Sunday, 2 January 2011

Life Continuity Plan

Every business worth its salt touts a Business Continuity Plan; with that dreaded acronym BCP. In many companies its mostly a piece of paper; not worth what its written on. But in some companies its taken to an obsessive level - elaborate design and repeated testing. The thought leads me to muse on whether a Life Continuity Plan is worth considering for a society or even individuals. It might sound like a morbid thought, especially as the New Year cheer has still not died down, but it isn't.

Take societies. Its "life chain"has been optimised so much that there is little slack for things going wrong. One truckers strike is enough to make most goods vanish from stores - happens in India repeatedly. The power grid in most countries is bursting at its seams ; just needs one major breakdown and there will be a fair amount of chaos - remember California of a few years ago. Natural disasters, even minor ones, cause mayhem - recall the Icelandic volcano of last year. And witness the looting and crime that happens when there's even a minor break down in law and order. When petrol pumps (or gas stations) dry up, as they easily can, imagine the consequences.

Yes, life does go on, when such things happen. Does it ?? Life doesn't go on, at least in any normal fashion, for those caught in the middle of it. Anybody in Haiti would appreciate this thought.

What about us individuals ? How many of us can face a disaster, god forbid, if it were to happen to us ? Have we written a will ? Have we insured our stuff ? Do we know what we will do if we lost our job ? Of course, such things happen to others, not to us. May it never happen to us. But just in case .......

I know this not a post keeping with the mood of the new year. But then good times are always the best of times to plan for a rainy day. I believe societies and individuals, must have a "life continuity plan". One that foresees disasters and plans for coping with them. Efficiency is all fine; but a highly underrated word is resilience.

Individuals, and societies, must build resilience into their fabric. Only then can we enjoy the true fruits of efficiency.


  1. Anonymous2/1/11

    thala.chaancela...was thinking on posting something on similar lines :) athenna disaster recovery?? y shd we recover disaster? nyayapadi DRP ku badila RFD nu thaana varanum? Recovery from Disasternu? haioo haioo... Indialaa renday arivaali...onnu GD Naidu..innonu G for gilsuuu :D hehehee

  2. Thought-provoking stuff... Ramesh. It is good to remember this during the "sunny days" and celebrations must not overtake reality checks at all points of time. One never know what could happen before the eyes blink. That is why perhaps elderly caution everytime we laugh loud and become overjoyed.

    While there are few things we do keep at the back of our head, there are other importants ones too which must be thought out thoroughly. Absolute merit in what you have reminded us irrespective of the time of the year :)

  3. @Gils - Totally agree about the arivaalis ! nd what a superb idea of RFD.

    Already one of the frontrunners for the comment of the year !!

    @Vishal - Hate to be a spoilsport, but as you can see, I am becoming an "elder" :)

  4. I should have used "wise" instead of "elderly" perhaps! :):)

    It is so delightful when you share such valuable insights with us. :)

  5. @Vishal - :):):)

  6. Food for thought indeed!
    The trend is slowly changing from 'Save for the rainy days' to 'Live for the day" now-a-days.
    Right time to pull up and work on the LCP!

  7. Strangely enough making a will has been on my list of new year resolutions for the past 3 years and I still haven't done it. Hopefully this year... But why this sobering post to kick off the new year??

  8. True, given the way our lifestyles are, there needs to be a fair degree of planning required to get things lined for any exigency.

    Nice to see pics starting to accompany your posts. :-) Adds color, definitely.

  9. kiwibloke3/1/11

    Give up the blackberry, unplug yourself, play the guitar or hockey, climb a mountain,surf the sea (not the net) run a restaurant, that is life. What we do in 'life' at work is probably not what we intend to do most often. Discountinuing what we do as "life" is perhaps the best LCP. (of course all the above including surfing needs a lot of dough!)

  10. I just watched a film called Sicko by Micheal Moore last night. The guy is a little over the top, but I guess he has to be that ways to stir the masses. Its a semi-documentary in many senses, but its not far from reality. Just goes to show when a system is built with near-sightedness and lack of public interest, it grows up into such a monster. Indeed societies have to be mindful, alert and proactive to assess whats being thrown at them. Disasters can be systemic, not just natural. And the former variety are far more difficult to cope with later on.

    Maybe I am a little out of context here, but I am walking with a sunken heart today.

  11. @Sriver - Yes, live for the day is very much the norm.But even if not monetary wise, its better to consider some form of fallback plans in case of a difficulty striking.

    @J - Problem with age, as Vishal so rightfully observes, is the tendency to play spoil sport by saying - be careful !!!

    @RamMmm - Mmmmm. Had forgotten that pictures exist in China as there was no way I could upload them through a proxy !! But I am photographically challenged ; so maintaining the colour would be herculean !!

  12. @kiwi - That's a great thought very well said. Discontinue current life pattern ..... how attractive it sounds :):)

    @Deepa - Great thought, but what on earth are you doing watching Micheal Moore ??????? Extremists such as he and those from the opposite side of the spectrum like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh are best stayed away from !!!!

  13. Strange but true... i have been thinking about writing a post on "out of office auto reply" rendu moonu leave pottale.... please contact so and so for this auto reply message set panrom....

    mothama appeet aayite...veetla irukravanga...ethuku yaara contact pannanumndra matter eluthi veikrathae illa....

  14. @nandoo - Welcome to this place. I can understand the reluctance to leave a final out of office message - scary and morbid to some, but its a necessary thing to do actually.

  15. Sandhya Sriram5/1/11

    my mom has a blue dairy.

    She insisted that my dad write down all his assets (deposits, where his deeds are) etc in that. she has been telling me and my sister to keep a copy of that with us in case something happens to them. we always ward of the topic as we find it emotionally very difficult to handle. But my Mom always takes this very practically. even though, she is not very highly educated. Just completed schooling. but i have always wondered at her planning in these things.

    after reading this post, i respect her even more today. maybe time for me to create my blue dairy...

    nice post Ramesh.

  16. @Sandhya - Amazing , what your mom's view is. The problem is that its a very emotional issue, but its something we have to get to.

  17. Anonymous22/9/11

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Follow by Email

Blog Archive

Featured from the archives