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Pristine plans, poor execution: why organizations are unprepared for business continuity

It's June of 2020, and now on top of everything else, we have a reported Loch Ness sighting. I think it's safe to say we didn't see this year coming.

We thought we were prepared for anything—we came into 2020 with emergency plans, business continuity plans, crisis communication plans—and yet despite all that planning, most organizations are struggling with execution in the current environment.

Just 12% of organizations are highly prepared for the impact of coronavirus, according to Gartner’s recent Business Continuity Survey.

With the economic impact of the pandemic already estimated to run $7 trillion (with a T) in the US alone, and with new, major surprises still coming seemingly each week, something about how companies handle the unexpected needs to change. The way we currently plan clearly isn’t enough.

Why? Because business continuity and emergency plans are designed to “check-the-box". They are documented, stored, shelved, and that’s where their story ends. Even if they are tested, they aren’t inherently designed for execution. Pretty documents and presentations fall flat when it’s necessary to spring into action.

How to prepare your business continuity plans for execution:

  • Make Your Plan Dynamic Design the plan’s framework around elements that you can control that will never change—tasks, dependencies, and milestones that will have to be achieved, no matter what the circumstance. This could include things like ensuring individuals’ safety, checking on people who can’t get to work, or getting people back to work once the immediate danger has passed. Then include situation-specific guidelines, thresholds, and staging that can be updated dynamically to fit the current moment.

  • Design to Divide & Conquer Oftentimes, plans lack clear ownership, so at the end of the day – no one is accountable for getting the job done. When it comes time to execute your plan, assign ownership of each task to an individual so responsibilities are clearly defined and agreed upon.

  • Encourage Transparency Emergencies require egos to step aside. Build transparency into your plan to enhance cohesion and morale. Teams are more likely to go the extra mile if they can see everyone around them pulling their weight towards a common goal.

  • Stop Relying on Heroics to Pick up the Slack Execution success frequently relies on individuals to step-up and fill in the gaps. A-players will burn the midnight oil and find a way to make things work! If organizations do this too often though, eventually something will fall through the cracks, or your top team members will eventually flame out and harbor resentment about the lack of leadership and organization.

At Moovila, we believe that execution is everything! So, we designed our project management software to deliver results, not just pretty plans. Dynamic updating, accountability, and transparency are all built in, so your team can focus on executing rather than administering and manual updating. Visit to upgrade your business continuity plans before the next time you need to execute.



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