Road Blocks to Creating Your Contingency Plan

Why Everyone Needs Help Creating a BC/DR (Contingency) Plan

Creating a contingency plan is a huge undertaking.  It’s a major project for any company, small or large.  It’s a major project for any company, small or large; an integration effort which requires a large amount of time from experts across the company and often outside the company, including executives, managers, staff, vendors and consultants.

While creating a contingency plan for a large health care provider I realized part of the problem is psychological.  The decision makers were struggling to start the project, even though they clearly understood the need to have a contingency plan. Just like understanding the 5 stages of grief helps us deal with a significant loss in our lives, I thought maybe a list of the road blocks would help "step" leaders and team members through their reluctance of creating a contingency plan.  Maybe I should rename this "The Five Stages of Contingency Planning Procrastination".

Based on my observations, here are the top road blocks to creating a contingency plan.

  1. We are forced to face the reality of a crisis or disruptive action in our lives.
    1. Pulling our heads out of the sand is scary.
    2. It forces the issue of death; ours, people we care for and our business/livelihood.
    3. Swift massive disruptions in our lives are frightening.
  2. It is a large complex integration effort that requires substantial resources.
    1. Which means it is difficult to organize.
    2. The all-encompassing aspect makes it difficult to get our arms and head around it.
    3. Therefore we are not confident of the amount of effort and time required.
    4. We must admit we can’t do it alone.
    5. We often have to seek and find expert advice and assistance.
  3. It incites holistic confusion.
    1. We don’t know where to start.
    2. We don’t know what we don’t know.
  4. Difficult to justify until there is a disruptive event.
    1. By documenting policies and procedures, utilizing technology that simplifies operations and recovery, and prioritizing what's important to keep the doors open, we actually improve daily operations.
    2. We don't recognize that the process of creating a contingency plan forces us to review and improve the company’s strategy and operations to improve overall company performance.
  5. It is an insurance policy, and we all love to buy insurance!
    1. Insurance as a “necessary evil” and we tend to procrastinate buying it because “I am reliable and careful”.
    2. Why waste time on something we may never use.

If you don't have a contingency plan for your business, you should start now.  Here's a simple outline to help you get started.

Plan Outline

BCDR_Plan_Diagram

Robert Felps has created business continuity and disaster recovery plans (contingency plans) for single doctor healthcare practices to multi-billion dollar healthcare companies.  His latest effort has been a ready to use Contingency Plan for the healthcare industry.  It is a plan that takes about 16 hours to update and be usable, as opposed to the standard 140+ hours to create a plan youself starting with a template.  For more details visit Third Rock's BC/DR page or contact Third Rock at info@thirdrock.com.

Robert Felps
About the Author

Innovative problem solver. Robert Felps takes a holistic view of the situation, understanding the business objectives, then architects a solution that exceeds the expectations for much less than standard industry solutions would cost.

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