Preparing for the Unexpected (July 16/20): COVID-19 and Business Continuity Management

The global Business Continuity Management (BCM) landscape is changing; from supply chain management to disaster response to the effects and impacts of the Covid-19 global pandemic. We talk to internationally recognized BCM industry leader and expert, Patrick (Pat) Corcoran from IBM. Continue reading

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

COVID-19: We’re on the Cusp of BIG Changes!

Well, if you haven’t seen or heard anything related to the Covid-19 disease, you’ve either been living in a cave or on the moon. It’s everywhere. It’s touching every aspect of our lives. It’s changing every aspect of our life and it’s going to change the world going forward. I know that might sound a bit ominous but 1 event can change the world. Continue reading

Covid-19: Did We Learn From SARS?

Well, the Coronavirus has a formal name – Covid-19. Not original by a long shot and even political thoughts went into creating its name (didn’t want to have any regional implications).  Still, we now know what to call it.  The name might be different but it seems our responses should be roughly the same as they were when SARS hit Continue reading

SARS and Coronavirus: Are We Prepared and Did We Learn from SARS?

I have to admit, though health care professionals have stated that the risk is low for any contamination from the Wuhan Coronavirus, I’m still brought back to the days or SARS in 2003 when panic, confusion and fear of the unknown ran rampant. Continue reading

Business Continuity Management: Is the Industry Due for a Change?

There’s an old saying that says “change it the only constant” and that’s true for almost everything in the world.  Our communities change, the kind of car we drive changes, our homes change, our families change, the technology we use changes, our music tastes change (though we do prefer some kind of music over others), so why is it there is so much push back when there is a recommendation – or even just the spark of an idea – to change our Business Continuity/Resiliency Management industry?

In recent years there has been the question about changing the way specific components of a BCM program are managed, in fact, there’s even the suggestion to stop performing the way specific components of a BCM program altogether.  In some circles, this seems to have sparked a firestorm of controversy with some jumping for joy that the scent of a change is in the air, while other BCM professionals and practitioners vehemently promote the same-old same-old way of doing things.  Of course, I’m talking about the Adaptive BCP movement that calls for the removal of the Risks Assessment/Analysis (RA) and Business Impact Analysis (BIA) from the overall BCM core competencies. I’m not going to go into Mark and David’s overall mandate, as that’s for them to discuss in detail, but I do think they raise a great point; the point that it’s time for a change.

Many of us have worked for organizations and clients that have various methods of building, implementing and validating Business Continuity and Technology Recovery Plans, so it’s only natural for those changes – and the reasons for them – to be promoted.  When our day-to-day processes don’t align with the supposed frameworks communicated by various BCM and DR governing bodies, then the reality is that there is a need to consider change.  From a personal perspective, I’ve been to many client sites that want a specific delivery within a specific timeframe – that’s reality – so I have to adapt what the client wants with the way I know how things should be done.  It’s just a fact, that we have to adapt ourselves and our BCM/DR processes to changing expectations of clients, communities and organizations.  Sometimes, that means not performing a specific program component in the same way a governing body would expect.  Sometimes, an organization, community or individual already know the risk or the potential impacts and has asked us – the BCM/DR professional or practitioner – to take the next step of developing contingencies.

That’s the reality, folks!  It DOES happen and programs and program deliverables are still created to the satisfaction and expectations of company executives. So why continue to deny that it doesn’t occur or that by removing a step – or changing the say a BCM program component is done – does not or should not occur?  Change is inevitable. If the Project Management Institute (PMI) can develop the Agile Project Management methodology, then why can’t our current governing bodies accept new ways of performing BCM program components.

Change can be difficult and make us feel as though we aren’t doing what we should, but as long as we get to the expected end-of-the-road deliverable, should it really matter what path we take to get there?  Especially if we understand the risks of doing things differently and we document and/or communicate that risk then we as practitioners and professionals should walk the path best suited to the situation and expectation at hand.

I think the shake-up and change in attitudes and ideas is good for our industry.  It might make some feel uncomfortable but that’s good – it means we are hitting the right notes because it’s getting attention.  If we stay stagnant then we’ll eventually lose our edge and value, as we’ll be seen as inflexible dinosaurs – and you know what happened to them.

The StoneRoad Team

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 (2019-09-26) – Crisis Management w/ Regina Phelps

Join us on 2019-09-26 as we air an encore presentation of one of our most popular shows “Crisis Management: How to Develop a Powerful Program” with Regina Phelps. 

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/115855/encore-crisis-management-how-to-develop-a-powerful-program

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 (Aug 8/19): Preventing and Managing Violence in Organizations

Join us August 8/19, as we talk to Workplace Violence expert and author, Dr. Marc Siegel about how we can prepare and prevent workplace violence.

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/113739/preventing-and-managing-violence-in-organizations

Enjoy!