Business Continuity Tip of the Month   -  January 2021

2020 hindsight

So, 2021’s arrived, and with it the hope that we might, at some point, be able to return to some semblance of normality. We potentially have a lot to look forward to this year and, while we’re doing that, it’s tempting to want to put 2020 firmly behind us. Which is understandable. Let’s face it, not many people will remember last year with much fondness. For most of us, it’s been a very difficult year and one that we’d prefer to forget.

The problem is that, while doing so, many of us have forgotten, or neglected to do any kind of post-incident review of our responses to the various phases of the Covid crisis. This has happened for a variety of reasons. Perhaps because the ‘incident’ isn’t actually over yet, so how can we possibly do a post-incident review?; or because everything worked fine (didn’t it?); or because we’ve been too busy focusing on other things, such as coming up with new ways to deliver our products and services, or developing new ones, or simply keeping the business afloat; or because we just haven’t considered it.

But we shouldn’t neglect out post-incident reviews. To do so risks missing a significant opportunity. Because, whilst there were undoubtedly things that went well for many of us, there were almost certainly also things that didn’t go quite so well and more than likely a number of follow-up actions that still need to be done.

So maybe it’s better to ditch the term ‘post-incident review’ on this occasion and replace it with something along the lines of ‘after-action review’ or ‘incident management review’ (add your own preferred name here). Whatever we decide to call it, the important thing is that we do it; that we look back at the events of 2020 and our responses to them and identify what went well and what could have gone better.

It’s often said that hindsight is a wonderful thing. But that’s only the case if we learn the lessons. From a business continuity point of view, that means reviewing, recording and making sure we complete our follow-up actions to ensure our strategies and plans, and the resulting capability, remain robust.

 


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