They do things differently down there! How do I know this?

There are lots of good international rugby matches going on at the moment so I managed to grab some free time at the weekend to watch Ireland play the New Zealand All Blacks. I always find the different styles of play between northern and southern hemisphere teams fascinating to compare.

In case you missed it the match involved lots of possession (67%), territory (70%) and endeavour (100%) on the part of the Irish. Their efforts were commendable and they surely deserved something to show for it. However, the All Blacks restricted them to just three penalties resulting in a 21 – 9 victory for the visitors.

There has been much written about incidents that go on in games of this level. The stakes are high and the analysis that goes on behind the scenes to work out what is needed to win runs really deep. All aspects of the game are scrutinised and lots of data crunched to establish opponents’ weaknesses and strategies that will prevail. Tactics are developed for all situations and strategies applied for the different phases of a match.

One of the objectives is of course to disrupt the opposition, prevent them from scoring, or if they do score to limit the damage, limit the impact.

So this is how it plays out. Ireland enjoy the possession, gain territory, move forward, try line is in sight, within reach, one more effort, one more effort, one more effort ………penalty! All that work and they get 3 points. It’s progress but they really wanted 7 points. Plus lots of energy has been expended. Equally the All Blacks have just gained 50 metres of territory and are back on the attack by resuming play from the half way line.

Which team feels better? The Irish for getting 3 points or the All Blacks for preventing the additional 4 points?

My interpretation to this situation is that someone ‘down under’ has worked out how best to manage and contain the threat. They have accepted a degree of impact but limited it to within a certain tolerance i.e. 3 points rather than 7.

Meanwhile, back at work. Do we apply such a strategy to our Business Continuity Planning?

The fact is there are some situations where organisations could accept the hit, soak up the impact, but still come out of the situation on the upside. It’s all about tolerance.

For instance, if the cost of compensation, or cost of penalties for service breaches is less than the cost of the solution that would be required to zero the impact, it surely makes commercial sense to apply some risk acceptance. Acceptance of the disruption and the penalties then becomes part of the Business Continuity strategy provided it is well managed.

We are encouraged to think about maximum tolerable periods of disruption but we must remember this is not the only consideration. It’s not just about the time, it’s about managing the impact too – how great does the impact have to be before it becomes intolerable or goes beyond the organisations risk appetite. In other words when do the Business Continuity solutions need to kick in?

Remember, the organisation may accept a 3 point hit but demand defences strong enough to prevent a 7 point hit so get your plans and players in place.

Perhaps now is a good time to go back and check your organisations Business Impact Analysis to ensure it provides a good understanding of the level of impact across a range of timescales.

If you need any help with any of the points highlighted above please contact me to discuss.

Next up, France get their chance to take on New Zealand. Enjoy.