NOVACES Develops New Capabilities for the Incident Command System in Support of Project Management for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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The company transformed the federally mandated emergency response process into one that has the capability to predictably identify personnel, materials, equipment and costs over the entire course of a complex, long-term emergency response.

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The application of project management principles to an emergency response resulted in the ability of the Incident Command to focus planning on the total scope of work over an extended period of time.

NOVACES, a management consulting firm that provides performance management, continuous process improvement (CPI), and project management services to public and private sector organizations, announced the availability of its innovative solution to look beyond the normal Incident Command System (ICS) planning cycle and predictably identify personnel, materials, equipment and costs over the entire course of an emergency response. This new application provides response teams a better analysis of the scope, resources and costs throughout completion of an incident.

The National Interagency Incident Management System (NIIMS), based on ICS, is a systematic process for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response used by all levels of government and by many organizations in the private sector. It is a process by which personnel, policies, procedures, facilities, and equipment are integrated into a common organizational structure designed to manage emergencies or disasters of all types, including fires, floods, hurricanes and oil spills. All emergency response organizations are trained in this standardized approach.

Originally developed to respond to forest fires in California in the 1970’s, the ICS planning protocol is focused on short term goals and results. The size and scope of the Macondo Well incident, the largest oil spill in US history, made the standard ICS planning process inadequate for long range forecasting.

NOVACES was asked to help solve this challenge.

Leveraging its deep expertise in customizing and implementing process improvement methods, NOVACES integrated the ICS planning protocols with best in class project management procedures to extend the ICS planning cycle and allow Incident Command to forecast resource needs and cost to completion of the response. NOVACES coached the ICS organization on this new approach to emergency response and gained the trust of all levels of the response organization. This trust has resulted in a complete integration of ICS and project management processes.

To date, NOVACES has planned and forecast over 100,000 tasks for the oil spill response. At peak, the response involved over 45,000 personnel across four states and 4,000 miles of affected coastline.

“The application of project management principles to an emergency response resulted in the ability of the Incident Command to focus planning on the total scope of work over an extended period of time,” said Robert Cheney, program manager for NOVACES. “The tool we developed ultimately provides longer-term resource and financial forecasting that never existed before.” This emergency management solution is applicable to any emergency response of any duration.

About NOVACES
NOVACES, LLC is a management consulting firm that provides performance management, continuous process improvement (CPI), and project management services to public and private sector organizations. Headquartered in New Orleans, LA, NOVACES helps its clients build capabilities in today's most effective management methodologies to achieve breakthrough operational and financial results. More information can be found at novaces.com/government-defense or by calling 1-877-577-6888.

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Brian MacClaren
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