Management by Objective for TEOTWAWKI Planning – Part 2, by 3AD Scout

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)

Is your objective time sensitive? Your object has to have an element of time that denotes when you want the objective to be completed. We are saying we want to store 3 years worth of foods but the length of time we are going to take to take to accomplish this objective must be in our written objective. Saying within two years or by an actual date/time will help ensure your stated objective meets the time sensitive element.

Our final objective with all the “SMART” elements could read something like this:

“Purchase 3 years worth of food to include enough normal groceries (can foods, freezer foods, et cetera) to last 1 year, enough dry staples like rice, beans and pasta to span 3 years, and freeze-dried foods to last 2 years, by January 2021.”

Once you have a “SMART” objective now you have to determine “How” you are going accomplish the objectives. We can call these “tactics” or “tasks”. Just like components of your objectives, your tasks should also be realistic. Is buying one-hundred dollars of food each week realistic? Only you can determine that. Your tactics can also go more in-dept like save $50 each paycheck to put towards a bulk freeze-dried food order. Perhaps you buy a 50-pound bag of rice each week or month. Looking at weekly grocery store adds and taking advantage of in store sales could also be a tactic. Your tactics should also go beyond just the procurement strategies but also include such tasks as building storage racks/shelving, putting rice, beans and other staples into mylar bags and food grade plastic buckets.

Post-TEOTWAWKI Objectives

But what about post-TEOTWAWKI Objectives and tactics/tasks? It may be possible to develop objectives and tactics for post-TEOTWAWKI beforehand. Developing your objectives and tactics for post-TEOTWAWKI can also be a methodology used to assess your capabilities and gaps. For example, if you have a SMART objective such as “Install tangle-foot along the back perimeter within 4 days of determining that there has been an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) /Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)”; your Tasks/tactics may include driving post into the ground and running wire. The advantage of considering our objectives and associated tasks beforehand will allow us to analyze if we have the knowledge, skills, abilities, equipment, supplies and human resources to complete the objectives and tasks.

Back to the tangle-foot example, do you have enough short fence post to install in the planned area, a post driver, barb-wire, fencing pliers, et cetera on hand? If not, this shows a gap in your preparedness that must be addressed if you want to carry out that objective post-SHTF. Perhaps another Post-TEOTWAWKI objective could be “Within 24 hours of a WROL incident, set up and staff a functional infirmary able to treat injuries including burns, gunshot wounds, fractures, lacerations and environmental injuries”. Do you have the medical equipment and supplies on hand to do this? Do you have a pre-designated facility to set this up in? Do you have the human resources with the KSAs to treat people with these injuries? Do you have more than one person who has the KSAs? Again, if we do not have everything needed to complete the objective and associated tasks then we have gaps in our preparedness that need addressed. First responders use a form call an ICS form 215 that preppers can adapt to their own operations both pre and post TEOTWAWKI. A PDF copy of the ICS 215 can be found here.

There’s a Form, For That

The ICS form 215 (215) is used to plan out operations to meet the objectives of an incident. The Form is often used two times a day for what is called an “operational period” that is normally 12 hours. Each operational period or shift would use this form to determine the tasks of the next shift. The form is a way to capture tasks, determine what resources are needed to complete those tasks, the “overhead” section of the form helps determine how many people do you need to manage/oversee the task? (non-management human resources are documented under resources). The special equipment or supplies section of the form could be something like a crew served weapon or a radiation monitor. The form also has sections for reporting location and arrival time. Perhaps your operation involves a patrol that will depart from your west perimeter check-point and the patrol leader wants everyone to meet at 1900 hours. The ICS 215 also allows whoever is in charge of your logistics (the S4) to see what equipment and supplies are needed from the logistics section and know what time they are needed by.

Once the ICS form 215 is completed personnel in the Planning section (the S3) will develop what is known as an ICS form 204 or “Assignment List”. Download a ICS 204 form. This form is more of a detailed assignment with the names/qualifications of the people and other pertinent information needed to successfully complete the task/assignment on the 204. For example, one 204 might be for the patrol we used as the above example. It would detail the names of the people assigned to the patrol, special equipment and supplies, communication frequencies, actual work assignment and any special instructions. For those with combat arms back grounds the ICS 204 would be like a “Operations Order” but not with all the same in depth information such as situation but the form could very easily incorporate additional information.

These forms are a way to prompt people to follow a process and to considers various aspects such as communications, leadership, special supplies/equipment, and even departure points. The forms are merely a way to help people through the management by objectives process. Having forms and training to a process will help when stress is high and sleep hours low. There are other ICS forms that can be used by preppers but we will not be discussing all of them. I highly suggest that readers take advantage of the free ICS training available online and download the various ICS forms that are on line and can be changed to meet your specific group’s needs.

Contemplating and developing your post-TEOTWAWKI objectives and tactics/tasks now will help aid in your developing plans. I use a number of pre-written goals that I can then use along with some generic, as in not specific to any specific incident scenario, objects that can be updated when needed to fit the particular situation. For example, one of our goals is “establish security”, one of the pre-written objectives is to set up listening and observation post (LP/OP). You could also pre-populate an ICS form 204 with the details of the task and equipment needed. You may not know who will be in charge of that detail or what form of communications they will use to communicate back to the command post but those can quickly be penciled in at the time.

MBO is Task-Driven

Management by Objective is very task driven. Being able to perform task is very dependent up resources. Resources can be human, equipment or supply. Groups, whether pre or post SHTF need to be able to adequately inventory their resources. When assigning task, it is important to consider the task and then the knowledge, skills and abilities of the people you have in your group to perform the task. This is also sometimes known as “person, job, fit”. Do we have a diesel machinic staff the infirmary? The answer is it depends. Perhaps the machinic was in a local volunteer fire department and had medical training.   Being able to properly assign tasks to your people is very dependent upon you having a very good understanding of their KSAs whether professionally or on a hobby level.

Having a chart that details all your available personnel and their key KSAs is a good way to help logically assign your people for the best outcomes. To develop this chart simply put the names of group members down the left column. Across the top list all the skills that your group requires. These could be mechanic, bee keeper, animal husbandry, construction, medical, communications, et cetera. So, if member “Lisa” is a registered nurse you would put “nurse” or “RN” in the box in the column of “medical”. The more specific you are the better. This form can be used pre-SHTF to identify gaps in your preparedness.

If you plan to expand your current one-acre garden to 10 acres post-SHTF and you only have one person who has any type of gardening background you may want to start crossing training others in the group or recruit new members with gardening knowledge. Post-SHTF you could look for people with gardening skills. Asking people if they have those skills will not a good system since people may sense you are looking for someone with those skills and they just say yes, after all it is just throwing seeds into the dirt. Having a sheet of questions pertaining to gardening such as “what zone are we in here”, or “what can bone meal be used for in a garden” will help ascertain if the person being interviewed has a clue about gardening.

Being methodical in how we word our objectives and then following a process to identify and communicate those tasks to our group will help our group or new community be more efficient. Leaders who are not organized and don’t think things out waste resources and in a post-TEOTWAWKI wasting resources of your group will not be tolerated by the group regardless of who you are.

For additional information such as training and forms go to:



  1. I’m a loooong time reader and follower of There has been a tremendous amount of great info published to date. Unfortunately, I find this article a bit “dated”. In reviewing yesterday’s comments, there were many comments about going “Lone Wolf”… 25 years ago, there were many folks in a community to choose from while building a tribe. Today, due to the changes in American Society, there are very, very few individuals who can be trusted to contribute to building a group. In theory, this article is useful. The practicality, in today’s society, is waning. The difficulty of finding people of “like mind”, even in families, is tremendous. Many of us find a few like minded individuals simply as friends.

    I’d love to give a solution to this issue, but I can’t. JMHO…


    1. Hobo,

      I think people are missing a KEY POINT in this article, that is regardless of what and how we prepare now (as a group or team) in a Post-TEOTWAWKI world people will be forced out of survival to rebuild society and that WILL entail people forming groups ands communities. History is on my side here. Agree that society is changing but not everyone is the “Boogeyman”. Could you imagine if our Fore Fathers took a Lone Wolf attitude the Brits would have slaughter them one by one. Has anyone ever thought that we have been “conditioned” by society (via media, Hollywood, etc) not to trust each other? I imagine their are powers that be that would fear very much a tight knit prepper community.

      As for how to change- change always starts with the person in the mirror. At least that is what I’ve been told.

      1. Well said, Scout. Those who want to can always find a reason to give up. I know I have more than once given up and had “excellent” reasons for doing so.

        I see you are not preaching about group size or composition, you are simply offering tools to manage whatever size or composition one has.

        I appreciate your good work.

        Carry on

  2. AD3 S,
    Sounds like we need to form our own EMAC……..

    Below are the direct links to EMI I suggest for what AD3S is describing. There is always a method to mitigating the madness. The most important thing is to make a decision and own it. If wrong, change direction and make another. To many times events turn out bad because no one wants to be “responsible”. However, to be responsible means to be knowledgeable. Start with these links.
    And the latest…Leadership and Influence
    And for planning….

    I have never posted before, but have been inspired to share because of AD3S.
    More will likely come.

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