What’s my new book “The Business Continuity Management Desk Reference” all about?

The Business Continuity bookTheBusiness Continuity Management Desk Reference” explains (in simple terms) all the key elements of Business Continuity for people that need to:

• Learn the basics of Business Continuity fast;

• Get recovery strategies in place;

• Prepare solid plans that people find easy to use and maintain;

• Test their continuity plans and the people, suppliers and technology that they depend on;

• Be compliant with the demands of internal auditors, external regulators and business partners that expect them to have solid Business Continuity that they can demonstrate;

If you need to do any of these things read on, this book is for you!

The book is structured so that you can either dip in as you need to or read it section by section. The section are organised as you should approach Business Continuity.

There are also appendices that include useful things like checklists, templates and processes that you can use to get your own Business Continuity up and running.

These can also be downloaded from the web site.

The following gives a brief description of each chapter:

Chapter 2. Business Continuity Management (BCM)

Explains a Business Continuity life cycle, introduces the various Business Continuity roles and outlines some key concepts that underpin Business Continuity.

Chapter 3. Kick start your Business Continuity

This chapter is for people that currently have little or no Business Continuity in place. Its purpose is to help these people to get the basics in place very quickly; so that they’ll have a much better chance of surviving if disaster strikes tomorrow.

Chapter 4. Getting started – First things first

In Business Continuity, like every discipline we start by establishing the requirements. In particular, we normally start by establishing what is critical in your business, so that you can be sure to recover the business if disaster strikes. This process is called Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and is the focus of “Getting Started”.

Chapter 5. Preparing the plan

The Business Continuity Plan describes what you’ll need to do in a disaster to keep your business running or if it’s stopped, what you’ll need to do to get it back up and running. It sets out the structure of a Business Continuity Plan and gives you the help you’ll need to get yours correctly populated.

Chapter 6. IT Disaster Recovery

IT Disaster Recovery or DR for short; is how you protect and recover your critical IT services. This chapter explains the basic concepts of DR and tells you what you’ll need to do to get it up and running in your organisation and how to know if the DR you currently have is any good?.

Chapter 7. Business Recovery

Business Recovery explains how to keep your critical business processes running during and after a disaster. This chapter explains the key aspects of business recovery and how you can get them in place as quickly as possible.

Chapter 8. Testing

Once you have your plans and solutions, you have to make sure that they work. Testing is the principle way of providing assurance about your Business Continuity and DR. This chapter explains testing and describes how to go about it:

Chapter 9. Maintenance

Maintaining your plans, solutions and skills is essential if your Business Continuity and DR is going to work on the day you need it. This chapter covers exactly what things you’ll need to maintain and the best way to go about maintaining them.

Chapter 10. Education and Awareness

Having people that understand their responsibilities and are ready to perform in stressful situations is key to an organisations survival if disaster strikes. This chapter set out how you go about understanding your organisations educational needs. It also explains how to deliver a programme that informs every one of their responsibilities and prepares all key staff to act appropriately in potential disaster scenarios.

Chapter 11. Managing a Disaster

The other decisive factors in business survival are: 1. how you respond to the incidents; 2. how you make decisions; 3. how you communicate information; and 4. how you monitor that your actions are working.

This chapter explains command and control in a disaster situation and helps you to set up a Crisis Management team that will get you out of the tightest squeeze

Chapter 12. Return to Normal Operations

Getting your business back to normal operations can be a challenge. This chapter sets out what you need to do in order that you can revert from a “disaster mode” of operation to “normal operations”, and how to do it while minimising the risks of something else going wrong.

Chapter 13. Governance and Reporting

Making sure that everything is under control is an essential business practice and something that every manager is keen to demonstrate. This chapter sets out policy, process and the key reports you’ll need for appropriate governance of Business Continuity. It also sets out how you can have all these elements of governance without creating a cottage industry.

Chapter 14. Selecting and Managing Continuity Suppliers

If you work with suppliers who help you to deliver Business Continuity and DR, this chapter explains how to select the right partner and make sure that they deliver what’s been agreed.

Chapter 15. Managing Supply Chain Continuity

With many businesses depending on third parties to provide critical services, products or resources it’s essential to make sure that suppliers have adequate contingency arrangements. You need to insure that they can continue to deliver your critical services if they experienced an interruption.

If they can’t provide this assurance, you need to ensure that alternative suppliers are available in time to prevent a supplier interruption becoming a disaster for you. This chapter explores this issue and sets out some simple actions that will expose the risks and make sure that you get them covered.

The book is available:

The Business Continuity Management Desk Reference on Amazon.com

The Business Continuity Management Desk Reference on Amazon.co.uk

The Business Continuity Management Desk Reference as an ebook in most formats at Smashwords.com

Jamie Watters (jamie.watters@leveragepublishing.com)

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What is Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Management is both a process and a discipline. It exists to avoid any interruptions that could lead to either significant losses or a failure to achieve the organisations principle objectives.

Business Continuity as a Process

The process or Business Continuity Life Cycle describes how any organisation should go about Business Continuity i.e. ensuring that critical activities are performed no matter what else is happening.

The process is cyclical, and follows the same basic steps as most processes of continuous improvement.

The process first understands what constitutes a critical process, then plans how this will be maintained, then designs and delivers supporting solutions, then tests it all, until ultimately it keeps it all maintained and repeats itself ad-infinitum.

Business Continuity as a Discipline

The discipline is the collection of people and teams in your organisation that are responsible for the various steps that make up the Business Continuity life cycle. Business Continuity is also responsible for monitoring incidents so that in the event of a business interruption, the plans to ensure Business Continuity get invoked as quickly as possible.

Typically, this includes:

  • Business Continuity Planners – identify what is critical and decide how it can be continued through an interruption.
  • IT Service Continuity –are responsible for making sure the critical IT services are available to support critical business activities.
  • Crisis Management –are responsible for monitoring the business for potential interruption events and then making sure that timely action is taken, which would normally involve invoking the Business Continuity Plans and Recovering any required IT Services. 
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Business Continuity Now

Business Continuity has emerged in the last few years. It was born in high risk and highly regulated industries, but is now spreading rapidly into all sectors and every type of organisations.

Originally, it was the domain of a few elite consultants; now having moved into the mainstream, it’s become a business as usual activity that’s performed by everyday people.
Historically, consultants charged a premium for their skills and knowledge to organisations. These companies had no choice but to pay up for bespoke consultancy engagements. Now, with its proliferation and the multitude of practitioners embedded inside organisations Business Continuity has effectively been commoditised. This commoditisation is a good thing because organisations need Business Continuity in place quickly, at the lowest cost and without pain.

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I’m just trialing HootSuite to integrat

I’m just trialing HootSuite to integrate all mu social networking… Check it out http://hootsuite.com

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Virtual Business Continuity or Literal Disaster?

There’s a huge buzz around virtualisations and increasingly both technologists and business people are think that it’s the solution to many of their problems.

In particular it has appeal in the realm of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.

I think we need to have a little caution. Virtualisation is a great thing and it’s definately the way of the future BUT we need to approach it with our eyes open. If there’s a lesson from the past it’s not to think that the next big thing is the solution to all our problems.

It just seems plain common sense that if you can’t manage what’s currently hosted on discreet and tangible boxes you’ll come a cropper when you try to manage a cloud!

I suppose the point is not to think that virtualisation will solve your problems, but instead to think how can we solve our problems using virtualisation as part of the solution.

So by all means go virtual but be prepared for some work!

Good luck,


Check out my new book called The Business Continuity Desk Reference at Amazon UK:

or Amazon.com:

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I’m not a moaner, I’m a writer!

I said that I was fed up with:

  1. Reading lots of stuff that tells me what I’ve got to do but fails to explain how.
  2. With BCM people that are somewhat detached from the real world and seem to forget that “Business” comes before Continuity Management.
  3. The mindless orthodoxy that dominates this discipline.

Well, rather than just maoning about it, I’ve written a book. That I hope addresses these points.

It’s called the Business Continuity Managers Desk Reference. It covers the key aspects of Business Continuity and is written so that anyone can pick it up, read it then go and do it. It tells people what they have to do, it gives them simple tools to use and tells them what questions they need to ask and who they should be speaking to.

The way I see it. I’ve got about 2 years experience but it’s taken me 25 years to get it. I hope that by reading this you can be spared a few years and avoid my many mistakes!

It should be available in about a week on amazon!!

All the best,

Jamie Watters

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BCM Times – Blog on Business Continuity

There are three reasons I’m writing this blog:

  1. I’m feed up with reading lots of stuff that tells me what I’ve got to do but fails to explain how.
  2. I’m also feed up with BCM people that are somewhat detached from the real world and seem to forget that “Business” comes before Continuity Management.
  3. I’m also feed up with the mindless orthodoxy that dominates this discipline.

    So, for these reasons I’m writing this blog to capture some tips on how to actually do things and to share some different ideas about how we should approach Business Continuity.

    Having stated these noble aims. I should warn you that the blog probably won’t be so noble. In fact, much of it will just be me reflecting on day-to-day events like doing BIAs, reviewing BCPs and running tests.

    However, this is not about me it’s about gathering ideas and experiences and I hope that other people will follow and make positive contributions, if only to say that I’m wrong… Which of course I often am!


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