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Importance of Clear and Concise Business Continuity Definitions

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Speaking the Same Language 

BCM Institute Dictionary 3rd Edition

BCM Institute Dictionary 3rd Edition

When implementing BCP, IT DRP and Crisis Management, any layperson (do not mean to be rude but what I meant was professionals encountering the BCM subject matter for the first time) has a tendency to attach common words and phrases to the meaning that they are familiar with.  For example, disaster, incident, crisis, event and emergency (Refer to Blog: BCM Concepts) as it often can be used interchangeably.  To a layperson, there are pretty much the same.  These words and phrases that we use freely during any BCM implementation tends to have different meaning due to our language, experiences and worldview accumulated during our professional career.

Shortcomings Due to Lack of Standardization

To the surprise of many, one of the shortcomings in the implementation of BCM that is not obvious is the lack of consistency in the usage of definitions.  One of the key challenges is to have a common agreement about the meaning of the word or phrase in the context of BCM.  BCM professionals tend to underestimate that BCM terms and phrases are specialist tools and the need to design it for the by layperson joining this subject for the first time.  These layperson must be able to use these  terms and phrases as part of their daily conversation.

What Action Should be Taken?

We will need to include the definition of the terms that is usually used by the BCM specialist to be made available to our Business Unit BCM Coordinators and BC Team members (or what I sometime refer to us the ordinary people who is involved in the project or program).  It is important that we engage our our Business Unit BCM Coordinators and BC Team members with clearly defined descriptions of each specialized terms.  Taking this small but important “calibration” of your BCP project or BCM programme will definitely make a major difference in the success of your BC initiatives within any organization.

Launch of 3rd Edition

BCM Institute is pleased to launch the 3rd edition of the BCM Institute’s BC and DR Dictionary and it is now available from 1st September 2011.   This edition includes the glossary for Pandemic Flu BC Planning and BCM Audit. It has updated additional BC and IT DRP terms.

Reference:

  1. BCMPedia: Glossary for BCM
  2. A Manager’s Guide to BS25999 British Standard for BCM, ISBN 978-981-05-4300-6 (To be published by 1 Oct 2011)
  3. BCM Institute’s Business Continuity Management Courses
  4. Purchase BCM Dictionary (Version 3.0)

Author: moh_heng

Dr Goh Moh Heng is the Managing Director of GMH Continuity Architects and President of Business Continuity Management (BCM) Institute.

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