A couple of friends reminded me at the weekend that I hadn’t published an article recently. They are not even involved in, or interested in the topic but it’s great that they have missed me! I know, it’s been a while, sorry about that.

So here goes …..

You’ve got favourite music and songs haven’t you? You’ve listened to them, yes? You’ve really listened to them, right? I mean, really listened?

I often choose a playlist to put on when I am doing other things – work, DIY, household chores, driving in the car, etc. Under such conditions I hear the music but I am concentrating on something else so I am hearing, not listening. When I was on holiday a while ago I had the opportunity to enjoy some time actually listening to my playlists with the benefit of my new noise cancelling headphones. Really listening. What a difference! I discovered there is so much more in every track.

The thing I noticed right away was just how many other aspects of each track I had not appreciated were there. All sorts of melodies, vocals and hidden lyrics that I was previously unaware of. I was astounded. It made me appreciate how much work goes into making each track. There are so many elements that make up the overall output and yet unless we really seek them out we are not even aware of them. Try it with a few of your favourites and you will see what I mean.

So let’s get down to business.

I find the same is true of many topics and disciplines, observers can fall into the trap of assuming the final output, the final artefact, is the sole element. Sometimes one has to delve a little deeper to fully understand and appreciate the methodology leading to the output.

It is no good building a house without foundations.

When I produce Business Continuity Plans – those of you that have worked with me will know the ‘simple and effective’ style I adopt – the uninformed may think there’s not much to them. But behind every plan is a sequence of essential activities that form the approach to creating the plans. Unless these activities or stages are completed correctly the final output i.e. the plan, will not be effective and will not fulfil its’ purpose. The plan is a summation of underlying capabilities.

The activities that go into developing effective Business Continuity Plans are in some ways like the extra melodies, vocals and hidden lyrics that go unnoticed or unappreciated. They get overlooked unless someone decides to seek them out, takes time to listen. The problem is that people don’t always know what they are looking for and fall into the trap of assuming the only effort required in developing a Business Continuity Plan is a couple of hours filling in names and numbers to a template.

There have been a number of situations in my career where I have had to explain the various steps and elements that make up Business Continuity Planning. As with most things in life, the outputs are only as good as the process used to deliver them. Moreover there are usually a number of outputs required, not just the Business Continuity Plan itself.

By way of further illustration my work often requires me to respond to audit enquiries. These are interesting from the point of view that a quick read of the auditor’s questions tells me whether they have been prepared by a subject matter expert or not. It is actually quite refreshing to receive an audit which is targeted at understanding the Business Continuity approach within the organisation – someone’s listening – rather than auditors who simply want to tick off a checklist of documents without understanding any substance behind them – a note for auditors, anyone can produce a fancy looking plan!

As professional Business Continuity Planners we have to be like musicians and ensure all the necessary pieces are included, even if folk don’t listen properly to appreciate them. It can be a thankless task, but we ourselves will at least know that the details are there, just waiting for the day when someone really listens.

If you feel your Business Continuity music is missing something to make it sound right get in contact with me and I will be happy to help.

December 2, 2018 at 6:10 pm
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Category: Business Continuity, Planning
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