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[CM] Step 4: Define the Scope, Objectives and Assumptions

A CM planning project with a scope that is too broad or has unclear objectives will be out of control even before it begins.


The Organisation CM Coordinator can prevent this from happening by defining the scope with the appropriate assumptions and limitations of the CM plan.

Moh Heng Goh
Crisis Management Certified Planner-Specialist-Expert

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Unclear Objectives and Deliverables

IC_More_CM Project_Define the Scope

IC_More_Step 4I have often found the CM planning project's objectives too vague.

Nobody could agree on exactly what was to be accomplished. This is often due to the lack of CM planning knowledge.

Before beginning each phase of the CM planning project, be sure that the anticipated deliverables are defined explicitly. You will need to make the end product of each phase clear to the executive management, CM team, or project participants to avoid any misunderstandings that may occur during the project.

New call-to-actionCrisis Scenario

One best practice is defining the complete list of crisis scenarios. This Crisis Scenario provides a perspective to the Executive Management, Organisation CM Coordinator, CM Planning team, and eventually, the crisis management team.

tipDescriptor Types of Crisis ScenarioThe following section will help the Organisation CM Coordinator develop its Crisis Scenario.

The detailed development of the Crisis Scenario occurs during the Crisis Scenario Risk Assessment phase.

Limit Initial Scope

If this is the first time that you are embarking on this project, do not take on a project to develop CM plans for the “dooms” day scenario for the entire organisation. The scope of the CM planning project will simply be too broad.

It cannot be kept under control. Most organisations are too ambitious as they develop their CM plan based on the broadest scope.

New call-to-actionYou should always start with a practical and realistic scope from the executive management perspective. Increase the scope once the CM planning project is booming and the Executive Management is confident in your ability.

Click the icon on the right to read more about "Defining the scope of the CM Project."

Benefits of Having a CM Plan

The significant benefits from developing a comprehensive CM plan can be summarized as:

  • Minimised potential economic loss

  • Reduced legal liability

  • Reduced disruption to regular operations

  • Maximised organizational stability

  • Ensured orderly recovery

  • Minimised insurance premiums

  • Reduced reliance on key personnel

  • Increased asset protection

  • Ensured safety of personnel and customers

  • Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

  • Minimized decision-making during a disaster

Document Limitations and Assumptions

In any typical Project Management phase, it is vital to identify the “IS” and “IS NOT” of a project. You can ensure that there is no confusion or disagreement about what will or will not be included within the scope of the CMP project.

New call-to-actionFor example, the CMP project will not address multiple site crises or the loss of key personnel. Document this limitation as one that will be addressed in a subsequent CMP project.

Click the icon on the right to read more about "Limitations and Assumptions." 

Design Clear Objectives and Scope

New call-to-actionOne measurement of an Organisation's CM Coordinator's success is whether the final product satisfies the Executive Management's requirements.

In much the same way as the Organisation CM Coordinator needs to know what is expected of him or her as an Organisation CM Coordinator, there must be agreement on what precisely the CMP implementation will achieve.

The Organisation's CM Coordinator must consider the extent of the crisis scenario that will be covered. It is imperative that these objectives and scope be in writing and signed off on by the executive management. Any subsequent changes must also be in writing, and the timeframe and resource allocations must be amended.

Examples of Objectives, Tasks & Deliverables

This is a sample of typical objectives for a CMP project. I have included the tasks for each purpose and the expected deliverables.


 The objectives of the Project Management phase are to:

  • Formulate a workable CMP project proposal

  • Seek endorsement and commitment from the Executive Management on the project objective, scope, approach, schedule, and resource requirement

  • Establish CM project management structure and control


The tasks to complete this phase include:

  • Review and understand the organisation's environment

  • Agree on and formalise CMP project management structure and resource allocation

  • Establish CMP project administration reporting and control mechanism

  • Submit the CM planning project proposal to the Executive Management for approval


The deliverables of a CM planning project are a project plan proposal, a project work plan, and a project reporting mechanism. The project proposal includes:

  • Definition

  • Scope

  • Objective

  • Roles and Responsibilities

CM Project Management Steps

Click to find out more about the detailed requirements for each step

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Goh, M. H. (2016). A Manager’s Guide to Implement Your Crisis Management Plan. Business Continuity Management Specialist Series (1st ed., p. 192). Singapore: GMH Pte Ltd.



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