The cliché of “change is the only constant” is true for most enterprises. Customers, business analysts, and employees all expect some sort of evolution, even if it is with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Even the minority whose positioning is deliberately one of no change (providers of traditional goods and services) are affected by changes in the way governments tax and regulate them, or how suppliers supply to them.
When it comes to business continuity, plans and management must keep pace with business changes too. But is an annual, a quarterly, or even a monthly BCP review the right way to stay synchronized?
There is a dilemma with business continuity planning and reviews. Making them too infrequent means greater risk of being out of alignment and less able to react effectively to threats of business interruption.
Making them overly frequent is inefficient in terms of time and energy spent, and can rapidly become a chore with low (like zero) audience participation and interest.
Part of the problem stems from the manual aspect of these activities and the resources spent on checking events and scenarios that do not happen. It’s not that manual methods are wrong, or not necessarily wrong, rather than they need to be applied appropriately.
Smart managers know they can often get more done by managing by exception, rather than trying to actively manage everything. The effectiveness of this approach requires a system that will reliably trigger a warning of any pertinent and important problem, before it happens.
To use the analogy of burglar alarms, you don’t want to wait until the alarm bells are ringing because someone has broken in: instead, you want an alert beforehand from motion detectors that somebody is closer to your corporate perimeter than is normal.
A similar idea applies to alerts that something has changed that may affect the effectiveness of your current business continuity plan and management.
At the same time, review meetings may still be relevant, because they keep people aware of BC activity and its importance. A mix of automation (a BC “burglar alarm”) and manual activity can then keep BC better synchronized with your evolving business.