Measuring Effectiveness

‚ÄčThe effectiveness of an STTS program can be measured in two ways: its overall effectiveness over time, and the effectiveness of a particular event. Protective operations, which include STTS events, measure success by the lowest number of incidents that needed resolution. An event that experiences no incidents is perfectly successful. The adage "no news is good news" is true for protective operations.

The security practitioner's world exists because incidents do happen and these incidents call for professional resolution.  Realistically, there are always numerous small problems and incidents to smooth out and resolve.  Reports are not only to inform upper echelons of the practitioner's work, but also to prevent similar occurrences in the future, or to learn how to produce better responses to similar problems.  Reports are the "brain cells" in the institution's memory from which we learn lessons and evolve better practices.

It should be the STTS manager's responsibility to assure that everyone in the institution or group populates the database. The following types of information are examples of what might be useful in measuring the overall effectiveness of an STTS program:

  • Security lapses at hotels or venues (to include a reason for the occurrence, how it was corrected, and how to prevent it in the future);
  • Attempts to breach security;
  • Actual breaches of security;
  • Accidents that affected the STTS group (type and number);
  • List of requested security services not provided by a host (and host's rationale for not providing it, and suggestion of how to get such service(s) in the future);
  • Satisfaction surveys from STTS participants;
  • Threats against STTS members;
  • Aggression against STTS members;
  • Property thefts or damage reports; and
  • News articles about groups or issues that affect venues that may be destinations of the STTS group.

The information collected will be useful in organizing new events and providing data for:

  • Risk assessments
  • Cost-benefit analyses
  • After-action reports (AAR)
  • Intelligence assessments
  • Historical reports

Next: Future Research Needs