Business continuity management, in its various guises, has been around for some time now. Long enough for a whole industry to have grown up around it. There are oodles of useful products and services available these days to help us ensure the continuity of our businesses. IT and telephony recovery solutions, emergency accommodation, crisis communication tools, transport, salvage and restoration services – the list goes on.
As an industry, it’s fair to say that we generally do the physical infrastructure and facilities stuff pretty well now. Where we’re usually not so hot, however, is on the people side.
We often spend huge amounts of time and money on implementing and testing our various technical recovery solutions, but as often as not we pay little or no attention to the human aspects of business continuity management.
For instance, we make massive assumptions about what people will be willing and able to do following some sort of ‘disaster’. Like the fact that they’ll happily relocate at a moment’s notice and work normally in some unfamiliar, far-flung location for weeks on end. Whilst we might consider how to physically get them there, we usually give scant consideration to the practical or personal issues or the emotional or psychological impacts that might arise.
Worse still, we seldom challenge or validate those potentially flawed assumptions, either by research or testing or, God forbid, by actually discussing them with the people concerned.
If all this sounds uncomfortably familiar, perhaps now is the time to shift the focus a little bit and start giving those people issues the consideration that they deserve.