Don’t you just love it when things work exactly as they should? Your car starts first time in the morning, the stuff you ordered arrives right on time and your colleagues deliver exactly what you have asked for. It all feels good – but we take it for granted.

Then there are the times when our expectations are exceeded. We get an unexpected upgrade, someone goes out of their way to impress, or something we have bought turns out to be even better than we imagined.  It all feels special so we are likely to tell others about it.

Often the difference between the two experiences is very small – a gesture, the manner in which a service is delivered or just the desire to provide a good customer experience. Often it is simply about the way something is done. We can probably all cite examples but perhaps airlines are one of the most often discussed. Ryanair, Easyjet and British Airways all satisfy the need to go from A to B but not necessarily with the same style or level of comfort and service. Or perhaps choosing a car, a Kia will get you there, a Mercedes will get you there comfortably and a Bentley will get you there in style. Sure, the price reflects this and there is a market for each offering.

How far do you think you need to go with your Business Continuity Planning? Which sector of the market are you trying to satisfy?

As a minimum, the plans have got to work so do you go for the basic, no frills, cheapest option or do you want the best in class plans with all the extras you can think of and the most elaborate material anyone has ever seen?

A long time ago I worked for an organisation which had reached it’s level of comfort with it’s Business Continuity planning and didn’t want to continue developing the material and capabilities any further. An interesting phrase directing me ‘not to keep polishing the ………..’ well, anyway you know what I mean, effectively drew a line under further improvements.

So, is there a point where we can be accused of over-engineering things? How do we know when good is good enough? If we wait for the next event it might be too late – failure is not an option. As a consequence we keep looking for ways to improve, to close gaps and to build confidence in what we deliver. And surely that has to be the way to go.

Budgets and risk appetites may well, however, determine how far a Business Continuity programme will need to be progressed and I know there are many frustrated practitioners out there who wish they could do more.

I guess we are faced with a dilemma. If we do a good job and everything works as intended we risk being taken for granted. If we go the extra mile we risk getting accused of over engineering. I can’t tell you what you should do – it’s up to you because it all depends on your risk appetite. Do you stop, do you keep going?

If you want to let me know what you decide I’d be interested to hear from you.

March 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm
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Category: Planning
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