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Knowledge Zone

Here you will find articles, archive blogs and case studies that PlanB have used or created over the years. To find information please type a keyword into the search box or click on the relevant tag.

We publish weekly updates from the business continuity world, covering recent news items or reflecting on our travels and experiences with clients.

Charlie addresses topics from a Business Continuity perspective and you might be surprised how much of today’s news relates to BC! Providing valuable insight, Charlie raises critical questions which will surely encourage you to reconsider your Business Continuity plans.

Wicked Problems – What Do I Need To Know?

Charlie discusses the theory of wicked problems, what it means for business continuity professionals and how we are able to implement this idea into our plans. This week I wanted to share with you all an academic theory around wicked problems. I came across this term during my reading on crisis management, but until very recently I wasn’t

COVID-19 – A massive failure of risk management?

This week I look at risk management in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and Black Lives Matter movement. I wanted to write about risk management and what I perceive is a massive failure of the process and implementation in ensuring that organisations were ready for a pandemic. The continuing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement and

Coronavirus Public Reaction – ‘Keep calm and carry on’ or bystander effect?

This week I look at how the bystander effect and social pressure is affecting the public’s reaction to Coronavirus. I have been onsite with a client in the South of England for the last two days and conversations have all been about coronavirus, what is happening, the day-by-day increase in numbers and the speculation on how bad it

So You Have Been Deepfaked

This week Charlie looks at deepfakes and why we need to be aware and exercise this risk. Imagine… You are the business continuity manager and responsible for crisis management in a large, very male-dominated organisation. The CEO has decided to resign after 20 years’ service and there are two candidates for the role: the Operations Director, John, and the

What Goes Into a Cyber Data Risk Assessment?

Charlie proposes an inventory of information which your organisation should consider to conduct a cyber data risk assessment. This week, I was conducting an exercise for a government organisation. As we have worked with the company for a number of years we decided to go for a slightly different set-up, so this time we used loss-of-data as the

The Backlog Trap

Following this week’s CBCI Certification Course, Charlie shares his thoughts on the backlog trap. This week I have been teaching the CBCI Certification Course. After the course finished on Thursday evening I went to London City Airport to get my plane home. All went well until I was sitting at the gate and the plane was promptly cancelled. As it

Business Continuity 2025 – What Will Future Incidents Look Like?

In the first bulletin of his new ‘Business Continuity 2025’ series, Charlie discusses what incidents might look like in 2025. There wasn’t a particular incident which took my fancy to write about this week, so I thought I would write about what BC might look like in 2025. On a separate note, I must congratulate and send solidarity

Risky Business: Is Looking at Likelihood a Waste of Time?

In this week’s bulletin, Charlie discusses whether you should consider likelihood when conducting a risk assessment. I thought this week I would talk about risk assessment. I did consider writing something on Brexit, but I thought it would probably end up being out of date, before I had finished writing! For a while, business continuity has always had

It’s Tough At The Top

Charlie looks at how the behaviour of your senior management can have a major impact on your organisation. This week I am going to discuss yet another risk for you to worry about! This potential risk involves the behaviour of your senior management, and whether it could have a major impact on your organisation. There have been numerous

Preparing for Brexit

In preparation of Brexit, Charlie looks at how we can start to identify areas of exposure within our organisation. I imagine a lot of us haven’t yet prepared for Brexit, and our organisations have continued on quite happily doing what they do. The problem is what to prepare for, as there seems to be a different flavour of

London Bridge is Falling Down…

After his journey to Key West, Charlie advises business continuity professionals to look at access to their organisation’s site as a possible single point of failure and consider the impact of any potential road closures. Today I have been taking a short break between running a number of exercises, so I decided to go to Key West. I have heard all about the

War, what is it good for…?

With the West on the brink of conflict with Syria and its Russian allies, I suggest business continuity professionals should  be aware of world events and consider the potential impact on their organisations.  At the time of writing this bulletin, nothing has happened since the USA and its allies threatened to bomb Syria. The threat came after Syria’s

Business Continuity in the Caribbean

Returning from his recent business trip to the Caribbean, Charlie reflects on the lessons he learned in relation to natural disasters. For the past week, I have been in the Caribbean delivering a series of business continuity workshops and I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned from my two trips to the area. My first lesson

Zika revisited

I first wrote about the Zika virus earlier this year in January. In this week’s bulletin I revisit the subject, highlighting what Business Continuity Managers should be aware of within their organisations. This week I thought I would write about the Zika virus as you occasionally hear something about it in the news. As we in the UK are not

Is Kidnapping a Business Continuity Threat?

This bulletin was written before the Egypt air crash and may be the subject of next week’s bulletin. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims.  This week Charlie looks at kidnap as a business continuity threat after his recent travels. Last week I was in Monterrey in Mexico, and as it was my first time in Mexico, apart

Chinese supply chain risk…

This week Charlie looks at the importance of identifying succession within your supply chain.     I have spent a day working with a manufacturing client this week to provide some supply chain continuity management training. The majority of their products are built or partially built in China and then shipped to the UK for final assembly. During the training

Blue Swans…..

This week Charlie talks about ‘black swan events’ and the possibility of ‘blue swans’ being out there within the world of Business Continuity.   We know that black swans exist so we should not be surprised if we come across one, although many of you, like me, have never seen one. In the same way there have been a couple

Zika Virus Spreads

This week Charlie talks about the Zika virus and what you should be worried about as Business Continuity managers.  Although it is not headline news, there have been quite a few news items on the virus, its effect on pregnant women and its rapid spread through South America and the Caribbean. With a major outbreak occurring in Brazil at the

Loss of Telecoms: their unexpected impact

Armageddon averted – the unexpected impact from loss of telecoms As we have seen from photographs there has been another huge rainstorm and more flooding in the Carlisle area. Invariably there will be some lessons learned which we can share from this, however I am not sure what else we can say in this blog about flooding. It

01/05/2015 Why Do Incidents Occur?

Yesterday there was some good news from the Nepal earthquake in that two people were pulled out alive from the rubble five days after the earthquake struck Kathmandu and the surrounding area. The devastation seems immense and at the moment the death toll stands at 5,500. On the news last night, the rescue was shown and it was

18/02/2015 Beware the cuckoo in the nest!

Last week I attended a conference organised by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre called “The cuckoo in the nest: Scotland’s first insider threat conference” and I thought I might share some of the points I learned in the conference. I think for us as business continuity people, we see the threat as coming from outside the organisation and all staff

10 BC Considerations for Severe Weather

This week, Charlie suggests some actions organisations may take to prepare for severe weather. With the severe snow and blizzards in the United States last week and also snow in Scotland, I thought I might put together some thoughts on the actions you could take in advance to plan for a heavy snow fall. As we are not

10 questions a BCM should ask about staff travelling abroad

One of the news stories that caught my eye this week was the kidnapping in Yemen. According to witnesses, the victim was about to step into his car in the capital Sana’a, when he was hit with the butt of a gun and dragged into a waiting vehicle. The incident happened just hours after three large explosions rocked

Worst case scenario….There is no such thing

This week there was a storm in the South of England called Storm St Jude, which killed four people and caused a swathe of damage. There was lots of warning before the storm and so most people made some preparation. The day after the storm I heard from one of our clients, who gleefully told us that he

A force of nature – some thoughts on Typhoon Haiyan

There is no bigger incident to comment on this week than the typhoon in the Philippines. Our thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by it and those who have lost loved ones. The devastation seems immense having seen the pictures on TV. As I watch the news it seems at last that aid is

When Cloud Computing goes Wrong….

At a wedding last weekend, the woman sitting on my right told me a fascinating story about some of the perils of cloud computing, and an incident that she had been involved with. The story starts with a big push by the UK Government to save money by encouraging all departments, agencies and institutions to save money by

There’s nowt as queer as folk..

I haven’t yet started doing requests, but this week I was asked by my father to write on an incident that occurred in an organisation we are both involved with.  The organisation is a “gap year” organisation, which sends school leavers overseas for a year where they learn about another country.The incident involved one of the gap year students who

Ceramic Tiles and Stainless Steel Kitchens!

This will be the last formal blog of the year! The news item which caught my eye at lunchtime on Thursday is the ongoing flooding causing so much disruption to various parts of the UK. Today’s report showed a terrace of houses in Whitby which have had their gardens washed away and now will have to be demolished.

Horizon Scanning

Yesterday the news was dominated by the killing of the Hamas Leader Ahmed al-Jabari in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli air strike. This was in response to rising tensions in the area after the Palestinians have fired a number of missiles into Israel. There have been a number of recent changes within the Middle East which make

Taking advantage of incidents?

The issue I would like to think about this week is how, as business continuity people, we should approach big disasters and what should our attitude be to them. If we are affected by the incident, then our job is simple, we implement our business continuity plan and hopefully we recover our organisation successfully. If we are not

What can we trust?

I have always made the assumption that the mobile phone network was fairly robust and that we could rely on it to communicate during an incident. I generally put a caveat on use of mobile phones in the immediate aftermath of the incident because the system can very quickly become overloaded and then you cannot connect to the

The next incident is always the one we haven’t thought of…

“The next incident is always the one we haven’t thought of…’ I use this phrase during all my training and time and time again it proves to be true;  ash cloud, fuel crisis etc. Who would have thought that there would be rioting on the streets of United Kingdom. Dare I say this is the sort of thing

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