key agency, department, and stakeholder organizationwithin that jurisdiction. An Exercise Planning Team Leader manages theplanning team.
3. Create an Exercise Timeline with Milestones
Exercise planning timelines establish target timeframes for attainingsignificant, exercise-related milestones such as planning conferences,training, exercise conduct, after-action reporting, and improvementplanning.
Timelines will vary based on exercise scope and complexity. Timelinesalso may vary based on the entity’s experience in conducting exercises,available resources, and Exercise Planning Team size.
4. Schedule Planning Meetings
Develop a draft calendar of planning meeting dates. Vet with the Exercise Planning Team and send out to all relevant staff.
5. Create a Budget
Some tabletops do not require budgets because all of the personnel,assets, and consumables are already on site. If you want to producedocuments, hire experts, purchase supplies and equipment (audiovisual,etc.), create signage, serve food, develop name badges and/or tabletents, you may need a budget. If you need a budget, create it and go over it with finance personnel.This will help to scale back the exercise as needed, or if money allows,scale it up.