When you start a new trial two pieces of information are key: What is your goal and what are the circumstances you work in? The goal gives you the rationale for the project and the circumstances are the boundaries you can act within.

In your trial your goal is: Identifying and evaluating an innovative sociotechnical solution that can bridge a crisis management gap you are experiencing in your daily operations. So the first step here is: identify those CM gaps! This needs to be done in close relation to the practitioners who experience one or more gap. For example: if you only ask the gold level firefighters you will most likely hear about gaps in the area of high level incident management, if you ask the bronze level policemen, you will most likely hear about gaps in patrolling the streets. 

As you can already see in the example, every gap depends on a role, its responsibilities and the surroundings. This is the trial context. A bronze level policeman in the Bronx, a quarter of NY, USA will obviously face different gaps than a bronze level policeman in Häger, a farmers’ community in Germany. This is not only the case in terms of location but even more in terms of culture, systems, procedures, etc. So even if they had the same gap, let´s say – a lack of situational awareness – they would experience it very differently. A trial context consists of all involved people, who are somehow part of the gap (within your organisation or outside). Furthermore, a trial context consists of equipment and infrastructure. But also the weather conditions can be important. And last but not least the human factor is key.

So please consider the step zero as the foundation of your trial and think of it thoroughly by applying the methods explained on the following pages.