KingsBridge Blog

Document Core Processes (aka “What’s that post-it?”)

I walked into the hotel lobby at a client site a few weeks ago to get some tea and review my notes for the day’s meetings.  There was a businessman sitting at a table near the coffee stand, and he was clearly in the middle of an important phone conversation.  From what I could overhear (and he was not being quiet) he was talking with someone in his department (IT) at his head office.  It went something like this:

“Ok, so did you check all the hardware connections?”  pause  “No, that wouldn’t help.  You might have to shutdown and reboot.”  exasperated sigh  “Ok, well I’m in a hotel on the West coast so I can’t come in, but I’ll do what I can to walk you through the steps over the phone.”

So many of the organizations that hire us have gaps in their documentation.  When we ask them why core processes aren’t written out, the usual responses are “We don’t need to write it down, we all know how to do it,” or “We don’t have the time, do you see how understaffed we are?!”  The struggle is real!  It usually takes a large-scale outage to convince a team to get their core processes written down: an outage on the scale of a few hours where, if the documentation had existed in advance, the recovery would have been measured in minutes and not in hours.

Trust me, the benefits outweigh the costs!  Make the time to jot down how to reboot your servers (or your core switches, or whatever it happens to be).  Your supervisors will be thrilled that you had the foresight to put this critical information in writing – even if it’s on a post-it!  You will have saved the business from operational, financial, and even reputational risks.  

Documenting processes is even more important if you are the only one in your department that knows how to do a task; if you can’t come into work because you are on the West coast, you won’t have to field 6am phone calls because your staff will already have all of the steps they need to follow at their fingertips, unlike the poor gentleman in the hotel lobby!

This is just one of the many business continuity and disaster recovery practices that your organization should think about.

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge softwareconsulting and training provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business. Kingsbridge is headquartered in Ogdensburg, New York, with offices in Ottawa, Canada and Burlington, Vermont. For more information visit us at www.DisasterRecovery.com.

July Long Weekend!

It’s so close we can almost taste it! The mid-summer Holiday long weekend is right around the corner.

Did you buy your fireworks?  Your burgers, steaks or franks?  Chips?  And drinks?  If you did, you are prepared to host the best BBQ of the summer season!!  This is THE one that everyone will rave about for the rest of the year (or until your next bash).  But what if a few extra people show up?  What if the weather is hot and sunny so everyone drinks a ton?  Or you run out of buns or potato salad?  Not only will you NOT be the host with the most, but you will be remembered for your poor planning.  However, there is a “simple” solution.  Just plan for the “what ifs” and buy that extra box of fireworks and that extra bag of buns (or the extra case of beer) just to be sure you are prepared for anything.

So what happens when you get back to work?  Will you use the same “simple” logic and plan for the “what ifs” for your business?  Why do we dismiss the unforeseen events that happen to our business and not prepare with a proper back-up plan in place?  We aren’t saying for a second that a box of fireworks is a great plan in case of an unforeseen event with your business.  But a proper Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan… now that’s the solution for being remembered as the person being prepared for the “what ifs” and having the forethought to be prepared for anything!  We know that fireworks won’t save your business, but a solid recovery plan will save you from bad audit reviews, regulatory penalties, service level agreement half truths and possibly losing your entire business!

At KingsBridge we can help you have a great back-up and response plan for your business, and maybe even throw in a box of fireworks for good measure!

Have a great (and safe) July long weekend everybody!

About KingsBridge

KingsBridge offers private businesses and government organizations a unique combination of industry knowledge and cost-effective disaster recovery / business continuity solutions. KingsBridge software, consulting and training provide the tools to assess possible threats and create tailored plans which mitigate risks and minimize losses in the event of a disruption to business. Kingsbridge is headquartered in Ogdensburg, New York, with offices in Ottawa, Canada and Burlington, Vermont. For more information visit us at www.DisasterRecovery.com.

 

We’re packed! See you at Continuity Insights?

packed

Only a few days until Continuity Insights 2016 Management Conference, “The Road to Resilience” kicks off in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee.  Will we see you there?

It promises to be a busy, productive fun few days.  A chance to connect & chat with people in a role similar to yours, and others who may have a different perspective on the world of Business Continuity.  From attendees to exhibitors like KingsBridge, there will be a huge pool of knowledge and experience to draw on and learn from.

From Continuity Insight’s website:

ciinsight

“The conference comprises three days of comprehensive educational programming, numerous networking opportunities, a review of the latest technologies and practices, additional certification and post-conference workshops, and much more. It is truly the industry’s leading event for experienced business continuity professionals.”

Drop by the KingsBridge Booth (#303) and let us know how you’re enjoying the show.  As always, we’d love to learn more about what you’re doing and we’ll be happy to share everything that’s new and upcoming at KingsBridge. Speaking of which-

Rumour: Is it true there is a new version of KingsBridge Shield to be released in 2016?

new-old

This is going to be a big year for Shield.  Keep an eye on us for more information as to when you’ll get a first-hand look at the largest single upgrade to the tool since its original release.  If you don’t follow us on twitter yet, now would be a good time to start so you don’t miss the announcements.  Better yet, if you are going to be at Continuity Insights next week, drop by and see us, we’ll give you a live sneak peek, but don’t tell anyone.

From the @KDRLife Files: Shark!

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Matt with his new friend, March 2016 at #DRJSpring

Now that you’re following the official KingsBridge corporate feed on twitter, you might want to follow @KDRLife while you’re at it.  No Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity info from @KDRLife tweets, this account is all about the after-hours fun side of KingsBridge.  Be warned: This is not for the faint of Heart!  Our crew does some pretty nutty stuff on their off-time, so get ready for some action.

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Skip shredding it @BaldfaceLodge, April 2016

Thanks for catching up on what’s new here at KingsBridge!  We’ll report back after Continuity Insights to let you know how it went.  Not sure how the deep-sea fishing or snowboarding is going to be in Nashville…

DRJ SpringWorld – See you there?

SpringWorld2015-MainLogo

Two more sleeps until the BC/DR industry’s biggest event: The Disaster Recovery Journal SpringWorld show at Disney in Orlando!  

For those of you who go every year, we’re looking forward to catching up with you and hearing what’s new.  If you’ve never been but you’re going to make it this year: Good call!  Tons of information, great people for networking and sharing war stories, and of course– It’s at Disney!

KingsBridge will be there, as always, so drop by the booth and say, “Hi”!  Better yet, kick-off the show with our Sunday Afternoon Workshop, “Jump the hurdles! How to keep your plan development moving”, (session #5) led by our own Skip Williams.  No snooze-fest lecture here, it’s going to be a fun, interactive, fast-paced chance to share & solve the common obstacles we all run into while trying to keep DR/BC planning a top priority.  *Note: Our phones have been ringing off the hook due to a rumour that Steve “Captain America” Rogers will be in the room, but we neither confirm nor deny this possibility.

hockey

As a show of friendship to our host state, our hometown NHL Hockey Team, The Ottawa Senators, was kind enough to let The Panthers have the game last night.  KingsBridge’s Skip & Steve were there as official ambassadors to greet the crowd and reduce the levels in the kegs at the concession stands.  Thanks for a great season, Ottawa!

KingsBridge Shield:  Are you a user?  Get ready.

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Those of you who are users of our flagship tool, KingsBridge Shield, are in for a treat in the coming months.  The biggest improvements to both look & feel as well as functionality since Shield first went live are nearing release.  It’s going to look better, run faster, and give you even more ability to keep your plan up to date and easy to access.  It’s not open  to the public yet, but drop by our booth and we’ll give you an advance sneak preview.

There are more fish in the sea- until we get there!

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Want to spend the Saturday before the show sitting in a boardroom discussing back-up procedures?  Don’t call us, we’ll be somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean deep-sea fishing!  The KingsBridge philosophy is big on keeping that DR/BC plan up to date so you can forget about it on the weekends and enjoy life, knowing the plan will always be there when you need.

So, we’re leading by example!  We’ll be spending the day with Time and Tide Tours.  Will we catch anything?  Will the weather be good? Will Steve get sea-sick?  If you want to know the answers, you’ll have to follow the FUN side of KingsBridge on Twitter, @KDRLife, to see how it all turns out.   Not on Twitter?  Drop by the booth on Sunday and get the low-down in person.

See you at the show!

What have you been missing?

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With every passing month, our developers are adding more and more functionality to KingsBridge Shield.  Some of the changes are big news that we brag about, others are minor background improvements that make your life easier without even knowing it.  Here are a few that have come up in conversation with customers lately.  Did you know about them?

Customizable Personnel columns

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As with everything in Shield, you have the ability to customize the columns in your Personnel table.  The first 5 are mandatory, but after that – add as many fields as you need to make the Personnel database in Shield match the incoming database from your HR people.  Hit the “Data” tab, then “Personnel”, then the “Edit Columns” button and you’re on your way!

Last Modified

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When was the last time someone updated this section?  Who did it?  The answers are in Shield, in two places.  When you’re looking at a section, if it has been edited from the original template we supply, there will be a time, date, & user stamp in green text just below the title of the section in the main screen.  Want to see a summary of all the changes done, in chronological order?  Head back to that “Data” section and look at “Last Modified”, it will give you a table-view of what’s been happening with your plan.

 

Beam

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Did you know you can add notification to your account?  Straight from Shield, with our new Beam offering, you can initiate a notification to the recipients you choose.  They will simultaneously be sent an email and an SMS (text) notification.  Communication is a critical part of a successful response, and now Shield helps you handle that, too.  Talk to your KingsBridge contact if you want to learn more about adding Beam to your Shield plan.

 

Want to help us help some great kids?

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Ok, enough about Shield – Let’s do something to help out some kids who could use a boost.  The KingsBridge “KDRLife” Crew (you can follow this famous after-hours side of KingsBridge on Twitter, @KDRLife) is taking part in “24 Hours of Tremblant”, a fantastic charity event that raises money to help out all kinds of kids in all kinds of ways.  If you have a couple of spare dollars that you’d like to send to a good cause, head to our team page and sponsor your favourite KingsBridgian.  Thanks for anything you can give!

 

Just one more thing…

Been to the iOS App store lately?

Do you subscribe to our newsletter?  If you do, you’re going to hear great news next week.  If you don’t, but want to – send a note to mattm@disasterrecovery.com and he’ll put you on the list.

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