An Example of a Successful BCP Implementation

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nabeel Shamsi


A few weeks ago, I saw what would call a very successful use of Business Continuity Plan. In this case, I was a customer of this business.

What made me surprised is that this business is a small Montessori. Yes not your typical business.One Monday morning, I went to drop off my daughter to her Montessori.

It was a Michigan wintery morning. As I parked my car and got out of the car, a teacher approached me and said “sorry the center has no electricity today. We are closed”. Ouch.

I said to myself. The next sentence the teacher spoke surprised me. “We have arrangements made at two of our sister Montessori schools. Our teachers are already there. You can take your daughter to either one of them”. 

She gave me directions to both schools. Both were local and within 5 minutes drive. I said thank you and took off. When I reached the backup Montessori school, there was a sign-in sheet.

They matched my name to a list, made a copy of my ID and gave me directions to the class room”. I went to the class. One of the Assistant teacher’s from my daughter’s original school was there to greet us.

The teacher knew my daughter, so there was nothing I had to remind her about my daughter.  And since my daughter knew her teacher, she did not have any adjustment problems.  The whole process was simple, clear and pain free.

As I drove away, I realized how successful school’s BCP had been. Someone did an excellent job in planning it and then executing it. And it was done by a Montessori school.

This school probably  does not have any dedicated IT staff. It certainly does not have specialized staff to design and implement a DR and BCP plan.  Yet they were able to design a BCP with minimum interruption to the customers (i.e. the parents).

I think this message is somewhat lost many times, as we design BCPs for our organizations. A BCP is more just running the networks and servers. It is about the customers.

It is about making sure that the company can do business with its customers with minimum interruption. The goal is to be there when you customers need you and not to lose any of your customers.

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