Image of an operations center with text overlay: "What a Common Operating Picture Means for Mission Critical"

What a Common Operating Picture Means for Mission Critical

One of the key components to successful mission critical operations is the ability to share real-time information to decision makers for efficient and effective incident response. Establishing a common operating picture is vital to successfully using data to inform decisions.

What is a common operating picture? 

A common operating picture (COP) is a display of relevant information, enabling users in command and control to make accurate and informed decisions based on situational awareness. A COP means that personnel from all relevant organizations and locations have the same information, thus facilitating collaborative planning and execution of decisions.

An operations center’s COP is based on situational awareness obtained from a number of sources, which covers the current status and evolving situation, resources needed, and the availability and location of said resources. This information can then be shared with neighboring jurisdictions who can benefit from the information.

Creating a common operating picture

Emergency operations centers and other centers that use COPs must combine and filter information efficiently to inform both those responding to an event and those who are impacted by an event.

A COP is made up of the intelligence and data relevant to an event, including sources such as:

  • 911 calls
  • Social media
  • Eyewitness reports
  • Radio communications among responders
  • Weather radar

This information is verified and organized to develop a picture of the critical incident, which becomes clearer as more data is gathered.

When developing your common operating picture, consider the following:

  • Is the information relevant?
  • Is it timely?
  • Does the information provided by the COP aid situational awareness for those who depend on the operations center?
  • Is there too much or too little information?

How a common operating picture helps your organization

A well-established and managed common operating picture increases collaboration on incident response and bolsters the collective efforts of all who view it.

With a COP, safety during an incident is improved, and situational awareness is consistent. Common operating pictures provide a basis for informed and proactive decisions made in a timely manner. When you establish a common operating picture, you support a coordinated response among all collaborators who use the COP for decision making.

Video walls for your COP

An integrated video wall system can support your common operating picture in displaying data to all relevant users. A centralized video wall creates a shared space for information visible to anyone in the room. In comparison to a projector or single screen, a video wall allows you to display more content on more space. A wide range of sources can be incorporated and displayed together on a video wall. Native content, streaming feeds, and video conferencing can exist side by side on a video wall display. With thoughtful integration, you can also share video wall content remotely to others who need to respond to an incident.

Your video wall is the center of your common operating picture. Regardless of industry vertical, if your operation is 24/7, a video wall is the most beneficial display solution to maintain situational awareness.

To learn more about video wall solutions for mission critical operations centers, contact us today. Our design and budget consultation is free.

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About Constant:

Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around in the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.