The emerging question answered...

Incident Management vs. Critical Event Management

In the ever-evolving landscape of organisational resilience, both Incident Management and Critical Event Management (CEM) play pivotal roles in ensuring a swift and effective response to unexpected disruptions. While incident management has been a staple in various industries for years, the emergence of Critical Event Management introduces a more comprehensive approach to handling significant events beyond routine incidents. 

Incident Management: Reacting to the Routine


Specialised Focus: Incident management excels in addressing routine, day-to-day issues within specific departments. Whether it’s a server outage in the IT department or a minor workplace accident, incident management offers a specialised and targeted approach.

Efficiency in Resolution: With a well-defined process, incident management ensures swift resolution of routine problems. This efficiency is crucial for maintaining operational continuity and preventing minor issues from escalating into major disruptions.


Narrow Scope: The primary drawback of incident management lies in its narrow scope. It typically deals with isolated events within specific departments, potentially overlooking the broader impact of interconnected incidents.

Reactive Nature: Incident management is inherently reactive, focusing on resolving issues after they occur. While effective for routine incidents, this reactive approach may fall short in handling larger, more complex events.

Critical Event Management: Beyond the Routine


Holistic Approach: CEM adopts a holistic approach, going beyond individual incidents to address critical events that can impact the entire organisation. This comprehensive perspective allows for a more strategic and coordinated response.

Cross-Functional Collaboration: One of the key strengths of CEM is its emphasis on cross-functional collaboration. By aligning resources from various departments, CEM ensures a unified and synchronised response, enhancing overall resilience.


Complexity in Implementation: Implementing a robust CEM strategy can be complex due to the integration of multiple disciplines, communication channels, and response plans. Organisations may face challenges in streamlining these components effectively.

Resource Intensiveness: The all-encompassing nature of CEM may require substantial resources, both in terms of technology and personnel. Small or resource-constrained organisations may find it challenging to fully implement and maintain a comprehensive CEM strategy.

Choosing the Right Approach: Finding the Balance

In navigating the unpredictable terrain of incident and event management, organisations must strike a balance between specialised incident management and the comprehensive approach of Critical Event Management. Ideally, an organisation should integrate both methodologies, leveraging the efficiency of incident management for routine issues while embracing the strategic outlook of CEM to fortify resilience against major disruptions. By understanding the pros and cons of each approach, organisations can tailor their response strategies to meet the unique challenges posed by the ever-changing landscape of modern business.


SYNAPSE boasts a modular design, integrating both incident management and CEM features seamlessly. With user-friendly deployment and minimal client resource requirements, organisations can tailor their solutions to suit their specific needs. Whether opting for incident management, mass notification, or comprehensive CEM, SYNAPSE offers flexibility and scalability. Its evolutionary nature allows for continuous adaptation, ensuring long-term relevance and affordability.

Incident Management Features:

  • Incident Logging and Recording: Capturing details of incidents, including time, date, and nature of the issue.
  • Categorisation: Classifying incidents based on predefined categories for streamlined response.
  • Priority Assignment: Assigning priority levels to incidents to determine the order of resolution.
  • Escalation Procedures: Defined steps for escalating incidents to higher levels of support or management.
  • Communication Tools: Utilising communication channels (email, ticketing systems, etc.) for incident reporting.
  • Resolution Documentation: Recording steps taken to resolve incidents for future reference and analysis.
  • Performance Monitoring: Assessing the efficiency of incident resolution through key performance indicators.
  • User Training: Providing training to users on incident reporting procedures and best practices.
  • Continuous Improvement: Implementing feedback loops to continuously enhance incident management processes.

Critical Event Management Features:

  • Automated Alerting: Rapid and automated notification system for alerting relevant stakeholders.
  • Multi-Channel Communication: Support for diverse communication channels (SMS, email, voice calls, etc.) for widespread alerts.
  • Real-Time Incident Tracking: Dynamic tracking and monitoring of critical events as they unfold.
  • Customisable Severity Levels: Defining and customising severity levels based on the impact of the event.
  • Integration with External Systems: Seamless integration with existing systems, such as security tools and communication platforms.
  • GIS Mapping and Geographic Targeting: Visualisation of incidents on a map, allowing for targeted response based on location.
  • Two-Way Communication: Enabling bidirectional communication to gather feedback and updates from stakeholders.
  • Mobile App Integration: Integration with mobile applications for push notifications and on-the-go access.
  • Incident Workflow Automation: Automated workflows to guide responses from initial detection to resolution.
  • Data Analytics and Reporting: Analysing data to assess the effectiveness of communication and response efforts.
  • Training and Simulation: Conducting drills and simulations to train personnel on emergency response procedures.
  • Security and Compliance: Ensuring secure transmission of messages and compliance with data protection standards.
  • Customisable Templates: Predefined message templates for different types of critical events.

Both incident management and Critical Event Management encompass features tailored to their specific objectives, with incident management focusing on the efficient resolution of routine issues and Critical Event Management taking a more comprehensive, all-hazards approach to handle significant and organisation-wide disruptions.

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