Project Management

IT Project Lessons from Titanic (Part 12)

Durham Highlands Chapter

In recapping Titanic's situation, following the restart of the ship (Part 10) the flooding became catastrophic. Around 12:45 p.m. , 65 minutes after the initial grounding on the ice shelf, the captain gave orders to the officers to uncover the lifeboats and get the passengers and crew ready on deck. The crew, confused by unclear communication (Part 11), operated in a state of disbelief, refusing to believe that anything was wrong. After all, there were still few signs of the disaster.


In today's world, disaster recovery is the concept of switching the online operation to an alternate service-delivery environment. However, it takes many shapes and forms, from the relatively simple recovery of data and files from a single application in a timeframe measured in days, to the relatively complex recovery of a complete business operation in a timeframe measured in minutes or hours. A disaster can take three forms, namely: total (absolute and immediate), rapid and imminent, slow and innocuous. When a disaster is recognized, contingency plans are invoked and a disaster is declared.


On board Titanic, the disaster was slow and innocuous. Although a full recovery was not feasible anymore, the captain and officers could enact a partial recovery. But without a formalized evacuation or disaster recovery plan, the best they could do was to bring some order to prevent widespread panic …

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"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."

- Pablo Picasso