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. Change in inevitable because it’s already happening.