The ROI Issue: Does Preparedness Planning Have One?

My good friend, and, hopefully, soon to be guest blogger on this site, David Lindstedt has written a very interesting and intelligent article recently published by Continuity Insights, titled: “Does Preparedness Have and ROI? | Part 1, An Answer”.

I highly recommend you taking a look at this article as I think David offers some very poignant thoughts on this often debated topic.  The concept of a Return on Your Investment for the time, effort and monies spent on preparedness planning and solutions is something many practitioners have been seeking as justification for the hard-to-get budget to support the solutions we would like see put into place.  We are, after all, vying for the same dollars that others within the organization are asking for to support revenue generating products, tools and assets.  I think David, in Part 1 of his article, has set a nice foundation for a supporting argument.  I am very curious now, to read part 2.

Maybe his part 2 will address my subsequent questions.  I understand and appreciate the concepts behind this discussion, but I think the question about ROI helps us only to a point in helping capture those last few dollars for our programs.  The ROI argument or question, might really be, at what point is an ROI required to invest in our preparedness program and when does the ROI, even if it does exist, no longer make sense?

I ask forgiveness from my international readers as I draw an analogy to American football.   There are some contingencies or preparedness programs that just makes sense to invest in – like having a backup Quarterback – or backup for each position.  But, how many backups and what combinations are the right number?  And what is the right price to pay for the backups?

Should I pay more for my backup QB than I do for a starting lineman?  Should I have two backup QB’s and only three backup offensive linemen that are interchangeable?  Should I invest in a backup kicker, or just use one of my other players in an emergency situation?

Using David’s article as my guide, it is obvious that I get an ROI for each backup.  I benefit from being able to practice against the backups.  The competition for a starting position improves the play of all.  And, some backups might even put some additional fans in the seats.  But a return alone is not the answer.  We must analyze how each decision impacts the whole.  Sometimes I think the business continuity planners loose sight of this fact.

The more I pay for backup QB’s the less I have to spend on facilities, marketing, uniforms, cheerleaders, etc.  And we all know how important the cheerleaders are.

So, yes, I anxiously await David’s part 2 – “The Implications”.  He is a smart man; I am looking forward to benefitting from his wisdom.

Thank you for your input.