Dhiraj Lal and I invite comments on what we feel is a new concept that can help organizations to further improve their approach to put in place an effective BCM program!
While not in any BCM Standard so far, in our book on the UAE BCM Standard NCEMA 7000 (you can look it up on https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0846QZP7G ), we have proposed 2 new terms to be introduced into the global BCM methodology – DTO and MDMT. In our consulting assignments, we have often proposed that organisations must mandate that a decision must be taken sooner than later. An early decision with incomplete information may be better than waiting long to get full and accurate information, during crises. Interestingly, some of these organizations have had success in meeting their RTO/ MAO.
In our book “STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE to the AE/SCNS/NCEMA 7000:2015 BCM STANDARD – Implement BCM the UAE way!“ (first published in late 2019), we have suggested that these 2 decision-making terms be formally introduced into global BCM methodology. These 2 terms are :
- Decision Time Objective (DTO) – The target time after the incident by which time an invocation decision must be taken
- Maximum Decision-Making Time (MDMT) – The worst-case time after the incident, by which time the invocation decision must be taken
Our rationale is that if the “yes/ no/ by when” invocation decision gets delayed, then there is a good chance that the organisation may run short of time to meet the RTO/ MAO timelines. If the MDMT gets crossed, then there is a good chance that the organization may also miss its MAO. Conversely, advance clarity as to the DTO could help enhance the ability of the organization to be able to meet its RTO. So, both the DTO and MDMT add value by being control parameters. Like RTO and MAO, DTO would always be less than MDMT, and the MDMT would typically be much less than the MAO. Similarly, DTO must be much less than RTO.
For example, if it may take the organisation around 6 hours worst-case to move people from the primary site to the Work Area Recovery site, then perhaps the worst case decision time (MDMT) could be set at 2 hours. If the RTO is 4 hours, DTO could be around 1 hour.
Our rationale in proposing these 2 terms was validated recently by the CIO of a large and respected corporate whose very robust IT failed unexpectedly. Management did not invoke IT DR because they were assured that the problem would be resolved in 10 minutes. But new problems kept cropping up. The restoration that should have taken 10 minutes finally took 2 hours. As a result, the IT DR invocation decision got delayed, and the organisation bust their MAO – with the to-be-expected resultant negative financial and reputational consequences. Management was livid, and some heads rolled. “I wish we had taken the invocation decision earlier,” the CIO moaned.
“That’s exactly what we suggested, almost a year ago,” We said! “In future, please decide in advance the time within which to take the decision.”
We invite BCM professionals worldwide to comment on our 2 new terms (“DTO” and “MDMT”), and indeed to build upon it, for the benefit of the global BCM worldwide.
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