How long would it take for the busiest executive to scan a list
of 100 heat graphs and see that 35 percent of the application portfolio is unrecoverable? Less than one minute I suspect. Yet, if this
same information is provided in plain text, it would take much
longer to garner the same message if the report is read at all.
Using heat graphs won’t necessarily satisfy the need for detail.
In fact, once your C level executive absorbs the visual, we’ve
got their attention and they’ll be looking for some additional
information. In anticipation to that point, if you’re reporting electronically, you can insert a hyperlink to take them directly to the
site. It’s quick, easy, and exactly what the decision
maker will need. It’s a little more work on our
end, but once you’ve developed an assortment of graphs, indicators, and charts, it’s
all plug and play.
Consider the following graph for information sharing:
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Another visual representation for what could otherwise take
paragraphs to communicate, it is applied to a single application.
This could be used to manage customer expectations or quickly
share status with customers or technical professionals. Imagine
this format in a busy EOC being reviewed by a group that might
not do this type of work every day. The reader is quickly able to
capture the information necessary to make an informed decision
or side-by-side comparisons during critical times.
Understand this simple fact: our efforts and deliverables in the
BC/DR arena don’t matter. What matters is what we’re able to
communicate. More specifically, what matters is what we’re able
to communicate to the appropriate audience. We might have the
most comprehensive and innovative plans on the planet. If we can’t
put them in the right hands or have them considered within the correct context, they really don’t exist. Reporting outcomes visually
moves the rest of the program forward by association. This can justify the additional overhead in developing your toolbox of images.
Patrick Ridder is a business continuity planner with more than 15 years
of experience in the profession. He also serves as a board member of the
Arizona Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners.