Why should you record your (offshore emergency) practice?
| Written by Mark Buzinkay
Whatever technology you use for recording your drills, you should have a concept of improvement ready first. There are big benefits in recording your training sessions and reviewing them at a later moment - building awareness on your performance, identifying strengths and mistakes and ensure that you practice where improvement potential exists.
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Imagine a team practice session. You get a task as a team in different areas of the offshore installation and execute. After half an hour, the training is called. You did not bad, but it could be better. Next week, same time... and the results are almost the same. You start thinking and analyzing, but it is difficult to be aware of everything of what you did, even you do while practicing.
The only way is to get feedback from someone or something that observed your practice session. It "detaches" you from the actual practice and provides crucial information about the reasons for your performance as a team. But how we can do that in a complex area with rooms, gangways, bridges, stairs and so many levels?
The answer is to record your practice sessions and then review and analyze your recordings. The advantage is that, when you are calm, it is much easier to identify mistakes and figure out what can be improved. After all, you can’t fix something until you know what it is. Actually, many organisations and individual people use this concept for presentations, public speaking, coaching, and even sports. In all these disciplines, people use this technique to improve quickly and efficiently through reviewing their practice and performance.
Why should you record your practice? Building Awareness
Maybe the most important reason to record your (offshore emergency) training and then review the recording is to build awareness on how you perform. For instance, when reviewing sports recordings, you can notice your positioning on the field, your technique or your collaboration with your teammates, in case of a team sport. Imagine a team on your oil rig.
Another important reason to review recordings is to identify strengths and weaknesses of your team' performance. Like an observer, you access and analyse recorded data and in the process identify mistakes. In this way, you practice on what you need the most to improve. This is learning.
And there is another area of getting better in what you do by recording and reviewing your practice sessions: Identifying lazy practice. What does it mean? That is when you practice only what you are already good at. You run the same drill you perform well, but don't exercise other aspects of team work because they are difficult. It is easy to see that you can't learn anything from such a training culture. But if you practice all aspects of your work, you will see progress. When recorded, it can be very motivating for your team to monitor this progress.
Good use of recordings is to focus on one mistake or field of improvement at a time. Identify the area with the improvement potential and work on this. Once satisfied with the plateau you and your team reached, move on to the next mistake. By this, you focus always on one aspect of your training. And a last how-to suggestion would be to show the recordings to experienced peers and ask for their opinion. They can provide you with qualitative feedback and point out other areas of improvement you may have missed out.
How to record a session?
There are many ways how to do this and depends on the setting: video, observers taking notes, ... The initial example of a team exercise on a oil rig is nothing out of the ordinary, but difficult to record. Why? Due to "maze-like" architecture of offshore installations, it is expensive and difficult to record all areas of the exercise. Using transponder on each person involved would allow to track movements across the installation and provide a different type of recording. Depending on the goal and nature of the exercise, these personal beacons could provide enough data to analyse and improve team-wide drills.
Whatever technology you use for recording your training, you should have a concept of improvement ready first. There are tremendous benefits in recording your practice sessions and reviewing them at a later moment - building awareness on your performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses and ensure that you practice deliberately. It will improve your incident response management greatly.