Business Continuity Tip of the Month   -  November 2001

A mountain of paperwork

Ever seen the state of a command centre in action? They can get very messy!

Typically, a huge amount of paper is generated and left lying around, partly because it may be needed later, partly because everyone has a copy of almost everything, and partly because everyone’s too busy to dispose of it. Add this to the equipment scattered about – PCs, printers (generating more paper), not to mention coffee cups and pizza boxes – and you have a recipe for clutter and inefficiency.

So what can be done about it? Well, there are a few things that can help :

· Get it on the walls : use flipcharts, wallcharts, whiteboards, etc to get the stuff that needs to be visible to everyone off the table and up where it can be seen.

· Get it on the system : if information needs to be logged for future reference, get it in electronic format as soon as possible rather than lying around on bits of paper – but don’t forget those backups!

· Get rid of it : appoint someone to file the stuff that needs to be kept and to cull that which is surplus to requirements – but remember, some of it may contain confidential information that needs to be disposed of appropriately.

· Share it : do you really need fifteen full copies of the entire recovery plan? Or are one or two full copies sufficient, with key extracts held by those who need them?

· Keep on top of it : be disciplined and regularly review what’s needed and what’s not.

It may seem trivial now, but anything you can do to make the control centre run more efficiently will pay dividends at the time of a crisis.

 


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