Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Going for gold?

It’s amazing how many organisations, as their first foray into business continuity management, launch into the programme all gung-ho, with a view to implementing an all-singing, all-dancing, gold-plated, best-of-breed, ISO (or other applicable standard) certifiable business continuity management system – and all within ridiculously ambitious timescales. Less surprising is the number that spectacularly fail to meet that goal.

Whilst the aspiration may be laudable, the reality is that for most organisations it’s just not realistic.

Because as often as not, the people who will have to do the work aren’t as excited at the prospect as those asking for it. Possibly because they don’t really know what business continuity management is or what it entails. Probably because they have plenty to do already and the thought of “yet another initiative” doesn’t thrill them, resulting in an unwillingness or inability to commit the necessary resource. Perhaps because of a culture that doesn’t embrace the level of formality required. Or an “it’ll never happen to us” mentality. Or because there’s no real support from senior management, despite the lip service.

If any of these apply in your organisation, rather than aiming for a gold-plated approach and failing, it’s almost certainly better to start off by aiming for something a bit more realistic and achievable. Like a basic capability, based on some pragmatic analysis, and some simple plans, along with an exercise or two, rather than a huge amount of complexity and a correspondingly huge amount of effort. Something that allows people to “get it”; that they’re more likely to embrace than push back against. Something that advances the cause, gets the momentum going and that can be built upon going forwards.

Gold-plated might sound very nice, and may be necessary in certain situations, but sometimes a good, solid, cast-iron foundation is much more useful and appropriate.



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