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What Should Be Included in a Business Impact Analysis?

First, consider that your company probably doesn’t do only one thing. It has different businesses, or at a minimum different business dynamics in each business unit. All have different pain thresholds. Some can last a month after a disaster, others scream within hours. If you don’t take this factor into account, management will discount your BIA.

Next, you’ll need to learn about each business unit, including its pain threshold, to present a valid analysis. Talk to responsible managers and executives that management holds in confidence. That way, when the time comes for the big funding request meeting, management will have seen these figures. How can management disagree with its own figures? See what I mean by stacking the deck beforehand?

Obviously, I have no idea what kind of company you work for. But I can make a few assumptions for you, and the next article in this series will walk through a sample BIA. I’ll even include slides from winning presentations for real companies. Produced and presented properly, these slides can be the cornerstone of your executive presentation for support and funding. They also serve as a springboard to fruitful discussion and thoughtful technological planning.

As a litmus test, we’ll ask whether your non-technical wife, husband, father, mother, or grandmother would understand the messages your slides carry. If so, your presentation is ready for management. Don’t laugh! This kind of approach in making presentations to executives can be used in a wide variety of companies, and for purposes that go beyond disaster recovery. If you can "sell" management on a disaster recovery project, you can sell them on other things you need. They key is learning how to communicate in management’s terms. They’re not going to learn yours! And if you wait year after year for them to understand you, all you’ll get is frustration—not money.

See you next month!

Leo A. Wrobel has more than 30 years of experience with a host of firms engaged in banking, manufacturing, telecommunications services, and government. An active author and technical futurist, he has published 10 books and more than 400 trade articles on a wide variety of technical subjects. Leo served 10 years as an elected mayor and city councilman (but says he is better now). A sought-after speaker, he has lectured throughout the United States and overseas and has appeared on several television news programs. Leo is presently CEO of Dallas-based TelLAWCom Labs Inc. and b4Ci, Inc. Contact Leo at 214-888-1300 or email leo@b4ci.com.

Sharon M. (Ford) Wrobel served as corporate secretary and director of personnel for Premiere Network Services Inc. prior to joining b4Ci, Inc. in 2004. During that time, Sharon was instrumental in getting Premiere certified as the first CLEC to be certified in all 50 states, by aiding in filings and attending hearings. She also engaged in extensive research for Premiere, a function she continues with b4Ci as vice president of business development. Sharon was also president of the Ellis County Early Childhood PTA and the Ovilla Lions Club. She attended the University of Maryland and El Centro College in Dallas and received training as a registered nurse before joining Leo in business in the late 1990s. Sharon also served as a public official by accepting appointments to the local Planning and Zoning Commission and the Historical Commission.

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