FallWorld is a great show, coming at the perfect time. Back-to-school season is in full swing, the time of year we’re all ramping-up after enjoying the summer, re-focused on improving everything we do, with Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery planning included.
The Disaster Recovery Journal has been running SpringWorld and FallWorld for more years than I can count, so why do we keep going back? Because, while the theme is always the same, the information and people you have the chance to experience are always new and different.
Top 3 Reasons to attend FallWorld:
Whether you’re talking to a fellow attendee, one of the guest speakers, or those of us on the Exhibitor floor, it’s half a week of great conversations. The right mix of business and social, it’s fun way to catch up on what’s new in the industry.
Walking the show floor between sessions, you have the chance see some of the newest hardware and software designed to help you do your job better, easier, and faster. From planning tools like KingsBridge Shield to emergency survival kits, there is always a huge variety to see in your window-shopping between speakers.
San Diego is one of the most beautiful, dynamic cities you’ll ever visit. The show itself is at the Hilton San Diego Bay Front Hotel, so you can catch some fresh ocean air with a cold drink while you’re waiting for the next breakout session to start. The Gaslamp District, easily walkable from the hotel, has something for everyone: Great food at any of dozens of restaurants, shopping at the outlet stores, or just step across the street to Petco Park and catch a Padres game.
The KingsBridge crew usually finds time for a couple hours of fun after the show ends. We’ve gone flying at JetPack America, and rented SeaDoos to tour San Diego Bay. Our Steve Rogers is big into Geocaching so he took advantage of the SeaDoo to attempt to find a geocache located on a navigational buoy in the middle of the bay. As you can see below, a rather grumpy sea lion decided that Steve was not going to be successful. Maybe next year, Steve!
So, come out and soak up the FallWorld experience, and make sure to drop by and see us at the KingsBridge Booth, #416. Maybe we’ll even tell you more about what Matt and Steve are hiding on that roll-up…
Here at KingsBridge, we’re like anyone else in the business world: Before we’ll take any advice or instruction to heart, we want to know that it’s based on experience and proven past results. Just because someone talks a good game doesn’t mean they can play a good game.
So, coming at that from the other side– Why should you listen to the advice and recommendations we give you? How do you know we’re not just blowing hot air and throwing acronyms around to talk circles around you?
Because we don’t just preach it, we do it.
Take this upcoming weekend, for instance: On mid-afternoon Friday, a mixed team from various business units within KingsBridge is going to be dropped into a live exercise to test our own corporate Business Continuity plan. They’ll be pulled out of their familiar corporate offices and dropped into the middle of a lake (ok, they’ll be dropped on land, not actually INTO the lake) in a provincial park deep in the heart of Canada, and will attempt to maintain business as usual with only an iPhone and a fishing rod.
Though they know it will be intense, the whole team is confident of their success, and they fully support the chance to challenge themselves and their flagship planning software, Shield.
Chris Whitten, Software Developer & Munitions expert had this to say: “Ask the head IT person at any of a hundred different software companies what their single greatest worry is, and they’ll all say the same thing: What if a pack of hungry raccoons takes down the development server? I’m looking forward to seeing if KingsBridge’s own failover architecture is as rodent-proof as we think it is.”
We asked Skip Williams, CEO & Director of Mayhem, why he chose this particular scenario to exercise his own Business Continuity Plan, and his answer surprised us:
“When we’re hired to help an organization test it’s plan, we always emphasize that it is indeed the PLAN that is being tested, not the people. Too often, employees feel a lot of stress during an exercise, thinking they are the ones under the microscope, when really we’re watching how the recovery procedures fare, not giving a pass/fail mark on the people themselves. But this time it’s different. This is our own company, and I wanted to put my team in the high-stress environment of a campfire beside a crystal-clear lake to see how well they’ll perform. If they can’t go two nights without sleep, with nothing to live on but raw hot dogs and 5 cases of warm beer, then quite frankly– there’s no place for them at KingsBridge.”
The dog-days of summer are here! As you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re sitting in your favorite deck chair at the cottage instead of your office cubicle. We all need a break from the usual routine of the workday, a chance to relax, re-charge and spend some time away from the many screens that fill our days.
Your vacation provides an opportunity to do something that not enough of us do- let go of the reins of your Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) plan and put someone else in charge of maintaining and updating it.
Cross-training is a vital part of every cog in the organization, and your BC/DR plan is no different. It could be something minor, like just having someone else do the weekly update to the personnel records, or maybe you want to throw out a larger challenge and have your team run a table-top exercise while you’re not around to jump in and save the day. Are you confident that they would come through it with flying colours? If the answer is, “no”, all the more reason to do it!
It’s also a great time to run yourself through a drill or two. Do you use a BC/DR planning tool like KingsBridge Shield that allows you to access your plan from a mobile device? If so, when’s the last time you did? Next rainy afternoon, grab a mug of something hot (or a bottle of something cold) and run your own one-person exercise from your phone or tablet, you’ll likely find some holes to fill.
Meanwhile, stop reading this and get some fresh air & sun! Only 136 days until winter…
For those of you who use KingsBridge Shield Gold or Platinum, you now have some powerful data export options for your Threat Risk Analysis and Business Impact Analysis results. Have a look at the new additions on the “Administration” page, and by all means let us know if you’d like a quick tour of the new features, we’ll be happy to show you how it works.
KingsBridge is having another great year! We’re busier than ever on both the software front (pretty exciting stuff coming, keep watching!) as well as our core business of Business Continuity Planning consulting.
So how do we find time to make a delicious, gourmet Bacon Explosion on the corporate smoker on a Thursday? It takes a bit of time to prepare and quite a while to cook.
No single one of us could blow-off a morning to dedicate to creating this feast, but when we make it a group effort – it happens pretty quickly! Chris showed up with a couple of pounds of bacon & sausages. Steve started cooking the bacon for the inside while Matt made the bacon weave. All under the watchful eye of Melanie and Jason who were mixing Caesar’s for the kitchen staff (Hey, it’s summer and it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!) and getting the smoker up to temperature.
We’ve done this a number of times now, so we have it down to a pretty quick routine. In & out of the kitchen in less than 30 minutes, then just wait a few hours for the final product.
So what’s the connection to BCP? There are a few:
Do all of the above on an ongoing basis and you’ll have a reliable, tested, up-to-date plan in place. You never know, it might save your bacon one day.
Work life at KingsBridge is fantastic, best place I’ve ever been employed. Having said that, when a warm sunny Friday in July rolls along, I still can’t wait to bust out for the weekend!
Last week I went camping at a beautiful back-country spot, accessible only by boat. Miles from civilization (and my laptop), it was the perfect way to turn off the rest of the world and just enjoy the sound of waves lapping against the rocks as I sipped something cold by the campfire.
So why did that damn Bumblebee get me thinking about work?
It was Saturday afternoon and, walking in bare feet, I was paying close attention to the rocky ground when I spotted a Bee, dutifully working away at pulling nectar out of small flowers. Nothing out of the ordinary, it’s what they do.
Then I looked closer… The poor guy must have been in a fight, or flown through a fire or something. Whatever the reason, his wings were almost gone and flight was no longer an option. Yet still, there he was collecting nectar that he’d never be able to get back to the hive.
Why? It was driving me crazy watching him pour so much effort into something that would never be realized.
So how does this tie in to Business Continuity Planning (BCP)? It reminded me of a talk our Skip Williams gave at a recent Disaster Recovery Journal SpringWorld show. Historically, BCP involved thinking through different responses for all possible scenarios that might impact you. Hurricane? Use this plan. Water main break? Use that plan… dozens of plans for dozens of possibilities. Countless hours of work for plans that may never see the light of day. Just like the Bee pouring his last efforts into something that will never be used.
Skip’s point is that we should all be thinking about how to fix the situation we’re in, not worrying about whether it was a fire or a flood that put us there. It will make for less work, and a smarter, more effective plan.
So, the next time you’re updating your plan (you do that on a frequent, scheduled basis, RIGHT?) think about the Bee: Are you spending time on scenarios that will never happen, or are you focusing on how you can get your organization off the ground again after something clips your wings?