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You don't need a business continuity program to be in business. You only need a business continuity program to be in business AFTER a disaster. PLEASE feel free to add comments and questions so we can mutually grow in the knowledge of our profession.
Apr 29
2013

Re: A Bumpy Landing - Quite Timely

Posted by Gregg Jacobsen in Untagged 

Gregg Jacobsen

Andy Osborne's blog from last week was truly timely: I've just been assigned a new task by my boss: Take a recovery management plan done for one company site, and sinter it down into a suitable "template" for other "small" company sites.  The task has already shown indications of Andy's experience: the work done by predecessors causing more work.  It's not that wrong things were written, but the document doesn't "flow" like a plan should.  I beieve a "plan" is like a recipe, only longer and without the rewarding aroma to savor at the end.  ;-)

Of the many kinds of plans I've seen over my years in this profession, few really read like a recipe, rather more like a cross between a dictionary with a mixture of random essays.  No flow.  But this time, I feel much better about the prospects, because the plan I'm to use as the starting point has, on one of the early pages after the Table of Contents, a FLOW CHART!!!  It has been my contention since my earliest months in this business, that recovery is a process, meaning it must flow - start at Square One and start marching until you're done.

Perhaps, if you've found yourslef feeling like your plan lacks something, maybe it needs some improvement in its flow.  Developing recovery plans can't (easily) effect a timely recovery without flow, because no matter how many people you throw at the disruption, the lack of flow will have them bumping into one another.

Apr 18
2013

Succession Planning in the BCP Arena - How Deep to Drill?

Posted by Gregg Jacobsen in Untagged 

Gregg Jacobsen

When executives talk about succession planning, they mainly limit the discussion to C-level staff (themselves) and who should succeed them if one (or more) of them get hit by the proverbial beer truck.  Real worst case scenarios of the past include almost the entire executive staff of a major company in a car that was hit by a train.  But that kind oif event is truly rare, and some companies still limit how many execs are "allowed" on the same flight itineraries.  But sucession planning limited to such a small group of the enterprise population really belies a failure to understand what the BIA data should be telling them.

In a prior life, I was a Quality Project Manager in the defense industry.  When the Cold War ended, my company was nearing the end of a huge contract, and announced a "golden parachute plan" for staff nearing retirement age.  Among the most motivated takers was an engineer who designed a highly successful system used on Navy warships.  He was also, however, the only person who fully understood the detailed architecture of the system and the antiquated programming language that was still running those systems, more than 20 years old.  And the Navy was buying more of them.  Engineering and Program Management executives realized they need this guy arround, but they couldn't just deny him the retirement package.  So, they made him a lucrative offer to keep him around long enough to capture his genius on paper. 
But that was an anomaly: few comapnies ever take a serious look at epople below their immediate reports.  And that is a serious mistake.  Companies, especially large and growing ones, have people who are running some process or operation that only they know how to run efficiently and/or properly.  They probably don't think of themselves as irreplacable, but then, niether do thier bosses.  That thinking needs to change: go back to the BIA data and see if it includes the names of people wo are deemed "critical."  If not, perhaps it's a good time to scrutinize the BIAs and find those for the most critical processes, especially those that drive the revenue stream, customer satisfaction, and stakeholder and stockholder confidence.  Then start looking at strategies to prtect against their loss, just like they were a mainframe running the financials.

Apr 16
2013

Hindsight: The Perfect Science

Posted by Gregg Jacobsen in Untagged 

Gregg Jacobsen

In the wake of the horrific bombing in Boston yesterday, there have been no "claims of responsibility" by a terrorist group, but it is highly likely the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have a few in mind they "like for it."  So does everyone else, but from the viewpoint of our profession, a so-called "random act of violence," that is, one that's not expected in any way, is not easy to anticipate.  Why the Boston Marathon?  An easy target: open streets filled with potential victims.  But unlike many bombings, there was no "warning shot" - an anonymous caller saying "something bad is going to happen." 
Perhaps the only thing that could have helped was more "feet on the ground" - police and undercover law enforcement - keeping their eyes out for the person carrying a suitcase of backpack who casually sets it down near the sidewalk or curb amid the crowds near the finish line.  That might have helped, but then, that's just hindsight.  But if and when we do learn who the perpetrator(s) was, it still won't undo the mayhem, BUT we may learn more about how we might have been better prepared.  And that's a good thing.

Feb 22
2013

Alas, Poor Discussion Board, I knew ye well...

Posted by Gregg Jacobsen in Untagged 

Gregg Jacobsen

I must admit to having strong feelings of loss, having just discovered the DRJ discussion Board, which many of my virtual colleagues and I offered our collective experience and thoughts to new practitioners of our profession, is now gone, quite apparently due to its replacement by this Blog, but also the DRJ LinkedIn site.  Apparently, it was a victim of being overcome by advancing technology, not to mention some ill-intended hackers who bedeviled Bob with their mischief.  Truly a pity that such people are out there, trying to ruin utterly useful efforts to facilitate the sharing of knowledge.

Now, my colleagues and I have taken to the LinkedIn groups most focused on our respective areas of practice.  I am planning to join John in retirement not long from now.  Howard never seems to run out of disasters to help mop up after, and keeps him busy.  For the moment, I'm just looking for that "one last gig" - a nice project to put a little parting bump in the income column.