By John Boatman
For over two decades, Haystax has maintained that security assessments are the best tool for risk managers to understand their threats and vulnerabilities.
With dozens of pre-configured and custom assessments to choose from, Haystax users currently are able to assess everything from school safety, fire pre-plans and post-disaster damage to the risk of potential insider threats at government agencies and corporations.
In a succession of product enhancements over the past six months, the Haystax software engineering team has now added a powerful new capability to our toolkit: an Assessment Template Builder that enables the rapid deployment of new assessments.
The Template Builder was developed to create, edit and manage any existing assessment form – or build one from scratch in collaboration with a customer – and deploy it in any tenant’s Assessments app.
Each template consists of one or more main sections, one or more subsections and as many individual questions within each subsection as are required. The tool is accessed directly from within the Haystax interface.
Features of the Template Builder include:
- Sections, subsections and questions can be reordered after they are created, using simple drag-and-drop.
- Questions can optionally be tagged as ‘Required’ and as highlighted questions that are displayed in the assessment summary report, and each question’s editing box allows help text to be entered as needed (image above).
- A question may be copied from another assessment.
- Answer-type formats include single- or multiple-choice (each with or without comments), as well as short answer, long answer and number.
- Commonly used answer sets, such as ‘Yes/No/Not applicable,’ can be saved, named (and renamed) and then reused on multiple questions. These are accessed via dropdown menu in the question’s editing box.
- Entire existing assessments and their answer fields can be copied and turned into a new assessment, which saves time when the same assessment needs to be conducted more than once over a period of time – say, for example, an annual school safety assessment.
- Tenant administrators can go back and edit user permissions and list filter/column information on assessment templates even after the template is created.
- Templates can be imported or created for asset-less assessments, as well as for those linked to existing facilities, schools or persons in the Haystax Assets app.
Within days of the initial Template Builder launch, it was employed in the real world to provide our customers a critically needed new capability related to Covid-19 vaccination centers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued guidance for local facilities providing vaccines to the general public, which included a recommendation that public health, safety and security, emergency management and other agencies jointly conduct site assessments at fixed and drive-through facilities to determine their suitability to serve as Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs). The Haystax team broke down the guidance into its component elements and created a new multi-section CVC assessment. Three days after the report’s release, the assessment was available to all Haystax customers that were planning to open mass vaccination sites.
Beyond the Template Builder, a number of additional enhancements were made to the core Haystax Assessments app. These include the ability to generate one or more risk scores from the answers filled out in each assessment. The user-configurable score definitions typically will be some variant of Low-Medium-High, based on number ranges generated by the assessment. Results are displayed on the Asset Details pane of each asset being assessed, in aggregated form on the list view page of the Assessment app (image below) and in the individual assessment’s overview page.
Other assessment-related enhancements include:
- Users now have the ability to duplicate an answer from one of their prior assessments into a new one if the question is identical and the answer has not changed, which saves a significant amount of completion time, especially on lengthier assessments.
- Each individual Assessment Overview page contains a new pane displaying any custom tables that have been created in the Assets app for that particular facility.
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Note: Want Haystax to build an assessment or two for your organization? Contact us to find out how.