Short and sweet
I can’t help feeling that my last blog (“(Bitten to) death in Venice“) was a little on the long side.
Several people told me they enjoyed it, which was great for my ego. But I’m conscious of the fact that we all lead busy lives and don’t necessarily have the luxury of oodles of time at our disposal to read lengthy documents, no matter how much we might want or need to. In fact that’s something I can relate to as I love reading but, what with work, hockey, cricket, chickens, bees, gardening, a (very) long-term home improvement project, the Osborne taxi service, Barney-walking and the occasional strum on an increasingly dusty guitar, I don’t get much time at all to read stuff that I’d like to, as opposed to stuff that I have to (see “Reading and writing“).
Which is why I thought I’d try to make this blog a bit shorter and get to the point sooner; maybe aim for between 300 and 500 words, which is what I understand proper bloggers do. So I’d better cut the waffle and get to the business continuity bit.
I’ve seen a lot of business continuity plans in my time. A few of them are concise, to the point, easy to navigate and, therefore, might actually stand a chance of being used if the need arises.
Many, however, are (at least in my humble opinion) far too long, verbose, poorly structured and make it difficult to pick out the important and useful bits. So I can pretty much guarantee that they won’t be used. Which is a shame. Because a fair amount of effort has probably gone into their creation. And because there is often some useful stuff in there that’s unlikely to be found because it’s so well hidden.
Surely it’s better to keep our plans short and focused; to use bullet points, checklists and diagrams rather than huge tracts of text; to make sure the salient bits are easy to find, rather than buried in a mass of verbiage or irrelevance; in short, to write something that will actually be useful to those who might have to use it.
It’s relatively easy to write a business continuity plan. But it takes considerably more effort to write one that’s succinct and easy to use.
So there it is. A grand total of 410 words. A teeny bit longer than I’d intended, admittedly. But compared to my last blog (1272 words), relatively short and sweet.
Agree? Disagree? Want to share your own thoughts or opinions?
Are my blogs generally too long, too short or about right? Do I need to get to the point quicker or is the odd ramble acceptable? Do you read them all or sometimes not have time?
Post a comment 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 three books ‘Practical Business Continuity Management‘, ‘Risk Management Simplified‘ and ‘Risk Management Made Easy‘, 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