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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.

Dealing with Anniversaries

Charlie discusses how companies should be commemorating and including the anniversaries of traumatic events within their business continuity plans, whilst keeping in mind how anniversaries such as these will also affect your employees. Last week it was 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. The commemorations that followed got me thinking about anniversaries and how

The difference between a generic response and contingency plans

This week I look at the differences between a generic response and contingency plans. This week has been very busy for me, and amongst other tasks, I have been conducting a debrief for a multinational company on their response to date on COVID-19. I have also been helping another organisation rewrite their plans, so I am very focused

What types of incident is business continuity meant to deal with?

This week I discuss why having a clear scope of the incidents that business continuity is designed to deal with is important within your organisation. Scope of incidents Yesterday I had a good chat with a member of the Business Continuity Board, who is also an FBCI and has been involved in writing many of the ISO standards, so he

What is a Brexit Operating Regime and Do I Need One?

With the 31st October approaching, Charlie explores the idea of a Brexit Operating Regime and some preparations that your organisation can put into place. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been doing a number of Brexit workshops and exercises. As the 31st October is rapidly approaching, I thought I would share some of my ideas on

Part 2: Plans! Huh! Good God! What Are They Good For?

In Part 2 of Charlie’s blogs on Business Continuity Plans, he looks at the different audiences and how we can develop future plans. In last week’s bulletin we looked at what plans are for and the different purposes of business continuity and crisis management plans. Today we will look at who the different audiences are and I will

Plans! Huh! Good God! What Are They Good For?

In today’s bulletin, Charlie looks at the purpose of Business Continuity Plans and what they are really used for. Absolutely nothing? I thought this week I would allow Boris to Boris and leave the captured tanker with the Iranians, so instead I am going to talk about plans. As business continuity people, I think ‘the plan’ is the

Brexit II – Just When You Thought It Was Safe!

As both potential Prime Ministers have shown support for a no-deal Brexit, Charlie looks at decision points and synchro matrices as useful tools for planning for a possible no-deal Brexit. This week the papers are full of articles about the two wannabe Prime Ministers slogging it out in the media and delivering their pitches to Conservative Members. The

Hurricane Planning – New Learning Points

This week, Charlie looks at what points you should consider when planning for a hurricane. For the last couple of weeks I have been in the Caribbean, helping a power and water company plan for hurricanes, so I thought I would share what I have learnt. I have done a reasonable amount of hurricane planning before, and have

An Old Threat Returns

Charlie looks at the latest spate of parcel bombs and why now might be a good time to review your plans, procedures and awareness. This week I was down in London delivering the Managing and Preparing for Cyber Incidents course. I noticed in the news at lunchtime that parcel bombs had been sent to Heathrow Airport, Waterloo Station and

Cyber Playbooks – Updated & Revisited

Charlie discusses developing a new kind of playbook which could help you plan for different types of cyber-attack. This week I have had a bit of an epic journey. I started off in Shetland and ended the week in Abu Dhabi, having spent a couple of days in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I only visited one company in Saudi,

Don’t Pay By The Inch

Charlie discusses the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to business continuity documents. This week I have been reviewing the level of emergency response, business continuity and crisis management of a utility in the Caribbean. As part of the review, I was asked to look at their security documents and procedures. I came across an inch-thick security

3gBC – Slimming your plans…

In the third instalment of 3gBC, Charlie advises BC professionals how to make their plans slimmer, both immediately and radically. I thought for this week’s bulletin I would continue sharing my ideas on Third Generation BC (3gBC), by looking at how to make your plans slimmer and more agile. Apologies to the two Julie’s who asked for an

Incident Support Teams

Last week I delivered Incident Support Team Training for an organisation in London and I would share some thoughts on the training! I believe that having one or two people designated as the Incident Support Team (IST) is an essential part of your Incident Management Team (IMT), whether it is a strategic, tactical or operational team. The support

Sending staff home after an incident – a checklist!

This week I share some information about staffing during an incident and some of the things that should be planned for prior to incidents taking place. Last week I delivered a series of exercises for a Bank in Portugal. One of the exercises was looking at how their IT development staff would manage an incident if they were to

Increased Resilience – The Missing Strategy

This week I have been doing a lot of thinking about BIAs, so I thought I would write this week’s bulletin on a strategy I think is missing from the Business Continuity Institutes “Good Practice Guidelines” (GPG). At present according to the GPG there are seven strategies you can use to plan your recovery. These are: 1. Diverse

08/05/2015 Implementing Business Continuity within Manufacturing

Yesterday Kim (fellow BC professional and wife) and I spent the day touring a cement plant. We did the whole end to end process from the quarry, where the raw materials come from, through to the cement bagging plant; this included a visit to all parts of the process in between. This was an orientation visit to a plant in the

08/04/2015 How good are your Business Continuity Plans really?

Charlie Maclean-Bristol lists ten areas where many business continuity plans can be improved in. The article can be found at – http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1156.html Charlie’s list is as follows: 1. Scope. On many of the business continuity plans that I see it is not clear what the scope of the plan is. The name of the department may be on the front of the

23/01/2015 How do BC Managers prepare for a terrorist attack?

This week Charlie discusses the recent terror attacks in France and what they mean to business continuity managers. The terrorist attacks in France last week remind us, if we need a reminder, of the dangers and impact of a terrorist attack. The attack on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket were quite shocking and the large demonstrations in

03/07/2014 Seven deadly sins of business continuity plans

This week Charlie gives you some of the key styles to avoid when writing your plans. Last week I helped plan and deliver a workshop for the Scottish Continuity Group. The theme of the day was to give the delegates ideas of ways to improve their plans. Presentations were given on a number of aspects of planning – including short

18/06/2014 Dealing with mass fatalities

This week Charlie Maclean-Bristol discusses mass fatalities. Recently I went to an excellent seminar in Dundee organised by the Tayside Local Resilience Partnership titled “Managing responders needs during a mass fatalities incident”. The day was mainly aimed at the emergency services and the local authority, who would respond to an incident with mass casualties and discussed how to

03/06/2014 How to protect the unique…..

This week Charlie writes about protecting unique cultural artefacts.  This week’s bulletin is about an incident that is close to home for me. The historic Mackintosh Library, at the Glasgow School of Art, was gutted by fire. The blaze destroyed some extremely culturally significant artefacts, along with the artwork of students which was being readied for the end

27/03/14 How good are your business continuity plans?

Charlie Maclean-Bristol lists ten areas where many business continuity plans can be improved. Charlie’s list is as follows: 1. Scope. On many of the business continuity plans that I see it is not clear what the scope of the plan is. The name of the department may be on the front of the plan but it is not

14/3/14 10 Items which should be in a BCP (and are often forgotten!)

1. Scope. On many of the plans I see it is not clear what the scope of the plan is. The name of the department may be on the front of the plan but it is not always obvious whether this is the whole of the department, which may cover many sites, or just the department based in

Weathering the storm – Dealing with a prolonged incident

All of us here in the UK, to a greater or lesser extent, have been affected by the high winds and flooding which seem to have continued relentlessly since Christmas. The last few days seem to have brought some quieter weather but I know there are still a number of flood warnings in place. Floods are not new

The missing link in the business continuity lifecycle

This week I thought I would discuss what I think is a missing part of the business continuity life cycle. It was brought home to me when I conducted some crisis management training on Monday and then again when I conducted a major exercise on Tuesday. The new business continuity life cycle starts with ‘analysis’ or understanding the

Send in Eeyore!

Last month, the British Chancellor, George Osborne announced his spending review of Government spending in 2015-16. He had hoped to further reduce the deficit by economy growing and by collecting more taxes but instead has announced a further £11.5bn cut in government spending. Political commentators have been saying the Chancellor “didn’t think” when he took up office that

Planning is Everything

This week Charlie writes about major incidents in the UK and Abroad and our thoughts are with the victims and their families of all those affected by these major incidents. There are a number of news stories, which have caught my eye this week. The most horrific was the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh. To date,

G4S Appearances Count

I am not sure whether this news has reached international level, but in the United Kingdom the security company G4S has hit the headlines for their failure to deliver the 13,000 security guards it was contracted to provide at a cost of £280m during the Olympic Games.  Contingency plans have been invoked and 3,500 troops have been deployed

You’ll Never Walk Alone

I remember seeing the Hillsborough disaster on the television as it happened, but for me it was not one of those iconic moments when you remember exactly where you were when it happened. My two iconic moments when I remember exactly where I was are 9/11 and when Lady Di died! For those of you not familiar with

PD 25111 – People in the plan

In my previous bulletin I promised that I would talk about some thoughts on the human aspects of business continuity and write a synopsis of PD 25111 which was published about a year ago. This document deals with the human elements in business continuity. As far as I can see the document is ok, but I do feel

It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)

The 80s Fun Boy Three (with Bananarama) song could equally could have gone “it aint what you say it’s the way that you say it” and this in many cases is true, extreme views given in a calm, measured and a well structured way, seem almost sensible. In the same way senior managers during disasters have tried to

Recovery from Incidents

As promised I will speak about the activities you carry out after an incident such as a fire. I tried to sneak in a bulletin about sabotage this week but have been firmly told that it has to be about the activities after the fire has been put out! Firstly after an incident you need to think who

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