BCM Plans and Program Development: Later is Now

Hmm, I posted this the other day but for some reason it doesn’t show as being available to you.  So, here I go again – my contengency.  😉


Would you believe, I thought of this while listening to the new DEVO CD, “Something for Everybody.”  Isn’t it strange where BCM/DR/BCP/ERM thoughts can come from?   Still, there is a song on the CD called “Later is Now” and it got me thinking about why some organizations seem to put the planning and development of a BCM program on the backburner and delay it to another time or even why it just drops of the radar and priority list altogether. 

We all know that it’s a matter of when for a disaster or crisis, not a case of if – as many believe.  It’s that, “It only happens to others,” mentality.  Arrgghhh!!!  I’ve seen people on their bicycles hit by cars – or come close to it – so why wouldn’t I think it can’t happen to me?  Even if I am a great cyclist…cough.

A disaster will occur at some point in the future, whether it be an hour, day, week, month, year or multiple years.  It will still occur at some point; later.  But if a disaster will occur later and corporations put off their planning until later, isn’t that just playing Russian Roulette?  At some point the two are going to come together and guess what?  You won’t be prepared for what is about to take place – or what you need to respond appropriately to the situation. 

BCM always – I really shouldn’t generalize like that – but often gets pushed back because it’s not a revenue generator.  If that happens, maybe the BCM practitioner (or the sponsor) hasn’t made a good enough case for why a corporation should have a BCM program in place.  Of course, there’s always the fun “check box” approach to building plans.  Some one just asks if they have a plan and someone else responds with a ‘yes’ it’s ticked as being completed, even though nothing has been developed, documented or validated.  It simply resides (the plans and ideas that is) in the minds of a few people who think they know what to do.  Hhmmm, wonder if they take some super human pill that gives them all seeing power?

It reminds me of someone who buys a great car; it’s second hand but it’s good none-the-less.  Insurance isn’t bad and other maintenance costs are manageable.  Sounds good then, doesn’t it?  Well, the person cleans up the car, puts in a new interior, rebuilds the engine so the car now becomes a ‘hot rod’ and puts wheels and rims on the thing that rival the cost of some mortgage payments.  It’s the envy of everyone who sees it. 

Suddenly, they’re in an accident or it gets stolen and then they find out the insurance coverage is only good for the original price of the car, not this new spangled hot rod that it became.  They didn’t upgrade the insurance as the car increased in value.  Their contingency plan didn’t keep pace with the actual investment being put into the car. 

For an organization, it’s like building your company and building new lines of business and facilities but only ever having a plan – or an idea of a plan – that resembles the corporation prior to its expansion and increase in size, complexity and dependencies. 

Now also provides a glimpse into Later by way of early warning signs.  Early warning signs often get ignored as not being anything of consequence.  That little hiccup in connectivity to the bank was just a freak thing and won’t happen again. How many times have you heard that one?  That little hiccup was your IT infrastructure ‘ghost’ letting you know that something bigger might happen later on.  Something small happened now, but just wait ‘til later.  Instead of paying attention to it, corporations will ignore it and move forward with the assumption nothing will occur.  Or if it does, it’ll be much later and won’t have an impact on us now.  Well, I can see that point but ignoring now will have an impact on later.

The best time to start a program has already passed you by – assuming you don’t have one that is.  The worst time to start to build a program is some unknown time in the future; later.  You can’t control the future or have any idea of what can happen – even mystics can’t get it right all the time.  A crystal ball can have a crack in it.  😉  And it’s the future when something is going to occur.  So, the only time we have to start developing a good BCM program that meets our corporate need is now.  Now, is all we have.  In other words, that later  some talk about building plans should be now; later is now. 

 “Later is now / sooner or later / everything comes around” (M. Mothersbaugh, Gerald V. Casale)


The new book by StoneRoad founder, A.Alex Fullick, MBCI, CBCP, CBRA, ITILv3, “Heads in the Sand: What Stops Corporations From Seeing Business Continuity as a Social Responsibility.”  Available at www.stone-road.com **


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