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Aug 27

Recipe for Recovery: A Cookbook for a Winning Business Continuity Program

Posted by: Linda Laun in DRJ Blogs

Linda Laun

Food is a universal language. So is man’s need to survive. Whether in the business world or the kitchen we need a simple recipe for business continuity success.  In this four part series I’ll introduce you to the four basic courses necessary when cooking up an appetizing and rewarding business continuity program. This week the focus is on doing what’s good for us…exercising and eating our veggies!


Side Dish - Mom always said, “You have to eat your veggies and exercise to stay healthy.” Here are few tips to keeping your BC plan and program healthy!


Oftentimes, we hate doing what’s good for us.  Just like in our personal lives most of us are challenged to regularly exercise and eat healthy. In the workplace, that propensity to skip a meal or eat junk food instead of exercise and eat vegetables is likened to our behavior when it comes to taking care of the most important parts of our BC programs; validating the plan, procedures, strategy and people through regular, thorough and strenuous exercises (or tests). 


So how do you keep your business continuity plans healthy without giving into temptation to skip a test? 



-          A varied menu with long-term priorities

-          Fresh test objectives

-          Completed plans and procedures

-          A bushel of participants, including management, teams, observers, and stakeholders

-          A selection of different types of tests

-          A pinch of humility



1.      Build a long term roadmap with increasing goals that develop over time to continuously challenge your teams.

2.      Mix in goals and objectives that “exercise” the plan and mitigation strategies.

3.      Rotate staff who is less familiar with the plan onto seasoned test teams to help educate and cross train

4.      Include observers and stakeholders (even auditors) where applicable who can add new, helpful perspectives that might have otherwise been overlooked

5.      Vary the type of tests to spice up the exercises

6.      Add a pinch of humility and reduce the heat caused by pass/fail mentalities to ensure issues, problems, and questions are fully baked


Even the most well defined and well executed plan may not adequately protect your business if it has not evolved to address changing risks that arise as your strategy shifts. With solid business continuity and resiliency services, companies can determine their risk factors, build resilience into their business operations and develop an effective business continuity and resiliency strategy.  Evolving your business continuity program is no small feat, but the consequences of having an inadequate program can be devastating to your business operations and to your organization’s reputation. In a fast-changing world, risks—both man-made and natural—are continually driving the need for continuous focus on strategic alignment as a critical key to ongoing success.

Linda Laun has successfully performed every facet of the business continuity and resilience process for many small to large businesses across a wide variety of industries and the globe.  Today Linda is responsible for architecting and continually improving IBM’s Global Business Continuity Management System that helps ensure IBM’s 400,000 employees in 170 countries and 1600 locations are always ready to stay productive and continue to serve their customers. 

Summer is waning. Let’s enjoy our summer vegetables!  This is an easy and simple way to prepare tasty summer squash for the grill or the oven.


2 small zucchini

2 small summer squash

1 medium onion

2 small tomatoes

2 Tbls butter (or margarine)

1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

4 square pieces of tin foil


Slice zucchini, squash and onion into long slices or ½ inch think pieces.

Place handful onto a square of Tin foil.

Dab with butter. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper.

Seal foil making four individual packets.

Place on grill or in 350°oven for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.

Slice tomatoes.

Remove squash from tin foil packets, add tomatoes and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.