“Do it now”, “do it faster”, “do more”,… While these may all be justifiable goals on their own, the problem comes when production pressure like this has a negative impact on business continuity plans and actions. BC planning is preventive and its objective is the absence of disruption to a business. However, it can therefore be perceived as brake on project progress and a cost, rather than an enabler and a sound investment. Does this mean that production pressure and business continuity are completely incompatible?
Employees responding to pressure to make production the priority above all else may act in one or more of the following ways:
- Ignoring procedures designed to ensure business continuity
- Taking risks that can affect continuity of business operations
- Completing jobs in less time by sacrificing checks on quality
While any of these may be the result of pressures or incentives that are either self-imposed or that come from the organisation, the attitude and behaviour of the organisation’s leaders and management are key factors in determining the right balance between short term and long term production and continuity goals. Business continuity plans need to take organizational targets and the business environment into consideration as well.
There may be exceptional circumstances where increased production becomes critical to an organisation. While this cannot be justified at the expense of the safety of the people involved, a short term burst of effort with increased business risk may the only thing to keep a company afloat. In that case the company has to recognise any risks taken and make sure that they are not automatically subsumed into everyday operations afterwards. Proper risk identification and evaluation in a business continuity plan helps to compare exceptional situations with the norm.