Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Business Continuity - Personal

I don't know if you noticed, but Scotland is suffering a bit of a cold snap - to such an extent that many normal activities are halted. Normally we would expect a temperature of around 6 degrees Centigrade at this time of year. It has been below freezing for 9 days now, with a low of minus 12 today, and so far we have had around 3 1/2 feet of snow fall, so transport has been very difficult, shops have had no stock, power supplies have suffered and in general it has been tough on people.
Luckily I didn't take the M8 on Monday, otherwise I could have been one of those stuck there for nearly 48 hours.

I'm rambling - what I'm getting at is being prepared makes the difference between what was for me a time to catch up on playing with the kids, enjoying some snow activities, keeping cosy indoors and working from home on pieces of work which I could bring forwards (such as documentation, marketing planning etc) as I had sensible stocks of food in, warm clothing and a network set up to allow me to connect remotely to the servers I need.

Some people I know had no tinned food, and no transport so had to walk to the shops, which were already sold out of essentials, through thigh high snow!

I mean, I am definitely not a pessimist in this (I know individuals with enough stocks to cope with the Fimbulwinter if need be) but there are some planning concepts which shouldn't just be in the realm of business continuity, but should be accepted as essential in everyday life.

For example - looking at the slight outliers from business as usual we can plan for extreme weather putting a hold on transport, power supply failures, food supply failures etc., and it doesn't take much resource.

Similarly, for a business to plan for continuity, an initial analysis to identify those slight outliers which could occur with reasonable likelihood can be very quick and simple for a small business. Large scale organisations almost always do this, but there is no reason why small businesses shouldn't do something in a similar vein.

Oh, and of course owning Subarus is planning of a different nature - getting the basics right makes life much simpler!

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