BCM/DR & Covid-19: The Rush is On!

All around me I see people focused on Covid-019 and as it’s such a major aspect, incident and focus in today’s world, that’s not surprising. The amount of impact a tiny virus cell has had on the world is incredible. Who ever said the small things don’t matter, obviously didn’t know anything about diseases and pandemics.  

The rush seems to be on to update plans? Seriously? Where was the updating over the last few years? Have BCM/DR practitioners forgotten that updating and maintaining plans and programs is a key aspect of the entire industry? It’s not a one-time thing, which seems to be the practices right now Anyone that comes out and says they are updating their plan now that the Covid-19 pandemic is here was not updating their plan prior to the outbreak.  I don’t get it!  Why weren’t we doing it? Did we become complacent and just not think that maintenance was necessary; that a one-time plan development was good enough?! Or that once we had a plan and did some sort of test/exercise, which probably entailed more planning than the actual development of the plan itself – was good enough.  Sorry, that’s just not going to cut it.

Why?

Why did we become so complacent and not maintain our plans? Some have kept them up to date, as you see blogs and posts on social media sites stating they they’re following their plans and protocols but they seem to be either less than or equal to, the number of those that didn’t maintain their plans. If they weren’t maintaining their pandemic plans (aka People Availability Plans), I’m curious to know just what plans or parts of the BCM program were being updated.  Call trees? Crisis Management Team (CMT) contact information? The IT Technology Recovery Plan (ITTRP) / IT Disaster Recovery Plan (ITDRP). What has been maintained?

There’s a gap with support too, because obviously executives don’t know what they’re doing for the most part and many are stating they were hit with the Covid-19 pandemic disaster by surprise.  BULLCRAP!!  We saw things coming weeks ago, as the virus began to spread from China to Japan and South Korea and then to other areas. We got the head’s up it was coming but sat by believing it ‘wouldn’t touch us’.  Well, they were wrong.
Now the rush seems to be on to ‘mitigate’ and impact but the impact is already here, so they are actually responding to Covid-19.  A few week’s ago organizations may have been able to get away with saying they were performing mitigation activities but they can’t now; they’re responding.

Perhaps it’s a way of telling themselves that they aren’t in any way responsible for what’s happening, so they can blame someone else down the road for not being prepared. Saying they are implementing mitigation plans isn’t really true at all; they just don’t want to admit they fell behind. Hence the rush to get a response in place; any response to help with where they are and how they’ve been impacted.

Alex

BCM: Track Your Incidents for Program Maintenance!

When we think of crises or disasters, we seem to immediately go to the big ticket situations; fires, hurricane’s, floods and pandemics. We tend not to think of the smaller mundane crises Continue reading

BCM / DR Programs: Why Do We Think A Program Will Maintain Itself?

Hello,

Happy New Year to one and all!  2020 is shaping up to be quite the year for me and I hope it is for you too.

I first have to apologize for not having been more diligent in writing and promoting my show on the VoiceAmerica Radio Network (‘Preparing for the Unexpected’), as I’ve just been so busy.  But I decided I should get back to writing and posting here, even if it’s something short. So without further adieu, my first blog of 2020.

Alex

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Lately, I’ve noticed that some of the talk about BCM / DR programs and their maintenance don’t seem to align. There is so much talk about ensuring programs are developed and that plans are in place and then validated through exercising/testing but then that only gets followed up with the comment; ‘These should be maintained’.  And that’s it.  I’ve noticed it in articles, blogs and when speaking to people.  It’s as though there is something wrong with talking about how to maintain a program or there’s a lack of experience with developing the maintenance processes.

I’m not sure why the talk on this subject something trails off into other topics or why it tends to often be quickly references and then the topic moves in another direction. Are we not familiar with how this is supposed to be accomplished? Let’s face it, there is so much discussion about building programs and exercising plans and processes that maintaining it after the fact seems to fade away.

There might a couple of reasons for why the topic tends to fade away and only come back into the conversation after a disaster/crisis/operational interruption occurs.

  1. Quite often, contractors and consultants are hired to build programs – especially the RA, BIA, BCP development, tests etc., and when those are complete, they leave because the engagement is completed.
  2. When the high-priced consultants and contractors are gone, Executives begin to loose interest because the regular requests for support and status updates slow down or stop all together.
  3. When the contractors/consultants leave, the program is handed off to someone who doesn’t have the full breadth and knowledge of the program and are only assigned to it for 50% of their time.  So it doesn’t get the focus it needs. So they don’t end up providing the updates required for Executives (#2 above) , which causes Exec’s to loose interest and it drops off their radar.

There’s lots of focus on the creation and validation of BCM/DR/Resilience programs but I think some more attention, research and methods to keep programs updated and maintained, needs to be done.

 

© StoneRoad 2020

A.Alex Fullick has over 21 years’ experience working in Business Continuity and is the author of numerous books, including “Watch Your Step”, “BIA: Building the Foundation for a Strong Business Continuity Program” and Testing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans

 

Perparing for the Unexpected (2019-10-31): Mastering BCM w/ Dr. Michael Redmond

Join us on October 31/19, as we talk with author and internationally recognized Business Continuity Management expert Dr. Michael C Redmond.  It’s sure to be an eye-opener and we also talk about her thoughts on the Adaptive BCP movement.

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/117011/mastering-business-continuity-management

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

Preparing for the Unexpected (2019-09-05): The Soulful Leader

Join us 2019-09-05 as we talk to author and clinical psychologist Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli about how our Crisis Leaders can become Soulful Leaders.  

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/115529/the-soulful-leader

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

Preparing for the Unexpected (2019-08-29): Managing BCM Projects in Trouble

Join us on 2019-08-29 as we talk with Project Management and BCM/DR expert, Ralph Kliem about how we can turn our failing resiliency/BCM programs around.  

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/115321/managing-projects-in-trouble

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

BCM PROGRAMS: It’s NOT a One-Time Thing!

When organizations build a Business Continuity management (BMC), Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) or whatever name you want to give the program, quite often they fail to communicate a specific aspect of BCM to their sponsors and executive management: BCM is not a onetime thing.  It’s not a single goal to reach and then it’s over.  It’s not final when you’ve tested a plan and put the plan on the shelf (or saved the plans in an online application).

It’s ongoing.

It’s cyclical.  Yes, that’s right – cyclical.  That’s because for the most part any methodology you leverage to build your plans, protocols, processes, teams and programs, will fit into – one way or another – the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) framework developed by W. Edward Deming.  I won’t go into detail the overall cycle in this blog (maybe some other time) but one way or another what you’re doing to create your program is the PDCA cycle.

The cycle is a wheel, which continues round and round and if that’s the case then how could creating and especially the maintenance and review of a BCM/DR program be a onetime thing?  It can’t. This is what executives fail to either understand or aren’t told, which is why later on down the road people – especially executives, begin to question why BCM/DR activities continue after they believe the program (and its deliverables) have been established.  They fail to understand and practitioners fail all too often, to explain that BCM/DR is continuous and not a onetime project.  It’s an operationalized program (hopefully), which needs ongoing support, review and maintenance.

This really needs to be communicated up front when you first start putting you program together.  You may not know the full extent of when, who or how the program will be maintained but when you start your planning you’ve got to communicate that it’s something that’s ongoing.  You may deliver the Finance BCP plan but you’ve got to communicate that it will need to be reviewed annually (at least) for updates, as well as other program components and findings.  Organizational Changes, IT Changes and personal changes will require the continued maintenance and review of strategies and plans otherwise plans – and the program overall – won’t address the needs of the organization.

So the next time you’re talking to you program sponsor or providing an update to executives, make sure they are aware that the program is ongoing and needs continue support and resources.  Then they need to ensure that support exists in all areas and that all areas continue to support and provide updates when required.  It’s not over when the BCP or IT DRP is documented.  The program needs to move in step with the organization.

© StoneRoad 2018

A.Alex Fullick has over 21 years’ experience working in Business Continuity and is the author of numerous books, including “Watch Your Step”, “BIA: Building the Foundation for a Strong Business Continuity Program.”and Testing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans.”

Preparing for the Unexpected (Mar 28/19) – BCM Program Trends: What the Most Successful Programs are Doing!

Our March 28/19 show focuses on another of our most popular shows – BCM Program Trends: What the Most Successful Programs are Doing! with Cheyenne Marling. 

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/110847/encore-bcm-program-trends-what-the-most-successful-programs-are-doing

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

 

Preparing for the Unexpected: LIVE @ DRJ Fall 2018 (Sep 24/18)!!

For anyone that may have missed it during our aired episodes of Preparing for the Unexpected with host, Alex Fullick on the VoiceAmerica radio network, this is just a reminder that we’re broadcasting LIVE from the Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ) Fall 2018 conference in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday, September 24/18 from 11am (PST) to 5pm (PST). 

VoiceAmerica Live Event Page

We’ll be talking to conference speakers/presenters and attendees alike about all things Business Continuity, Disaster Planning, Resilience, Crisis Management and any other subject we happen to come across.

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

fullick-Promo-Variety

Preparing for the Unexpected (Sept 6/18): How BCM and DR Programs Address Our Fears (Part 2)

Our Sep 6/18 episode is Par 2 of How BCM and DR Programs address our fears.

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/108897/how-bcm-and-dr-programs-address-our-fears-part-2

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team