Simulations and Exercise Facilitation

Case Studies

Click each heading below to read stories about some of the results we've achieved for our clients.

"ICS Translation" | Public School District

A public school district asked us to convert the often bewildering topic of the Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) into language that their educator audience would understand.  I created a lesson plan that consisted of group discussion and decision-making exercises  in a 'crawl-walk-run' pattern.  This allowed the participants to slowly warm to the concepts and "Principles of ICS" being taught without the cumbersome acronyms and emergency response focused topics.  In a half-day session, the participants were able to leave with the clarity and confidence to serve their district in a leadership capacity during a crisis.

They took advantage of a 1/2 Day Customized ICS Translation + Facilitated Exercise.

"Disaster Response Leadership" | Hospital District

A hospital district asked us to educate some of their existing staff in their security and engineering departments on how best to respond if a disruption occurred to one of the campus buildings.  I created a lesson plan - based on their own policies - that introduced several decision-making scenarios that exercised their role in a disaster.  Taking advantage of an empty wing, I also created a walk through of a disaster using multi-media injects that added more realism to the exercise.  I also created cheat-sheets for them to provide a quick reminder of some of the responsibilities and reporting requirements during a disaster.

They took advantage of a full day Customized Disaster Leadership Training + Facilitated Exercise.

"Emergency Operations Coordination" | Transit Authority

A strategic partner asked us to assist in training and exercising a large transit authority's leadership team on their roles and responsibilities during a disaster.  I created a custom training and exercise lesson plan that validated their current roles but also introduced them to some best practices on unifying with their agency partners to improve their outcomes.  They were given a variety of scenarios with related injects that prompted coordination, communication and critical decision-making.

They took advantage of a two (2) day Customized Emergency Operations Center Leadership Training + Facilitated Exercise.

"Organizing in Good & Bad Times" | Youth Sports League

A non-profit youth sports league asked me to help them improve how they organize and execute their annual fundraising tournaments as well as their normal weekend competitions.  I worked with their senior leadership on specific outcomes they wanted and then customized a tiered lesson plan for the different levels of staff engagement.  I then introduced a scalable system for managing their events, both planned and unplanned using the "Principles of ICS".  By reducing duplication, improving volunteer engagement and modeling better event leadership, the league exceeded their annual income and growth expectations.

They took advantage of an ongoing training and exercise program.

"Crisis Leadership" | Higher Education

A strategic partner asked us to develop and deliver a series of training and exercise engagements for a small but growing university system.  Their crisis plan needed updating, which I advised on, and then their staff, faculty and students needed to be introduced to, trained and exercised on that revised plan.   I created a custom training plan consisting of crisis leadership best practices ("Principles of ICS") and a series of interactive and growth-oriented workshops and exercises.  The phase completed with a full scale exercise featuring over 80 people and role players.  The series of exercises was widely lauded as being effective in promoting cohesion among the participants, clarity in what was expected of them and a new list of improvements for the next phase of training and exercises.

They took advantage of an ongoing training + facilitated exercise program (Tabletops and Full Scale Exercises).

"Crisis Policy & Integrated Leadership" | Financial Institution

A regional financial institution sought to improve their organization's ability and readiness to manage a crisis.  They had robust crisis management plans but a lack of vertical integration, confidence and therefore widespread adoption of their plans.  Starting with their Executive Policy Group, then their Senior Leadership Team, then their different departmental managers, I developed and delivered a series of "crawl, walk, run" training sessions that each concluded with a facilitated tabletop exercise to solidify their knowledge.     As each group was introduced to and comfortable with using "ICS Principles" to bring their plans to life, the groups were combined to managed a simulated response.

They took advantage of an ongoing training + facilitated exercise program.

"Exercise Review" | Pipeline Company

A regional pipeline company hosts an annual training and development conference for its staff.  Engagement had been lacking so they asked for consultation and exercise support to freshen up their conference.  I provided pre-conference guidance and then attended the event in an advisory capacity to audit the proceedings.  After the event I provided a comprehensive report of my finds along with forward-looking recommendations to improve their future outcomes.

They took advantage of our exercise support services.

"After Action Review Support" | Local Government

A local government completed an inter-agency response to a large and durable crisis.  A strategic partner requested my assistance developing and facilitating an After Action Review process for them, tailored to their situation.  Agencies and departments that were not used to collaborating using the "Principles of ICS" were thrust into an unfamiliar situation which hindered their integrated response capability.  By acknowledging what they did well and isolating areas of improvement without blame, we were able to provide a comprehensive report and list of suggested improvements before a similar crisis occurred.

They took advantage of a facilitated exercise (AAR).

Simulations & Exercise Facilitation

Discussion-based table top exercises or full scale exercises and everything in between.

I've facilitated and evaluated HUNDREDS of functional exercises for THOUSANDS of participants, so far.  Read more about me HERE.

Contact me to discuss how I can improve the outcomes for your group through experienced and effective exercise facilitation.

Sample Agenda / Deliverables

Below is a sample outline for a 4-hour "ICS Principles" session followed by a facilitated tabletop exercise "Organizing Before a Crisis":

Sample Agenda - Organizing Before a Crisis

  • 1
    Introduction & Objectives
  • 2
    Planning Assumptions
  • 3
    Roles and Responsibilities
  • 4
    Considerations for a functional-based role in a crisis
  • 5
    Delegation and Redundancy
  • 6
    Communication & Information Management
  • 7
    Competence, not hierarchy or titles
  • 8
    Policy considerations
  • 9
  • 10
    Scenario injects - facilitated simulation exercise
  • 11
    Facilitated Wrap-up
  • 12
    A final written report with recommendations

Example Delivery Model

Facilitated simulation exercises, workshops, tabletops, etc. tend to fall into one of the below delivery models.

1-hour video conference

4-hour facilitated discussion (tabletop exercise)

8-hour full-scale exercise

Who Is This For?

I've been fortunate to assist many different organizations in many different industries.  Over 14,000 adult participants so far.  Learn more about that and me, here.  

Some of the industries that I've helped so far:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Emergency Mgmt, Law, Fire, EMS, SAR
  • Non-Profit
  • Higher Education
  • Public Utilities
  • Financial Services 
  • Insurance 
  • Healthcare
  • Local, State & Federal Governments
  • Transportation


"Mike McKenna helped us save the (pretend) day from a (simulated) ice and wind storm that could have (hypothetically) been (fake) devastating. Thanks fellas. Unity College is genuinely safer today because of you." (Full-Scale Crisis simulation project along with Bernstein Crisis Management) - John Zavodny, Chief of Staff, Unity College

"Thought provoking and engaging.”

“Time well spent.”

“Very excellent conversation material"

"Mike earns 5 stars!"

Important Notes

  • Sessions can be delivered individually or can be combined into a day or half day session.
  • Most pricing is a flat fee plus expenses and may involve a limit on the number of participants permitted into each session.
  • Deliveries outside of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex include travel associated fees. 
  • Discounts may be available for select non-profits.
  • Customized delivery of customized topics is available.  Please contact me to discuss.
  • Scheduling is done 2+ months in advance.
  • Yes, within reason, I’m willing to register as a vendor with your organization.
  • 1/2 payment is due at booking, 1/2 before the session starts.

Still have a question? There are no dumb ones so Contact us today.

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Scenario Injects - Mass Casualty Incident (MCI)

Planning a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) exercise?

Try these free scenario medical injects to use for your adult or pediatric 'patients':

Also, if you need MCI 'patients' consider the re-usable adult and pediatric mannequin options below.  

They don't need feeding and won't require an injury waiver for your exercise!  Buy more and save.  

Buy Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Equipment

Browse the options below for MCI Mannequins, etc:

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