Business Continuity Tip of the Month   -  December 2006

As clear as mud

When developing your business continuity plans (and even more so when actually using those plans to respond to a crisis) it’s essential that everyone involved understands them and their associated roles and responsibilities. Misunderstandings can scupper even the best laid plans, and should be avoided at all costs.

It’s therefore important that : 

  • The incident management and business continuity plan structure is simple and straightforward;
  • The plans themselves are concise and easy to use (even in the midst of a crisis);
  • Roles and responsibilities are clear and unambiguous and the people concerned actually know what’s expected of them;
  • Continuity and recovery capabilities and service levels (i.e. what will be provided and when) are clearly understood by the business, with no scope for misunderstanding.

However, merely writing these things down and asking people to read them when they have a spare minute is not enough.

A programme of awareness and education that informs people and keeps them up to date, along with regular exercises and rehearsals to bring the key players up to speed and keep them there, are essential components of your business continuity management programme.

If you think clarity isn’t important, here’s a quote from Richard Nixon that might make you think again…

"I know that you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."

Now if that doesn’t make it clear, nothing will!

 


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