PlanB Consulting

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.

Our Work with Aruba’s Water Suppliers

We have been proudly working with WEB Aruba to help them create crisis management plans and run exercises. Here is their press release on our latest exercise. WEB Aruba organises ‘water rationing plan’ exercise How prepared are we in the event that water production and distribution comes to a stop at WEB? This week, the Crisis Management Department

Dominic Cummings – A crisis management case study

This week I discuss the crisis communications lessons to be learnt from Dominic Cummings’ recent ‘rule-breaking’ incident in lockdown. As the ‘Dominic Cummings Affair’ is coming to an end I thought I would comment on what we can learn about crisis communications from the circus surrounding his visit to Durham, during lockdown. I think it is a perfect

Marks out of 100 for Easyjet’s Cyber Incident Response

Charlie scores Easyjet’s response to their recent cyber attack out of 100. “Thankfully, we now live in a world where it is accepted that data breaches happen, and organisations are more comfortable disclosing that they have been victim to an attack. However, with this welcome move away from victim blaming, organisations are now being judged more on how

Panic buying toilet roll – lesson identified or learned?

This week I look at panic buying and what lessons we can identify from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak to help prevent this in the future. When I talk to Jacqui Semple, Head of the EPS and Resilience Lead at Angus Council, about incidents and the lessons learned from them, she always corrects me by saying they are ‘lessons

Case study – Dundee and Angus College’s Cyber attack communications review

Following Dundee and Angus College’s recent cyber attack, Charlie looks at why their response is a good example of how to deal with a cyber incident and what we can learn from it. I thought this week we might take a break from talking about the coronavirus (COVID-19), as every man, woman and consultant seems to be posting

Pandemic Planning: What is a Pandemic Operating Regime, and do I need one?

Following the spread of Coronavirus throughout China and surrounding countries, Charlie introduces the idea of a Pandemic Operating Regime and why you should develop one. After returning from Colombia last week and working on the new ISO 22361 standard which will replace ‘PD CEN/TS 17091:2018, Crisis management – Guidance for developing a strategic capability’, I wanted to write

Travelex – A Crisis Communications Review

Charlie looks at the recent Travelex incident and what we can learn from their response. Happy New Year to all our readers, I hope you had a great Christmas! The Travelex incident is one I have only just come across; I think over new year I was too busy celebrating on the Isle of Coll and I wasn’t

A Child on a Hospital Floor: A Case Study

Charlie looks at one of the main news stories during the election campaign and considers how social media can be used and misused in incidents. I am writing this on the afternoon of Election Day, so I don’t yet know if this story has impacted the election or whether it has had no impact at all. The story

One Disaster Leads to Another: The Loss of Thomas Cook

Following the recent news of Thomas Cook’s collapse, Charlie looks at one possible contribution to their failure. I am always sorry to see the demise of a company, especially a household name such as Thomas Cook. The loss of 9,000 jobs in the UK, another name off the high street, the repatriation of 150,000 holiday makers, and even

Will there be chaos and panic in the Bahamas after Dorian?

Charlie looks at what lessons we can learn about responding to disasters, from Rebecca Solnit’s book: ‘A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster’ I have a strong interest in hurricanes having worked with a number of organisations in the Caribbean. This week I am on holiday (not in the Caribbean), and I have

Lessons Learned from British Airways: Emergency Landing in Valencia

This week Charlie looks at what lessons we can learn from British Airways’ recent emergency landing at Valencia Airport. One of the problems of being a consultant is that you rarely get the opportunity to actually manage or participate in the response to an incident. Instead you spend your life telling people how they should respond. To learn

Brexit: Baa Humbug

Charlie looks at a different aspect of the effects of a no-deal Brexit. This week my brother Alex got top price for Cheviot Lambs at Stirling Auction Mart. I also went for a run and listened to the BBC Sounds podcast ‘Beyond Today – No deal: what’s going to happen to our food?’. Inspired by these two things,

‘Notre-Dame Came Far Closer To Collapsing Than People Knew.’

This week, Charlie shares an article which reconstructs the Notre-Dame fire. ‘Notre-Dame still stands only because firefighters decided to risk everything, a New York Times reconstruction has found.’ Take a look at the following article and think about how you would deal with a fire in your own organisation: Read here: ‘Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than

All Aboard!

In today’s bulletin, Charlie compares the recent BP oil rig protests on the Paul B Loyd Jr, to those which occurred in 1995 on the Brent Spar. What can we learn from these stories and how can we prepare? On Sunday, I noticed the news story of two Greenpeace protesters who climbed aboard the BP oil rig in

Battle of Arnhem, 1944 – What Are the Business Continuity Lessons?

Charlie looks at what business continuity lessons we can learn from the Battle of Arnhem, and how case studies are a great way of understanding incident management. This week I have been on a battlefield tour of Arnhem; it was the Battle of Arnhem which was depicted in the film ‘A Bridge Too Far’. I am an ex

Using Dark Websites for Crisis Communication – Three Case Studies

Charlie discusses the use of dark websites for crisis communication. I thought this week I would discuss the use of dark websites for crisis communication. When you hear about a crisis on the news, I always suggest you take a look at the organisation’s website and see how they are portraying the incident. A dark website is a

Drones & Airports

This week Charlie shares his thoughts on the recent drone incidents at Heathrow and Gatwick airport. Following the incident at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, with one of the runways having to close, and with the recent shut down at Gatwick Airport I thought I would write this week’s bulletin on drones. When the shutdown of Gatwick occurred on

You Are On Your Own Mate…

Charlie discusses the the recent earthquake and tsunami in the Indonesian city of Palu and the importance of taking responsibility for protecting yourself as much as possible during incidents. I said last week I would write something on the Palu earthquake and tsunami. As the title suggests, I thought I would talk about taking personal responsibility for looking

Crisis Communications During Cyber Incidents – What you need to do now!

Charlie looks at crisis communications and the steps you can take now to prepare your organisation for a potential cyber incident in the future. This week I am all cyber-ed up; on Monday and Tuesday I taught a great bunch of people attending our ‘Managing and Preparing for Cyber Incidents’ course, and on Wednesday morning I delivered a Cyber

Deal or No Deal

This week Charlie looks at Brexit and the role of the business continuity manager. At lunchtime yesterday, I asked everyone in the office whether there was a specific subject I should be writing this bulletin on. There weren’t any sensible suggestions this week! Whilst packing up to go home, I put the radio on and it became clear

Extreme Business Continuity – Lessons from Hurricane Maria

Reflecting on his time in Puerto Rico, Charlie shares what he learned from the experiences of those impacted by the events of Hurricane Maria. This week I have been delivering training and exercises in Puerto Rico, whilst learning from the experiences of those who were involved in Hurricane Maria. For this bulletin, I thought I would share some of the

There’s no business, like snow business…

Last week the ‘Beast from the East’ combined with Storm Emma to cause the UK’s worst weather in years. In today’s bulletin, Charlie looks at the lessons BC professionals can take from the incident to prepare for future severe weather events. In Scotland there are still dirty black piles of snow left in car parks and I saw

FCK – Comments on the KFC Crisis

This week Charlie shares his thoughts on the on-going KFC incident and the lessons BC professionals can take from how the crisis has been handled. Ignoring the snow outside and despite it being my third day of not leaving the house, I thought I would leave commenting on the severe weather to next week and this week, as

H&M Hoodie Crisis

This week Charlie looks at the H&M hoodie scandal and outlines the lessons BC professionals can take from the incident.  I didn’t hear about the H&M crisis until recently, so I thought for this week’s bulletin I would share my thoughts on what we can learn from the incident. On 7th January, H&M put up a new item

Is this the end of Ryanair?

This week Charlie discusses the ongoing incident with Ryanair and whether the damage to the airline’s reputation will result in the failure of the company.  Earlier this week, my wife Kim suggested that the recent Ryanair flight cancellations will lead to the breakdown of the company. There are precedents for major incidents leading to the failure of airlines. Shortly after the Lockerbie

Harvey and Irma – What can we learn?

In the midst of hurricane season, Charlie advises business continuity professionals what they can learn from past hurricanes, in preparation for any future incidents. Oscar Wilde once said, “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” In the same way, to have one hurricane is bad, but to have one after the other

The British Airways IT Outage – An Alternative View

This week Charlie discusses the recent British Airways IT disaster and how the incident was handled by the organisation. The pictures of stranded passengers sleeping on the floor at Gatwick and Heathrow are not good for the reputation of British Airways. I noticed, with slight amusement, that every business continuity and IT armchair pundit have taken to social media

United Airlines Incident – Some different thoughts!

This week Charlie looks at how United Airlines handled their recent scandal and whether PR disasters have a long-term effect on the organisations involved.  You cannot have missed the recent coverage of the incident involving a United Airlines passenger. The flight was overbooked, because four United Airlines crew members required last-minute seats. Three passengers went voluntarily, but one passenger, Dr David Dao, refused

Only 32 million people were watching…

This week I have has taken on a piece of work which will involve running a live exercise. I share my thoughts and questions on possible scenarios, and asks for advice from those of you that have run many of these type of live exercises. I have been in London this week, delivering the BCI Introduction to Business Continuity Management course to

President Trump… Do you have a plan?

This article was written on the 4 November 2016 prior to the USA election! This week I focuses my attention on the American election that is taking place next week, and its possible effect on our organisations.  My first thought was to title this bulletin, ‘President Trump…..What If…’, however I felt that this was inappropriate and falling into the same trap as many of

Things fall apart…..

This week Charlie talks about some of the events that are happening in the world and provides his thoughts on the actions that BC professionals may want to take in response.  Even at the Tiree Music Festival last week, in between bands, visits to the bar and camping, I was trying find a minute to listen to the news. With Brexit

Brussels Attack – Same Old…?

This week Charlie talks about the Brussels Attack and thoughts on similar incidents.  This week’s bulletin has to be on the Brussels attack which to date has left at least 31 people killed, and 300 injured. In the news at the moment, further information is coming out about the attacks and the number of raids and arrests by

Jimmy Saville: Lessons Learned

This week Charlie looks at the report into Jimmy Savile’s activities at the BBC and highlights lessons learned. The leading item on the news this week is the publishing of Dame Janet Smith’s report into Jimmy Savile’s activities at the BBC. The report looks at where they missed opportunities to stop his criminal behaviour. I have looked at

Business Continuity in the Philippines

This week I am working in the Philippines, developing business continuity for a multinational building materials manufacturer. It is my first time here so I thought I would share some lessons learned from developing business continuity in a different country to my own; the United Kingdom. The first thing I have noticed is that Filipino people are much more

7/7 Lessons Learned

I thought this week with the 10th anniversary of 7/7 I would look back through one of the reports on the incident by the London Assembly (Report of the 7th July Review Committee) and highlight some of the learning points from the incident. If we can learn from incidents and improve our response, then something good has come

Planning for mass fatalities abroad – lessons learned from Tunisia

For this week’s bulletin I couldn’t leave unmentioned the horrific attack on holidaymakers in Tunisia, just over a week ago. I find myself struggling somewhat to know what to say on the attack and relate it meaningfully to business continuity due to the number of victims and the horror of the event. To call this a business continuity

19/0602015 Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…….

In my bulletin on 20 May 2012 I wrote about the possibility of Grexit (Greece leaving the euro), luckily this never happened. I thought as the negotiations between the European Union, International Monetary Fund (IMT) and Greece have stalled, we should revisit the subject in this bulletin. Greece has a large repayment to the IMF at the end

15/06/2015 Alton Towers Rollercoaster Crash

After commenting on so many organisations that get their crisis management wrong, it is refreshing to see an organisation which in the main have got their response to a serious incident right! The handling of the accident by Merlin Entertainments, the owners of Alton Towers, on the Smiler rollercoaster crash has not been quite but it has been

05/06/2015: The Dangers of Outsourcing

Thank you very much to all those who voted for me as the ‘BCI Industry Personality of the Year’ and congratulations to Dave Window who won!  This week I have been in Oman helping a retail organisation develop their business continuity. Having been in Dubai in the autumn and Oman at the moment, it got me thinking about

29/05/2015 The Beautiful Game…?

I don’t think I can write this bulletin without commenting on the arrest of the FIFA officials. I can admit when I heard about the arrests yesterday I did have a certain feeling of joy. There have been so many allegations of corruption swirling round the organisation but so far it has been ignored and it seems they

27/03/2015 A Threat From Within

This week Charlie discusses the lessons learned from threats from within an organisation. My blog last month was ‘Beware the cuckoo in the nest!’ which talked about the danger of insider threat. On Wednesday I watched the news reports of the Germanwings aircraft crash in the French Alps. Like with all similar plane crashes there was a lot

12/11/2014 UK Power Supply Crisis

Charlie discusses how the UK power supply crisis could affect your organisation. A couple of weeks ago one of the lead stories in the news was the fire at Didcot B Power Station, a gas power station in the South of England. The station, which within the last couple of days has just been brought back on line,

06/10/2014 Creeping Ebola

This week Charlie discusses how the Ebola crisis is creeping up on all of us.  The situation in West Africa, with the on-going spread of Ebola, bears all the classic symptoms of a ‘creeping’ or ‘rising tide’ crisis. In Tally’s Handbook of Disaster and Emergency Management Principles and Practice (edited by Lakha & Moore, 2004) a rising tide crisis is described

26/09/2014 Can we learn about Business Continuity from the referendum

This week Charlie discusses the Scottish referendum results. I have written about Scottish independence before, but thought I would revisit the topic now that the referendum has been and gone. After a long and hard fought campaign, Scottish voters backed remaining in the union by 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989. The result has prompted a lot of questions about

07/08/2014 Ebola – Don’t Panic!

Charlie discusses the spread of the Ebola virus. The first death caused by Ebola outside Africa caught my eye this week, this was a Saudi national who had been visiting Sierra Leone. Over the last few months the number of deaths from the illness has been growing, infecting people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. To date there have been 932

31/07/2014 What can we learn from flight MH17?

Charlie is back in the office this week and discusses the ill-fated Flight MH17. Looking at the pictures of the immediate aftermath of Flight MH17 was quite a shock to the system. Smouldering wreckage intermingled with the strewn personal possessions of those who died in the crash was uncomfortable to watch, particularly as the site was being ‘guarded’

22/04/2014 – Scottish Independence – For Better For Worse

Throughout Scotland, at the moment, all conversations seem to quite quickly move on to the topic of the independence debate. I was sitting in the lounge bar of the Coll Hotel, on the Island of Coll, and could hear a lively debate going on in the public bar. It was a measured conversation and good points were being

02/04/2014 Mystery of flight MH370

This week Charlie writes about the ill-fated Malaysian airliner flight MH370. I was putting off writing about this incident as I was waiting for this mystery to be solved. Although some progress has been made in the search, it seems that there are still more questions than answers. The sad truth is that we may never get to

Clutha police helicopter crash in Glasgow

Last Saturday I was on a night out in Glasgow when I saw the news unfold about a helicopter crash. It was at the Clutha pub, which was just half a mile away from where we were. It is now known that three of the crew lost their lives as did six people who were in the pub

Computer says no! NHS Glasgow computer outage

This week we have seen a textbook example of a business continuity issue making the mainstream news. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had problems with its server which caused more than 700 patients’ appointments to be cancelled. With staff unable to access records and scans, treatments such as chemotherapy were called off. Staff were having to manually enter

Shutdowns and spiders! Grangemouth dispute

Two incidents have caught my eye this week. One is the closure of the Grangemouth petrochemical site in Scotland. The dispute centres around the owners Ineos claiming that they are losing £10m a month. They want to renegotiate the workers terms and conditions in order to turn around the lossmaking plant and make an investment of £300m to

Taking terrorism seriously – Kenya shopping centre attack

The news this week has been dominated by the horrific events that unfolded at the Nairobi Westgate Shopping Centre in Kenya. At least 72 people died, including many innocent civilians, as a result of a four-day siege by Islamist Militants. The building is now nothing but rubble after three of its floors collapsed following a blaze. Government forces

Greenpeace and Russia Clash in the Arctic

In the Southern Ocean everybody can hear you scream! This morning I heard a news item on the radio about Russia seizing the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, which had been protesting about Russian oil drilling in the Arctic. The crew of 26 activists had been held at gunpoint and then detailed by Russian Security Officers… On the BBC

To Frack or Not To Frack?

Over the last couple of weeks I have been watching the protests in the UK at Balcombe. The protest group “No dash for gas” and an assortment of others are protesting against Cuadrillia’s rig which is carrying out frack test drilling. This response to ‘fracking’ and its’ dangers, (or not) seem to be polarized and passions on the subject are

“Leaving On A Jet Plane”…..Oh Wait!

I’m on the Isle of Tiree waiting to put my daughter (9) on a plane to Glasgow; she has to return for a dentist appointment. I took a boat to Tiree to catch the plane. Between the boat arriving and the plane taking off, there was 30 minutes, which is tight even for a small island airport. Of

Pointed Fingers In Quebec

A small Canadian town was devastated last month by a train explosion which killed at least twenty people and left a further 30 missing, presumed dead. The accident happened when a runaway train, carrying 72 cars of crude oil, derailed and burst into flames in Lac-Megnatic in Quebec. The tragedy has had a catastrophic effect on the local

Smog In The City, A Travel Threat

This week’s news seems to be dominated worldwide by the ongoing protests in Turkey and Brazil. As we have discussed riots in the past, I thought this week we would talk about the smog in Singapore, which was brought to my attention whilst I was browsing round the BBC news website. The smog, caused by slash and burn in nearby Indonesia, has resulted in smog covering the

A Tale Of Two Cities

There are two stories that I would like to write about today.  The stories are at either side of the Atlantic and have been dominating the news all week. In the USA, the news has been about the tornado, which hit Oklahoma and horrifyingly killed 24 people. In the UK, the news has been about the “terrorist” attack which

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The story that has been dominating the news this week was the release of the three women in the City of Cleveland.   They had been abducted and held captive for ten years! Their story is both joyous and truly disturbing. Joyous for the families who have their daughters back when they had given them up for dead.  It is

Burying Your Head In The Sand

At 8:25 pm on Friday 4 November 2011, 34 vehicles were involved in a pile-up on the northbound carriageway of the M5 Motorway in the UK (which runs from Birmingham to Exeter). Some vehicles exploded while many went up in flames. Fifty one people were injured and seven were later confirmed dead. Police investigations into the cause of

Armageddon

This week Charlie writes about major incidents in the UK and USA and our thoughts are with the victims and their families of all those affected by these major incidents. This week has been a bad week for incidents in the UK and USA.  As I write this bulletin, the full devastation of the fertiliser factory in Texas

You’re on your own mate…………..

Last week I was telephoned by ‘Reporting Scotland’ (a Scottish TV programme) and asked to comment on the recent power loss situation in Arran and the Kintyre Peninsular, both situated on the west coast of Scotland. Last week they had a very heavy snowfall, causing snowdrifts of up to 5 feet in places and they also lost power. This was due

Spring Has Sprung…Or Has it?

This week winter returned to the United Kingdom and Europe. In the South of London  there were severe snow showers and an icy blast of cold air. Many motorists were trapped overnight in their car and public transport was disrupted. Across in Europe the Channel Islands closed their airports and the road networks were badly disrupted. Today the

Saints, Sinners and Scandals

The Cardinal O’Brien accusation, his confession and his removal from Scotland has been a major headline in the news over the last couple of weeks. The Cardinal was a high profile figure in Scotland and had many supporters. He had recently come to prominence outside church circles in speaking out strongly against gay marriage. About two weeks ago

Don’t Push The Red Button . . . .

This week I have been asked to write about an item which you won’t have seen on the news. A “friend” who shall remain nameless (to protect the guilty) wanted to talk about an incident which occurred to him and which he thought was an instance, which business continuity managers could learn from.  My friend went to his

Fire On Board . . . . Where?

One story which has had very little reported about in the news this week was the Carnival Triumph. A cruise ship with 3200 passengers aboard in the Gulf of Mexico which had a fire in their engine room and caused a loss of ALL power to the ship, it took four days to tow the ship into shore,

Bonkers for Conkers!!

Health and safety within the UK has a bad name, it is often ridiculed in the tabloid papers and there is no shortage of stories about ridiculous decisions made, wrongly, in the name of health and safety. One of the oldest urban myths is that children have to wear safety equipment to play conkers.  For those of you

Algeria, A One Off Terrorist Attack?

I thought this week we should discuss somewhere a bit hotter than the weather we are experiencing in the UK at the moment. Most of the UK, except where I am based in Glasgow, is covered in thick snow and suffering all the results of snow such as power cuts, inability of some staff to get to work

Is It a Beef Burger? . . . .Nay

For the last 10 days in the UK one of the biggest stories in the news has been the finding of horse meat in a number of UK ‘beef’ products. Testing by the Irish government on a number of supermarket own brand burgers found traces of horse DNA and another burger was found to contain 30% horsemeat. The burgers

“Fight or Flight”…. Vauxhall Helicopter Crash

On Tuesday morning the main news item was a helicopter crash in central London which killed two people. It appears that the helicopter hit a crane in fog, exploded and then crashed on to the streets below narrowly missing the bulk of commuters on their way to work. A number of people were injured by flying debris and

The games are dead. Long live the games!

Earlier this week I went to a CSARN event in Glasgow on “The 2014 Commonwealth Games – the race for safety and security”. It’s aim was to look at the lessons learned from the Olympics and see how they applied to the Commonwealth Games. There were presentations from David Wilton Security Operations Manager for Glasgow 2014, Richard Tolley,

Freedom…or Not?

This week in the UK, Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland and David Cameron UK Prime Minister signed a historic document which allows Scotland to have a referendum on whether Scotland should stay in the United Kingdom or should become an independent country. For us in Scotland this is a momentous decision and one of the most important

The sins of the past…

I was watching the news at lunchtime today and saw that Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and he has been accused of leading “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.” I am not a fan of cycling but I am aware of his name for

Managing Help During Incidents

The main story dominating the news in the UK this week is the abduction of April Jones, a 5 year old girl while out playing in the village of Machynlleth in Wales. Despite a huge effort by the Police and local volunteers they have still not found her. This is one of a parent’s worst nightmares, to have

RBS – Learning from incidents

Most of you couldn’t miss the RBS, Nat West and Ulster Bank ‘computer glitch’ over last weekend which led to many of their customers being unable to access their accounts and take money out. The papers were full of stories of people unable to buy houses and parents who couldn’t get money to feed their children. Also, there

People in the recovery process

I was wandering around the BBC news website yesterday and came across the following headline “At least eight people have been killed in a car bombing in central Iraq, security officials and medics say”. Normally I would have thought nothing more of it as it seems to happen all the time in Iraq, and moved on to the

Indian Power Failures

Most of you could not of fail to notice the two big power cuts in India this week, the second of which affected over 600 million people. I think for the most of us to picture such a situation is very difficult.  For many in India, especially the rural parts, they are used to being without power, this

There’s A Riot Going On…

Last week there were riots in many Islamic counties targeting American institutions and organisations seen to be American. This week there has been anti Japanese’s riots in China. Although the cause has been different I think there are a number of similarities and lessons which could be learned which we as business continuity people should take into account

Terrorist Attacks

I noticed this week that the last fugitive of a cult who planned and carried out the Sarin gas attack in 1995 on the Tokyo underground has been captured. Katsuya Takahashi, a member of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, had been on the run since the attack which killed 13 people and injured 6,000. When we look at

Legionella

Today I heard that a second victim had died of Legionella in Edinburgh. So far the total number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease has reached 41, and the number of suspected cases currently stands at 48. Sixteen water-cooling towers in the southwest of Edinburgh have been treated with a range of chemicals to kill any bacteria but

Right Wing Terrorism

The sentencing of Anders Breivik last week to 21 years in prison and the court finding him sane, reminds us that not all terrorists are linked to al-Qaeda and that right wing terrorism can be just as deadly. Breivik killed 77 people when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp. I was reading

Failure to plan is planning to fail

Those of you who have been watching the Olympics for the last couple of weeks cannot fail to have noticed the immerse amount and planning that must have gone on to make the games such a success. The doom-mongers prophesied terrorist attacks, transport chaos and a heroic British muddle through. Instead there was very little transport failure, noterrorist

“We are all Greeks” Shelley

In my bulletin on Thursday 20th October 2011, I wrote about the crisis in the eurozone and what actions the business continuity manager ought to take in response to such crises. My article said that during crisis events which affect the organisation from outside, the business continuity manager needs to have the incident room ready to go and should

Underpants Bomber

I heard in the news this week that the CIA had foiled an ‘underpants’ bomb plot which aimed to bring down an aeroplane. In the piece they were also talking about how Al-Qaeda in Yemen were getting more sophisticated in their bomb making, and that the Al-Qaeda as a whole appeared to be refocusing on attacking Western targets.

Mail terrorism

Over the last few days a total of 10 envelopes containing white powder have been sent to Michael R. Bloomberg and six banks in Manhattan. Following the Anthrax attacks in the USA in 2001, any envelope containing white powder causes mass disruption until the police can prove that is it not anthrax, such as in this case where

F1 Bahrain unrest

I am not a huge Formula 1 fan, rather than sit down and watch an F1 race on a Sunday afternoon, it is a sport which I follow from afar and roughly know what is happening. I was just reading an article in the “i” newspaper which put forward the idea that Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone should

Titanic anniversary

Most of you cannot fail to notice that it is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking this weekend. This has produced a flurry of television programmes, the 3D version of the Titanic film and the anniversary cruise which is visiting the site of the wreck. I personally think that going on a cruise to the site of

Fuel crisis

I was just writing a bulletin about ghost ships (yes there is a relevance to business continuity!) but I thought I should write something on the possible fuel crisis. For those who are not aware of this potential incident, the tanker drivers in the UK who supply petrol stations have just voted to go on strike although no

Sabotaging your Plans

When I was in the army we learned about the Strategic Corporal. When fighting a war, especially an insurgency, it is often the actions of low ranking soldiers on the ground which can have a major impact on the campaign, especially when the battle is taking place in the media as well as the battlefield. The action of

Water shortage

I was amused to see that certain parts of England are looking like they will have to apply for drought orders as their reservoirs are half full. I was amused, as coming from Glasgow it has never seems to stop raining! Every time I come back by plane or train from England I am greeted by a wet

Rangers

For many to see Rangers go into administration last week was a sad day. As we know football clubs are much more than businesses and much more than watching 22 men kick a ball around a park for 90 minutes; they come with large numbers of supporters who care passionately about the fortunes of their club. They feel

Is losing a manager a business continuity issue?

As most of us have probably heard the England Manager Fabio Capello resigned at the end of last week. The situation has been compounded by the Euro 2012 tournament which is taking place in June so this will disrupt the England’s team preparation for it. In business continuity terms is this a business continuity issue if CEO, Chief

Costa Concordia

This week’s bulletin has to be on the Costa Concordia sinking and I thought I would share the following 5 thoughts with you. 1. The ship had some of the most sophisticated navigation systems on any ship and she still hit the rocks. Does your business continuity plans take in to account human error, probably, but do they

Business Continuity & The Olympics – is your organisation ready

I attended an excellent talk by Steve Yates at the Scottish Resilience Conference on Mondayand he was talking about business continuity and the Olympics. The big area he was stressing, was not how good the Olympics business continuity plans were, but whether businesses and public organisations are ready for the disruption caused by the Olympics. I personally thought

St Pauls Cathedral Protests

I have been following the Occupy movement protest at St Paul’s Cathedral in London (and round the world) with some interest as this is a type of Business Continuity incident which perhaps many have not thought about. Most would agree that the Church of England’s handling of the incident has been poor. The protestors are protesting about points

Counting the costs of the riots

I saw this headline on the online version of The Telegraph today (24th August) “UK retailers lost 30,000 trading hours due to riots” which they say equates to upwards of 1,250 trading days lost. When we are carrying out the business impact analysis stage of the business continuity lifecycle we are always trying to find calculations of how

Some initial business continuity thoughts on the Japanese Earthquake

Whatever resilience you have within the organisation mother nature by sheer power can overwhelm them. Think about your supply chain – do any of you essential good come from Japan. They may come from the affected area or as there will be a shortage of power your supplier may be impacted by the lack of electricity. Business deals. I

Regus incident in Australia

Regus who claim to provide business continuity services let many of their customers down just before Christmas. Those who sell business continuity need to make sure that their own house is in order. See the full article at http://bit.ly/hzCD29

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