We’ll say that again: not every part of your business needs a continuity plan.
It is often assumed that every area of every organisation needs a business continuity plan. We’d like to give you permission to challenge that assumption.
Every area of your organisation needs it’s people to be safe. That’s non-negotiable. It would be sensible if they had a way to keep in touch with it’s people too. So Health & Safety protocols and, perhaps, a communications plan may be essential. But not every area has business that must continue during an incident. And where there is no critical business to continue, there’s no need for an individual business continuity plan.
There are no ‘typical’ examples of areas that aren’t critical, since every business is different. But some organisations often find, for example, that a Training, Corporate Strategy or even a Marketing Department can halt work for several days (or even weeks) before there is significant impact on the organisation. In these cases, the question needs to be asked whether – on balance – the area needs a business continuity plan.
In fact, where specific areas can stand down, they offer perfect opportunities. The people might be able to help with other tasks that are critical; the workspace may be utilised by critical business that needs a home. If this were the case they’d need to hold records on what resources they’d promised to whom, and those resources would need to appear in the appropriate continuity plans.
Of course, if an non-critical area is positively chomping at the bit to create a plan then it may be foolish not to support them and help them with that work*. But if you’re a business continuity planner with more work than time – and we think that’s most of us – it makes sense to work with the areas that really need a continuity plan than put significant energy into those that don’t.
As the saying goes, you can achieve a lot more by choosing your battles wisely.
* Provided they don’t have a false sense of understanding about the “critical-ness” of their work. It’s bad news when an area thinks they are more critical that they are if there is competition for resources to continue that work
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