Business Continuity Tip of the Month

One careful owner?

All too often, some lucky person is given the task of implementing a business continuity plan for their organisation only to find out later that, unbeknown to them, someone already had a go two or three years ago and there’s an out of date plan languishing in someone’s office. Amazingly, it sometimes turns out that this is the third or fourth attempt, but that no-one seemed to know about the previous efforts. Why is this?

The answer can often be summed up in one word – “ownership”. The task of producing a business continuity plan was given to someone as a project, which they duly did, ticked the box and moved on. But no-one ever took ownership of said plan and, as a result, it never got looked at again, let alone updated or tested. The end result is a complete waste of time and effort, and little or no benefit to the organisation in terms of its resilience.
If business continuity management is to be successful, ownership is essential. And not only ownership in terms of one person having overall responsibility, but ownership in terms of people seeing it as something important that they play an active part in maintaining, exercising and testing.

To be truly successful, business continuity management has to move on from the initial project to become an ongoing process; something that’s seen as part of people’s normal jobs, rather than something that someone else in the organisation does.

So what would you rather have, an effective plan that’s kept up to date, that people know about and that has a fighting chance of actually working, or something that’s left to gather dust and results in a huge amount of effort in reinventing the wheel every few years?