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Summer Journal

Volume 31, Issue 2

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The business continuity planning universe, many new planners have been told to explore and conquer, may seem like vast, dark, threatening, and lonely place. Time/resource constraints, a confusing array of acronyms, methodologies, products, services, and vendors, all contribute to the disorientation. If you feel you are adrift in this vast ocean, do not despair you are not alone!
As budgets are tightened, getting the training or help needed to build or advance your business continuity program may be increasingly difficult. There are, however, a wide variety of resources available to novice and experienced business continuity planners. Just what options are available to you, and what are the benefits of each. What I offer is hardly exhaustive, but may provide options you may have overlooked or previously discarded, and may deserve reconsideration.
The Resources
  • Online journals are readily available, free or low cost, and may provide online blogs, Webinars, or other resources that facilitate answers to specific questions. The DRJ Editorial Advisory Board, for example responds to blog/forum posts and specific questions submitted by other professionals.
  • Professional journals and periodicals may also be free or relatively inexpensive. These are good sources of information on a wide variety of topics for our profession and may provide industry specific information.
  • Professional peer groups range from free to expensive, but provide the ability to network with professionals across all experience levels. Many are local or regional making access to meetings affordable. Of particular value is the ability to network and connect with others with similar issues who will share their solutions, experiences and lessons learned. Some professional peer groups also host blogs or information sharing tools, and may also host local or regional conferences or training.
  • Certifying organizations offer a variety of professional training focused on achieving or maintaining professional certifications and professional growth. These organizations promote industry/professional standards and best practices, which are often posted on their websites.
  • Professional or industry conferences, like DRJ, provide the opportunity to network with other professionals from across a much wider spectrum of industries and experience and the learning opportunities from workshops, sessions, and vendors is likely to be greater than available at local or regional professional peer group conferences. Vendor exhibits at larger industry conferences provide information and demonstrations of products, services, and solutions that are unlikely to be easily available elsewhere.
  • Consultants may also be a source of information and experience on a wide variety of topics and issues within an industry.

David A. Shimberg, CBCP, is business continuity and disaster recovery manager at Premier, Inc., a hospital performance improvement alliance with 1,700 participating not-for-profit hospitals and health systems serving communities nationwide. He is currently board chairman of CPAC, chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg All Hazards Advisory Committee, and a member of the Disaster Recovery Journal Editorial Advisory Board.

Editorial Advisory Board members at Fall World 2009 include: Ken Schroeder, Peter Laz, Dave Shimberg, Martin Myers, Sue Simpson, Michele Turner, Yvonne Lewis, Sue Kerr, Kathleen Aris, Frank Lady, Dave Ziev, Rob Giffin, and Lisa Smallwood.