Lottery Winning Disaster!

How many lottery syndicates are there in your organisation?

And your key suppliers?

What about in your own division?  Does your department have one?

We love this video.  It’s a little story about the business continuity disaster caused by one company’s syndicate winning the jackpot.

It’s a little bit cheesy, but it makes a great point about the risk of losing an entire department (either temporarily or permanently) in terms of business continuity:

Do your plans consider the impact if a group of people are unavailable at the same time?  It doesn’t have to be because of a lottery win.  It could be, for example, that they’re ill at the same time, poached by a rival, or even on an away day.

We know of one major organisation that put a training team in charge of one aspect of their emergency response.  The theory was that training could always be stood down in an incident.  On the day of a national terrorist incident, when the organisation needed to activate that section of the plan, the call to activate the team was met with, “But we’re all on a bus 100 miles away as it’s our team awayday today.”

We know of another team who were asked, as an exercise, to come up with the most realistic worst case scenario for their team.  Their scenario was that the very small team that ran part of their database system won the lottery syndicate.  It turned out they’d never considered how vital that team was to them before that moment.

We also know of a small business continuity team who quietly had a lottery syndicate running for quite a long time, simply because they knew the irony of the situation!  (It’s a great team – hello guys, if you’re reading!)

So while this video is a bit of fun, it reminds us to ask which groups of people are collectively vital to our operations, and what we’re doing to ensure they’re not all unavailable at the same time.

Have you got any good stories to tell?  Do share them below!

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