In life you always hear the old saying, "the only thing in life that is guaranteed is death and taxes." In listening to our keynote speaker at Spring World 2011, I would have to add something else to this list: change! Change is a constant thing in life. Whether it is in your personal life or professional life, change is always present. Change is everywhere. How we accept and adapt to this change is key to how effective we are as business continuity planners.
In the more than 20 years I have been involved in this profession, I have seen the profession progress to an incredibly important role within every organization. The skill sets required to adequately investigate risks, research the impacts of these risks and methodically implement solutions (changes) to reduce or eliminate these risk is a task not many can succeed at. That is why adaption is such a key requirement to being an effective business continuity planner.
Again quoting the keynote speaker, how many of us go to work on Monday morning and ask how we can help our co-workers and external partners do their jobs? How many of us constantly say thank you to those who have helped us complete a task or build a better organization? As BC planners, we must do just this! We need everyone we deal with directly or indirectly to buy into our program in order for it to be effective in a time of crisis.
We also must maintain a positive relationship with others to ensure we constantly record change in processes, applications, and systems that would alter our continuity program. The best way to maintain great relationships is to lead by example. We all need to show that we are acceptable to change and have the willingness to adapt to the needs of others in order to provide betterment for both sides of the working partnership.
While strong partnerships are very important, it is also important to build your personal strengths. The change that constantly occurs must be dealt with effectively in order for planners to properly do their job.
Planners need to arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to manage their programs and its risks associated with it. This means attending industry events, networking with local groups/peers, gaining education and, of course, reading publications like this one.
Some planners in the industry also look to certifications to ensure we are utilizing the best practices and standards set by years of knowledge. Whether these certifications are for the organization (ISO, BS25999, PS-Prep) or for a planner personally, each option has to be studied carefully and we must accept the changes these programs may bring.
Many of these certifying bodies argue to be the true standard but these debates will continue to rage on forever. There will always be another standard or another certification to investigate. The trick is to find the program that will meet the changes in your organization.
I hope that as planners we all will consider how change affects our role and our organization. It is extremely important to maintain positive relationships with everyone and utilize our skill sets to properly gauge what is best for your organization. The only thing we must agree upon though is that things will change!
This issue of Disaster Recovery Journal was so close to press time after the Japan disaster we id not cover it in the printed magazine. Our website (www.drj.com) has featured a series of special reports in the hours and days after the initial earthquake and continues to be a hub of information. We hope to bring exclusive coverage from Japan in our next issue.