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Self, self, self...

Blog post   •   Jun 15, 2017 17:21 BST

Most business continuity plans pay scant regard to how people might be feeling in the aftermath of a major disruptive incident and simply assume their willingness and ability to drop everything in order to activate those plans.

This assumption might be valid if the incident in question is limited in scope - such as a building, facilities, IT or supply chain issue - and doesn't result in death, injury or personal hardship. But if it's wider-reaching - for instance extreme weather, earthquake, flood, power failure, civil disturbance, terrorist incident or any of a whole host of potential events that affect the wider community - there's a major problem with it.

The fact is that people are likely to be thinking of themselves, their families and their homes, rather than the organization they work for. In which case, the business continuity plan is likely to rank somewhere near the bottom of the list of things on their minds. And their willingness to drop everything and come to the aid of the organization is, perfectly reasonably, likely to be somewhere between low and zero.

Most people have lives, and responsibilities, outside of work. But it's much easier to simply ignore this important fact when creating our business continuity plans, than to worry too much about it. So that's precisely what many planners do. The trouble with this approach, however, is that whilst our plans might look okay on paper, they could well be doomed to failure from the outset if we actually have to put them into operation.

Andy Osborne is the Consultancy Director at Acumen, and author of Practical Business Continuity Management. You can follow him on Twitter and his blog or link up with him on LinkedIn.

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