BCM / DR: A Single Solution for Everyone?

What if there was only a single BCM/DR methodology that all organizations would follow? Would it be able to address the specific concerns of particular industries or generalize to the point where it adds no value? Would it be able to address all situations, all possible scenarios and all industries in all countries? How could any single methodology address every situation and every minute detail; taking into account language interpretation, definitions and culture? Could it be done?

If everything was the same and the same perspectives were leveraged it would make sense for what satisfies the needs of a manufacturer to use the same rationale that suits an insurance company. But that is impossible isn’t it? There are other concerns for a manufacturer has that an insurance company wouldn’t. That’s like saying what is good for one person is good for another. Well, we know that’s not correct because we are all individuals with our own wants, needs, desires…and dislikes.

There are thousands upon thousands of organizations in the world, so how can we ever expect that each of these will need the exact same BCM/DR solution or framework? We can’t.

This is a reason why there are multiple standards, guidelines and methodologies to reference. Each will provide an aspect that may not be covered by a competing standard or guideline but each – in its own way – will help raise the level of knowledge, skill, professionalism and BCM/DR involvement for every line of business (LOB). Some will focus on the basic BCM/DR framework while others will add a risk view point and still others may contain a more technical slant. Either way, each standard will provide value…you’ve just got to know where to look for it.

For a good program to work, it does have to meet the needs of the organization itself, not the needs of any one particular methodology. I’ve found the best approach has been to draw what works from multiple sources – multiple standards, guidelines and methodologies – to come up with what works best. It’s like musicians, when they write music they are inspired and influences by the music that came before – jazz, rock ’n’ roll, classical etc. Take all the components that work and then pull them together to create your own BCM/DR program; one what works for you. If you follow a set path and wear blinders, avoiding the benefits of other BCM / DR sources, you may miss something that could provide you value and enhance your program, plans and processes.

Wold a single solution – one standard – for all organizations work? Probably not. It might cover some basics that cross lines of business but there would need to be – must be – a review of other standards and sources of information to ensure that all perspectives are addressed and all ideas for creating, maintaining and validating a BCM / DR program and considered to create the best possible fit-for-purpose program.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that a single methodology or solution will meet your needs. No single car meets the needs of every person so no single BCM / DR solution, practice, guideline, standard or methodology is going to meet the needs of every organization. Do your homework and review the standards and adopt what’s best for you.

© StoneRoad 2013
A.Alex Fullick has over 17 years experience working in Business Continuity and is the author of numerous books, including “Heads in the Sand” and “BIA: Building the Foundation for a Strong Business Continuity Program.”

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