Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Keep It Simple

Albert Einstein is often quoted, possibly spuriously, as having said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. *

Whether or not the quotation is 100% accurate, its sentiment is entirely applicable to the development of our business continuity plans.

Because many plans are overly complicated, confusing, verbose, difficult to navigate or full of superfluous information. Some are all of these things. At the other end of the scale, some plans are simplistic in the extreme, containing little or nothing, other than a few contact details, that’s likely to be of any use in an incident management or business continuity situation.

There is, however, undoubtedly a middle ground that we should strive for. One that results in a business continuity plan that’s concise, easy to follow, action-oriented and which contains the key information – or clear pointers to it – that we’re likely to need in the heat of a major incident, without any unnecessary padding.

Why not take an objective look at your existing plans and see where they fall on the simplicity spectrum? And if they’re anywhere near either extreme, take a leaf out of Mr Einstein’s book and see what you can do to make them as simple as possible – but not simpler.



* It seems that what Albert actually said (in a 1933 lecture. ‘On the Method of Theoretical Physics’) was “It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience”, which someone else paraphrased on the grounds that the original needed to be simplified!