Of course, what we really mean is rightsizing the services a business continuity consultant can provide. How much or how little an organisation decides to involve an external consultant will depend on the extent of business continuity planning needs, and how that organisation is set up to handle them. Ideally, you’ll leverage the involvement of a business continuity consultant to get the most benefit for the least outlay, keeping the decision-making process flexible according to needs and resources. However, there’s one situation where you’ll often get more “bang for your buck” by bringing in a consultant.
If you don’t have prior experience in business continuity planning (and you would certainly not be alone in that case), then bringing in a business continuity consultant who understands you and your business can be the most effective and efficient way to get your BCP underway. It’s the old story about the airplane that needs all of its rated power to get off the ground, but that then becomes significantly more fuel efficient at cruising altitude. This doesn’t mean that BC consultants don’t have roles to play later on, bringing their experience and specific knowledge to bear on particularly thorny issues. However, the start-up period is crucial also because, just like airplanes, a slight error in direction at departure can become a major problem later.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re using the services of a business continuity consultant full-time, it may be because your organisation can (is large enough to) benefit from the constant attention of business continuity specialists who live, eat and breathe the subject. Or it may be that it’s time to increase your own in-house BC resources. In that case, continue to right-size the contribution of your business continuity consultant by having that person help you to identify and employ a suitable person, or to buy suitable tools if automation can do a BC job with less expense and greater efficiency.