people in the building who were not part
of the planning team. One of the people
had a more extensive disaster recovery
background than the consultant. Yet the
government agency failed to utilize his
expertise because it apparently missed the
experience on his resume.
Senior managers – C-levels and VPs –
often are overlooked in the business continuity scheme of things. That’s a mistake.
What can you do with a senior manager? Some can be given spokesperson
functions – if they are comfortable before
inquiring minds: the general media, trade
press, lenders, stockholders, vendors, and
Some can be go-fers. This is not a
task to be treated lightly. A good go-fer
must know where to go and should have
the political pull to get what is needed
expeditiously. If something needs to be
purchased, the go-fer needs the authority to buy whatever needs to be bought.
Go-fering is not suitable for interns.
In an emergency – a disaster condition
– all hands should be considered as potential resources.
It used to be common practice that
interns and the boss’ kid worked all over
the business. This gave the newbies a
taste of all the jobs in the business and let
good managers see what the newbie was
best suited to do. If someone was absent
and the newbie had worked in the absent
person’s department, he or she could be
brought back to fill in, fulfilling a wonderful on-the-job training program and a win-win situation.
Unless cross-trained staff occasionally
refresh their secondary skills, their level of
confidence and their expertise will deteriorate. Since most organizations – unlike the
military – fail to provide refresher training, the organization must depend on carefully crafted documentation.
The documentation format must be
consistent across the board; the “how to”
for an HR job must follow the same format
as the “how to” information for an info-tech job.
The document format must be designed
for use by a person who may be under a
little – or a lot – of pressure. Overriding
all else, the documentation must follow
the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid).
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