Oz's Business Continuity Blog 

Good enough?

Back in December I bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t posted many blogs recently, claiming that I planned to address that particular issue in the new year (see ‘Eye eye captain‘). Since then I’ve posted the impressive total of two blogs in six months, thus spectacularly failing to meet my objective. I could bore you with my excuses, but the long and short of it is that I’ve been a busy boy and other things have taken priority (the same thing that happens with many a business continuity plan!). Like, for instance, doing work that contributes directly to meeting my mortgage payments and Barney’s food bills (the relative priorities of which depend on who you ask – and how many legs they have) rather than stuff that I do to satisfy my own self-indulgence.

It’s not that I haven’t written anything. On the contrary, there are a number of part-written blogs in my drafts folder. It’s just that I haven’t got round to finishing them yet. Much like the myriad projects at Chez Oz that remain incomplete; that I all-too-regularly beat myself up over and then continue to leave unfinished. Like the blogs, I’ll get around to finishing them one day.

Part of my problem is that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. At least that’s the word I like to use. Particular is another good word. Others might say fussy, picky or pedantic, but they quite clearly don’t know what they’re talking about.

My friend Richard is constantly on at me to lighten up and embrace the concept of ‘good enough’. This is, I feel it’s important to point out, the man who (quite a few years ago, admittedly, although leopards and spots spring to mind here) submitted his dissertation for his degree with a spelling mistake in the title. I suppose you could argue that the fact that he still passed justifies his argument. I think he was lucky. Had I been the assessor I’d have failed him instantly.

I will admit, however, somewhat grudgingly, that there are occasions when, in a business continuity context, good enough is actually good enough, at least temporarily.

Not infrequently, I work with clients who are loath to publish their business continuity plans until they’re ‘finished’; until all the ‘i’s have been dotted and the ‘t’s have been crossed. The trouble is that a business continuity plan is seldom, if ever, finished. There will almost always be improvements that can be made, to the underlying strategies and solutions as well as the content of the plans themselves. And I often find myself arguing that, even though the plan’s not perfect, it’s a damned-sight better than nothing if something happens before it’s ‘finished’.

So, if you’re sitting on your draft business continuity plan, waiting for perfection before you publish it, take a leaf out of my friend Richard’s book, forget all that perfection nonsense (please note that I actually cringed as I wrote that) and publish it now. Do, however, include some comments on the gaps that exist, so as not to lull people into a false sense of security.

I feel I should point out, just in case Richard’s reading this (which, to be honest, is doubtful – reading sitting only marginally above writing, near the bottom of his list of strong points), that this is one of the very few instances where I consider good enough to be good enough.

No writing errors were foundI also feel I should point out, somewhat smugly, and almost entirely for my own benefit, that I’ve just pressed the “proofread” button and am happy to report that the response that came back was “No writing errors were found”. I had, of course, already proof-read this blog myself four or five times before I trusted myself to hit the button, but that’s by the by.

And I will, of course, still proofread it another two or three times, and get Mrs Oz to do likewise, before I’m happy that it’s good enough to publish!


Related article : “Boxing clever


Agree? Disagree? Want to share your own thoughts or opinions?

Leave a reply (below) and let me know what you think.


Andy Osborne (known as Oz to friends and colleagues) is the Consultancy Director at Acumen, a consultancy practice specialising in business continuity and risk management.

Andy is the author of the books ‘Practical Business Continuity Management, ‘Risk Management Simplified‘ and ‘Ski Boots and Celery – A Compilation of Oz’s Business Continuity Blogs, as well as his popular blogs and ‘Tips of the Month, all of which aim to demystify the subjects of business continuity and risk management and make them more accessible to people who live in the real world.

You can follow Andy on Twitter at @AndyatAcumen and link with him on LinkedIn at http://uk.linkedin.com/in/andyosborneatacumen




3 responses to “Good enough?”

  1. Richard Hall says:

    As a fellow obsessive, sorry perfectionist! I can totally empathise with your desire to produce infrequent but excellent blog posts 🙂
    Your point about BC Plans is well made though. Next to a BC Plan that has become dusty shelf-ware, a draft plan not being published and used because you can’t quite decide on which font looks best (or a myriad of other reasons), is not a plan.
    I hate the phrase, but a BC Plan is a ‘living document’, only becomes a plan when it has been exercised and revised to incorporate lessons learnt – and that is an iterative process, it’s only good enough as the last time it was exercised and updated.
    For other readers, FYI I am not the Richard referred to in Andy’s blog – in case you were thinking that Richard had read the blog.

  2. Chris Miller says:

    I always refer to BCP as works in progress with annual senior executive sign off, then we start again. Good enough is always a struggle from one perfectionist to another. Thanks, Andy. Cheers, Chris

  3. Andy says:

    Richard and Chris,

    Thanks, as ever, for you comments. It’s good to know that at least two people agree with me!

    Just to reinforce Richard’s assertion, he’s definitely not the Richard I referred to in my blog.

    There are several differences between the two Richards, aside from the attention to detail thing. One is a significant difference in height (the Richard in my blog is even more vertically challenged than I am!). And I’m pretty sure that the Richard who posted the above comment has never picked a fight with a tattooed-knuckled psychopath in a village store (see “Horses for courses” at https://www.acumen-bcp.co.uk/blog/?p=751) – at least he’s never mentioned it!

    All the best,

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