A while ago, we asked in this blog if World Backup Day was really a good idea. Our logic? If everybody focuses on one day in the year to get their backups right, then spends the other 364 days ignoring the issue, things won’t change for the better.
National Preparedness Month from FEMA in the US triggers similar thoughts.
We would prefer the scouts’ motto “Be Prepared”, suggesting that you should constantly be prepared, ready for anything, anytime, rather than cramming all your preparedness into one month.
Now, we recognize that both these events are inspired by praiseworthy objectives and as such deserve more than just passing attention. The trick, as we discuss below, is to make the positive change stick.
Making change happen and making change stick are both parts of change management, and change management is a people thing.
Consultancy enterprise Booz & Company spells out five success tactics for making change happen and making it stick, all of which can be applied to IT backups for better disaster recovery and preparedness for business continuity. These tactics are:
- Understand and clearly show the effect of change on people. For example, DR and BC planning and management take time and effort, and acquiring new backup and preparedness habits can be a source of stress.
- Spell out both the rational and the emotional case for change. Enterprise leaders and managers must make the impact of preparedness clear at the personal level of the employees. Some “What’s In It For Me” positioning is often a good idea.
- Make managers role models. For instance, every manager should be seen to apply personal data backup procedures at the right times, and time after time.
- Get employees to “own” the change. Elicit input, suggestions, and recommendations from employees about the kind of backup and preparedness procedures that will help them in their work.
- Embed the new habits in the whole enterprise. 21 days is the fabled period for making a habit stick, but take the time necessary before declaring victory.