Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Don't fall into the trap

"The backlog trap" is a phrase often used to describe the effect on a business of the backlog of work that builds up when a system or process is unavailable, and the length of time it takes to reduce that backlog. It’s possible to express the backlog trap by way of a clever formula, but a good rule of thumb is that it can take four or five times the length of the outage to process the backlog and get back to normal.

It therefore stands to reason that the longer the downtime, the longer the recovery. Or to put it another way, the sooner you’re in control, the less time it’ll take to catch up. Sounds simple, but many recovery plans overlook or underestimate the effort and resources required to process the backlog.

So make sure your incident management plans are effective, so that valuable time isn’t lost in the early stages of your response and recovery. Ensure your recovery strategy enables you to get back up and running in time to avoid the backlog trap. And ensure your recovery plans consider just how you will catch up the backlog and who will do this. 



Did you know that Acumen’s Consultancy Director, Andy Osborne, publishes an expert tip each month for people with an interest in developing a business continuity capability?

Why not subscribe now and have Andy’s ‘Tip of the Month’ delivered to your inbox.

Andy also writes the occasional blog, which is somewhat more light-hearted, but with a serious business continuity message. Subscribe to ‘Oz’s Blog’ instead and receive an email notification when Andy posts a blog, in addition to the Tip of the Month emails.


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