Delving into Business Continuity Management
Unfortunately the only way to get anything done is to have friends in high places as executive commitment is a must. Without it you will be swimming against the tide. People are far more willing to help if it has executive approval. I have managed many projects in my time in IT, Web and Multi-Media Development all have which have required the participition from other people who are far too busy to help as they have their own deadlines to meet, but with a little weight from the guys above it is like Moses and the Red Sea.
I am a big believer in the management of process, understanding how people work and what needs to be put in place for them to be effective. This is good grounding when looking at Business Continuity Management. Working within the Prince2 framework at the end and beginning of the project you have the Lessons Learned Report which we read to understand how previous projects where undertook and we write so that the next project manager can learn from what we got right and what we got wrong. In Business Continuity Management, it is more like a fire drill, except we are not just practicing evacuation from a fire, but a much wider scope of disasters that could happen; you could say it is part of our insurance policy. Like a fire drill we need to create plans on what if scenarios, planning what people will do, who will be in charge and who will need to be contacted. Careful planning has to be undertaken with elements of Business Continuity Management which will ultimately become part of the ongoing process.
Thinking about Business Continuity management is nothing new really, many business already have in place staff who are responsible for first aid and those who manages the evacuations of buildings when there is a fire; theses duties are already part of people’s day to day lives so all we are doing is taking it to the next level and following the same process of ensuring people are thoroughly trained so that in the event of a disaster they will instinctively know what to do. Andy Osborne wrote a very good book “Practical Business Continuity Management” which inspired this article, wrote that he believed that:
“It is preferable to get these activities into their job specifications and objectives so that they form part of the appraisal and bonus system, people will have an invested interest in making sure they actually do them.”
This in my opinion this is sound advice.