Patrick Cunningham Civil Protection
 
 

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Business Continuity Plan Writing

If you’re the person responsible for creating your organisation’s business continuity plans then you are also the person responsible for making sure that the staff of your organisation are properly engaged in the process. The best way to do this is to cut out all of the business continuity jargon (that’s for us geeks) that gets in the way, and instead use simple English that people understand.

Just because BS25999 refers to, for example, such superhero-like phrases as Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption and Recovery Time Objectives (I’m scared already) doesn’t mean that you have to bore and confuse the staff of your organisation with them. You know what these phrases mean, and you’ll get your plans written quicker if you translate them into simple language for everybody else.

I always ask staff for each activity of the business: So if we couldn’t provide this activity for whatever reason, what is the longest amount of time it can be done without before the organisation is in real trouble. And if, for example, the answer comes back “3 days” I will ask “can we aim to recover it in 1 day or 2 days – which is the most realistic timeframe? That way I get the information I need without turning people off with jargon, and just as importantly everybody understands the process without having to feel thick about it.

 
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