Cutting the Wrong Corners During Recovery

Cutting the Wrong Corners During Recovery

After a disruption or emergency occurs, it’s tempting to suspend some routine protocols, procedures and standards to recover as quickly as possible. It is often prudent and effective to do so but recovery teams should be mindful that cutting the wrong corners can increase risk, worsen the situation and increase recovery time.

The extreme pressure to “just get it done” may lead to things being done or not done that no one would normally consider prudent.

What things should you avoid during recovery? Anyone who has worked through a recovery will recognize at least a few of the items below, but all should be actively addressed.

  • Starting recovery to soon – Only begin recovery procedures after verifying that the initial event has stopped, people are safe and accounted for, and measures are in place to stabilize the situation
  • Failing to secure building and system access – Ensure gates and doors are secured so only the right people may enter your property and facility and access systems onsite and remotely
  • Ignoring IT and data security and testing protocols –Implement all the data security protocols that were in place before the event, and fully test new systems before going live
  • Not adhering to safety, health and environmental rules – If anything, use more care than normal to ensure all safety rules are followed, especially when equipment and workspaces are damaged
  • Forgetting regulatory compliance – Take the time to rigorously confirm compliance or secure explicit approval from regulators to temporarily suspend compliance
  • Poorly training before re-starting processes and equipment– Ensure people know how to operate upgraded replacement systems and equipment properly and safely, especially when personnel are assuming new positions and roles
  • Neglecting stakeholder communication – Ensure timely, appropriate, and transparent communication with all stakeholders, especially employees, customers, regulators and media
  • Resuming without proper testing – Existing equipment should be tested for hidden damage, and new equipment should be tested per the manufacturer, regulators, and company procedures
  • Discounting the seriousness of a “near-miss” – During recovery, things may occur that could have been much worse without luck or timely intervention. Immediately stop recovery to identify causes and implement preventative measures.
  • Not listening to all members of the recovery team – Team dynamics may lead to decisions based on incomplete but accessible information, or without considering all risks and valid alternatives

Even when well-intentioned, the situation, group dynamics and leadership styles may lead to critical actions being unwisely set aside. It’s vital that recovery plans include steps and protocols to avoid cutting the wrong corners.
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