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Assembling Your Tools

Almost without exception, the slides and communications mediums we're suggesting speak to business issues and not technical issues. Business terminology is the topic in which executives are conversant—not technology issues. A good consultant always writes for his audience!

The following lists pull together the most important concepts and suggestions to take from this series:

Sources of probability data:

Presenting the probability of a disaster:

  • Figures must be substantiated.
  • Figures must be relevant to your organization.
  • Best expressed in percentage probability.
  • Figures must communicate easily. (Use color, charts, graphs, if possible.)
  • Consider conducting a failure mode effects analysis (FMEA).

Characteristics of a good presentation:

  • Brief, 3–4 slides. Use good visual media.
  • Well-researched materials and figures.
  • Validated with persons that executives trust.
  • Uses terms that executives understand.
  • Covers the four things that executives need to know:
    • What can happen?
    • What is the probability that it will happen?
    • What does it cost when it happens?
    • What does preventing it cost?
  • Conclusions substantiated with people that management trusts:
    • Corporate controller or CFO
    • General counsel
    • Vice president of sales, marketing, production, MIS, technical services, etc.
    • Subsidiary/corporate officers
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