Practical Business Continuity Management

Top Tips for Effective, Real-World Business Continuity Management

By Andy Osborne

Foreword by Lyndon Bird,
Technical Services Director, Business Continuity Institute

As Technical Services Director of The business continuity Institute I am regularly asked to review new books or papers on the various facets of business continuity management (BCM). Many of these publications are interesting, well written and meet an ever increasing need for more information about this vital subject. What most of them lack, however, is an immediate impact for the casual business reader - what the marketing experts might call "the elevator pitch".

In reading Andy Osborne's work I immediately felt that at last we had the book we needed to engage with the moderately interested business professional, rather than simply adding more words for the specialist BCM practitioner to argue about. I have often opined that in many ways BCM could be called "Basic Commonsense Management" because what we say and do is not really controversial. When the ideas behind BCM are properly explained to a newcomer to the subject, their reaction often is surprise that organisations do not do it already, with questioning about why do they do not.

There are many suggested reasons why organisations do not always give BCM the attention it needs but most of the reasons centre around a number of misconceptions such as "it is only for large companies", "it is only another piece of compliance red-tape", "our management are used to handling crises on the fly", "it is an insurance issue" or "it has never happened to anyone in our industry/sector/location", etc.

Once you have read this book I think you will re-assess your views on all of these assumptions and will understand why BCM is necessary and how it fits seamlessly into the management armoury of important skills. Yet this book is about tips not techniques, about insight not facts, about vision not methodologies. In fact above all it is about an experienced practitioner happy to share what he has learned without enhancing his writing with unnecessary jargon and academic pretension. If you want a textbook to tell you how to do a business impact analysis, undertake a Cost Benefit Analysis on various recovery options or manage a complex BCM development project this is not for you. However, if you want to know what business continuity is really about I suggest you read this book several times, and perhaps even give a copy to your boss as a present. If he or she reads it, it might well make your life much easier.

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