Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Mind the gap

A previous tip touched on the need to validate the assumptions associated with our business continuity strategies and plans.

But it’s not only invalid assumptions that result in gaps in our business continuity capability. Sometimes our chosen strategies just don’t meet the needs of the business; or they fail to consider important elements.

For instance :

  • Have you thought about technology other than IT? – perhaps telephony or manufacturing or test equipment;
  • On the people front, does your strategy address the unavailability of key personnel?;
  • Have you considered how the loss of a critical supplier or a disruption in the supply chain might affect your ability to provide your key products or services?;
  • Does your premises recovery strategy actually give you the capability to house the number of people that your analysis says you need, within the timescales that have been identified and agreed?

This list is by no means exhaustive and the specifics will vary from organisation to organisation. The point is that the strategy, and the solutions that underpin it, probably needs to address a wider range of issues than just IT or workspace recovery. So does yours?

And here’s a suggestion, perhaps not for the faint-hearted. Why not add to the front of your business continuity plan, preferably in big, bold, highlighted letters, something along the lines of “gaps in the strategy” or “risks not addressed”? That way everyone will know that there are gaps that haven’t been plugged and no-one will be under any illusion as to what the strategy actually provides. And, just as importantly, what it doesn’t.