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Tag Archives: control

There seems to be a growing trend in large organisations towards playing “Pass the Parcel” with responsibility for managing Business Continuity. For those of you not familiar with the children’s party game, a wrapped parcel is passed from child to child with music playing, and when the music stops the child holding the parcel can unwrap the present and keep it.

Business Continuity has always been something that managers put to the bottom of their pile of things to do, but now it appears that those that are being given responsibility for managing Business Continuity are trying to pass that responsibility on as quickly as possible before the music stops. Or in this case, before the incident occurs.

Why is this? Usually, managers are only too keen to extend their areas of responsibility, and are not renowned for handing things on to others. In the case of Business Continuity, it seems that nobody is too keen to add it to their empire.

My take on this is that Business Continuity is a thankless task, and is seen by most managers as a distraction from what they should be doing. Get it right and nobody notices, get it wrong and you’re in serious trouble.

 

Here’s another new idea for business continuity that’s come from a business continuity course that I’m giving. Instead of just having control and escalation procedures to enable communication up and down the chain of command, why not have a special group sitting alongside the strategic, tactical, and operational teams that has the sole job of handling information up and down the command chain?

This group doesn’t replace the chain of command, it supplements it, making sure that information is getting to the right people in a timely manner. I’ve never thought of this before, but it might be something that’s in common practice elsewhere. If it is, does it work, or does it actually start to replace the chain of command and put all communication in the hands of a small group of people? The danger then, of course, is that they become a bottleneck and slow down the flow of vital information. There is also the danger that they could start to censor information, taking on themselves the role of deciding who should get which information.