A quick scan of search engine results and tweets regarding the development of business continuity and disaster recovery plans will yield a significant number of results for you to go look at and research. In fact, there seems to be an overwhelming bias towards the planning portion of these two areas. Indeed, this bias can be seen in almost any area — it is not unique to just these two. I think that one of the reasons for this bias is the fact that few organizations actually make the investment to create credible plans. Still, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about what happens to those organizations that invest resources in creating their plans and then stop.
Why is this a problem? It’s just like the old joke/saying:
“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re actually different.”
Whether or not we actually think that’s funny, it’s actually pretty accurate. Because when something goes wrong during the execution of the plan, someone will undoubtedly say something along the lines of “well, that wasn’t supposed to happen like that”. Why something actually didn’t go “according to plan” is irrelevant, when you’re in the heat of a response effort. You just know that it didn’t work the way it was supposed to. That’s why I’m calling this post “Famous Last Words”.
Let’s consider this in some more detail.
For the past number of days, I don’t remember how many actually, Hurricane Earl has been bearing down on the U.S. East Coast. Inevitably, there would be significant media attention paid to it. We were not let down. As I was wandering through my RSS feed, I found two articles on it and in a recent tweet I wrote:
“Bad weather, big problems. Are you ready?”
Also included the links to the articles, eh? It wasn’t really relevant for this blog posting, so I left them out… check my Twitter feed, if you want them. Anyway, each articles talked about some aspect of how the hurricane could impact IT organizations. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t have any issues with the articles per se — they are well written and it’s topical content.
What’s my issue? Simple. It’s too late.
Let’s consider why I am saying that…