Sustainability in the Modern Project

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Depending on the industry you work in, your location and even the number of years you have been working, business continuity planning (BCP) and business recovery planning (BRP) may be a core part of what you do—or it may be something you have never had to deal with.

The two disciplines are closely related and they do pretty much what they say—plan for the continuity of business or the recovery of the business. My early years on projects were in London during the early 1990s when the threat of terrorism was an everyday fact of life. That meant every project we delivered had BCP and BRP components, and we would regularly run tests to ensure those plans were working.

If you live in an area where extreme weather or geological events are common, you probably do something similar; and if you work in an industry where outages simply cannot be contemplated, then you certainly deal with this on a regular basis. That could be anything from telecommunications to healthcare or public infrastructure.

BCP and BRP don’t have to be large scale, either. I work from a home office in an area that is subjected to one or two power outages a month on average, and I need to ensure I can still run computers and internet connections through those outages.

Historically though, BCP and BRP have been large-scale enterprise considerations rather than individual challenges. As …

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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm.... that's funny...'"

- Isaac Asimov