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As a Business Continuity professional, I was very disappointed to learn the other day that a major international organisation has publicly denied that it has a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for the only product that it provides. Every other major international organisation that I come across is very proud of the fact that they have put in place measures to protect their product and services, and hence the interests of their stakeholders, by developing and maintaining effective BCPs.

And who is this organisation? None other than the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC’s vice president John Coates described Rio’s planning as “the worst I have experienced”, and although the IOC has formed an emergency task force in a bid to bring Rio up to speed, he has denied reports in the London Evening Standard that London organisers had been contacted to see if the facilities built for the successful 2012 Games could be used again in two years’ time should the Brazilian city fail to reach its construction deadlines. “There’s absolutely no plan B,” he said. “There’s just absolutely no alternative of going back to another city. We’ll work through this and we’ll get to Brazil.”

Who needs Business Continuity eh? Just tell everyone that it won’t happen, and if it does, just work the the problems as they arise and carry on regardless.



  1. Interesting take from the Evening Standard but slightly mis-informed. As part of the bid each host city agrees to be the Plan B back up for the future host city for example London backs up Rio as did Beijing back up London and Athens backed up Beijing and so on. The temporary venues and overlay take about a year to deliver so the “go, no-go” decision on Rio will be taken in mid 2015 although it will almost certainly be a “go” and never before has the previous city Plan B been invoked by the IOC. The IOC specified business continuity and crisis management for the first time at London 2012 and part of the legacy of the success of the 2012 games has been the sharing of experiences. Lessons learned documents and indeed about 20% of the London 2012 workforce will be in Rio. From a reputation perspective invariably the press are hostile to the Games and the Host City once the shine has worn off winning the bid until about a year before when the press, public and international audience gets more confidence and supportive of the Games. We will hear many horror stories about Rio in 2014 but I have ever confidence by 2016 Rio will be ready and they will host a magnificent Games… almost as good as London 🙂

    • Thanks Andy, your comment is what I would have expected. The previous venue is the backup, and a go/no go decision taken about a year before the event. Did the Evening Standard get this wrong, or did the IOC pretend that there was no plan B?

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