Four Errors of Judgement with BCM

When needed, a good business continuity plan is the single most important asset a business organisation has to ensure that it recovers quickly from an incident.  It can be the difference between an organisation surviving or going under, and it can be the difference between an executive enhancing their reputation or completely ruining it.  A good plan well executed will ensure that people, brand, property and profits are protected as well as can be.  Unfortunately many plans are seriously flawed.  Sometimes this is discovered during or after an incident and leaves nothing but regret, and sometimes this is never discovered but is unnecessarily draining the organisation of valuable resources.

There are plenty of common mistakes made in BCM but, from our experience of providing business continuity, disaster recovery, high availability and resilience solutions to our clients we have selected four of the most common errors of judgement, and potentially the most damaging.  The good news is that if you are concerned about your plans these errors are all simple to correct.

Making decisions about business continuity management is often clouded by a lack of appreciation for its importance and relevance, particularly when considered in respect to other decisions that have to be made or business activities that have to be carried out, and objectivity can be compromised in highly political environments.  That leads to errors such as:

  1. “Scare tactics will engage senior management in business continuity management”.
  2. “Business continuity planning and management is not important right now”.
  3. “We’re only a small business; we don’t need business continuity plans”.
  4. “Business continuity management should be justified like all other investments”.



1 “Scare tactics will engage senior   management in business continuity management”
Senior managers are usually busy people and getting their attention can   be very difficult, particularly for activities like business continuity   management which is often perceived to be unimportant right now.  Scare tactics sometimes work, but more   successful approaches are available. Educate senior managers by   emphasising that business continuity management is an element of good   governance which aims to increase resilience, minimise down time and reduce   the risk of organisational failure.    Keep the discussion practical by describing the impact of down time on   their objectives and the usefulness of business continuity management in   preventing and keeping downtime to a minimum.    Explain that when tendering for new business you can achieve   competitive advantage by demonstrating your resilience.  Run a short, simple and realistic   desk-based scenario to highlight your arguments.
2 “Business continuity planning and management is not important right now”
This   could not be further from the truth.    You cannot predict when disaster will strike.  Something could be happening right now   whilst you’re reading this.  If you’re   not prepared you will have nothing but regrets  (visit us at :   to read what happened to other people). Make time for business continuity planning.
3 “We’re only a small business; we don’t need business continuity plans”
Small businesses tend to be the least resilient because   there are more single points of failure.    Loss of one member of staff with important knowledge, failure of one   key item of equipment, loss of one key customer due to loss of one key   supplier can all spell disaster.    Simple plans can mitigate these risks, reducing the chance of the loss   but also ensuring that you’re properly covered, for example, with the right   insurance. No business is too small to give business   continuity management some consideration.
4 “Business continuity management should be justified like all other   investments” 
Business continuity should be regarded as a cost of doing   business.  Like risk management, it   does not in itself deliver business benefits but there is an opportunity cost   of not doing it.  The good news is that   in many organisations the implementation of business continuity management   results in the identification of process improvements, over-commitment to   insurance cover and excessive disaster recovery assets.  In some organisations where business   continuity software is introduced the introduction of business continuity   management can even lead to headcount reduction. Use the introduction of, and the   process of, business continuity management as an opportunity to identify   organisation weaknesses and overspend on risk mitigation but don’t expect it   to show a return on investment as you would from other investments.


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