Business Continuity Tip of the Month

The main thing

When managing the response to an incident or performing business or IT recovery activities, it can be very easy for those involved to get side-tracked from time to time. A new piece of information or a request comes in or a problem rears its head and the team gets diverted from what they were doing and concentrates on this latest issue, even though it might not be the most important. 

All teams involved, whether dealing with emergency response, incident management, business or IT recovery, need clear priorities and direction to enable them to operate effectively.  

The business continuity plan will hopefully contain the ‘default’ priorities, derived from the business impact analysis, although it is perfectly valid for the management team to amend them at the time, to take account of the timing of the incident or the prevailing circumstances. However, once this has been done, all those involved need to clearly understand the agreed priorities to enable them to focus their efforts on them and avoid being sidetracked.  

To quote a learned business continuity practitioner, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing".