If you’ve picked a business continuity plan template for your organisation and you want the various departments to use it, your sales skills or charm may impress your colleagues at the start. But how do you ensure that their enthusiasm won’t totally evaporate afterwards, when you’re back at your desk, and they’re back at theirs – staring at a blank form? Ideally, looking at the template would bring the same surge of eagerness as before. If it can’t do that, then it should do as little as possible to dampen it. How? Believe it or not, government tax forms may hold the key.
While a business continuity plan template needs to cover all the salient points and go into sufficient depth on each one, this doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated. This is where, depending perhaps on where you live, the example of government tax forms come in. Many governments have bent over backwards in recent years to make their personal income tax forms easy to understand and to use. The motivation is clear: if you want to collect money from tens of millions of people, then at least make it easy for them. In fact, governments have started to do this so well, that many commercial organisations could learn a lot from them.
Whether your template is paper-based, or electronic (text, spread-sheet or web-enabled for example), make it easy. If you can, test it on an 8-year-old, for example. If a child can see what’s going on, then there’s a good chance that your colleagues, hopefully more mature but with a mountain of other tasks and pressures to distract them, will accept your business continuity plan template as a quick, easy job. Designed with simplicity and clarity, it may even bring them a moment of pleasant relief from all the other brain-straining stuff they have to do.