Business Continuity Management for the Masses

Henry Ford would have appreciated the Wiley publishing company’s approach to business continuity management. In keeping with the rest of its “For Dummies” books, Wiley will (September 2012) be bringing out the “Business Continuity for Dummies” edition, mass-produced BCM in something of a one-size-fits-all approach. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – BCM deserves a wider audience and popularising some of its principles and techniques can be a good way to raise people’s levels of awareness at all levels of an organisation. The open question is whether or not people will “internalise” business continuity any more after they’ve read the book compared to before.

It’s the age-old problem with books. They’re great as repositories of information, and in fact for information retrieval for human beings, their “technology” (flipping the pages and consulting them wherever you want) still holds its own with electronic solutions. On the other hand, firstly, you have to read them to get anything out of them (really!), and secondly, you have to apply what you read. True, Wiley takes a practical approach in its description of its business continuity management book, invoking the four main sections of how to identify risks, create a BC plan, apply it and react appropriately if disaster strikes. And if it’s written in the overall style of the “For Dummies” series, it should be easy enough to read.

But will it change the situation in general? Apparently, according to one source (the Codrim Company), the UK Cabinet Office thinks so, because it has sponsored the book. Perhaps it will be part of an overall training curriculum, like PRINCE and PRINCE2 project management methodology that grew out of UK government best practices. One approach is to consider this new democratisation of business continuity management as a positive sign that BC is developing into a bigger market now, and that this book can be an additional lever for getting management and employees to better recognise its importance to an organisation’s continued success.