I am assisting a client in developing contingency plans for their London offices in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Olympics. We are researching possible risks, threats and disruptions based on past Olympics and past London-area events. And, believe me, there is plenty of material there to raise a concern.
In this process we have developed two paths of recommendations: Precautionary Strategies and At-the-Ready Contingencies.
Precautionary Strategies are actions we recommend be taken to lessen the possible impacts of disruptions that are likely to occur. These actions require no triggers to enact; we recommend following this course of action simply as a matter of business during the Olympics.
Precautionary Strategies include:
- Scheduling work-from-home times where the capability already exists and the disruption to work flow negligible.
- Rerouting business processes to non-London offices where this can be easily accomplished and does not stress the remote offices work flow.
- Utilizing facilities outside of the Olympic parameters where possible. This may include working out of their business continuity work sites if this can be managed at little expense.
Precautionary Strategies will be temporary, low cost, easy to implement and low disruption activities that can remove some of the stress that the Olympic events may cause.
At-the-Ready-Contingencies are more of your typical business continuity solutions that will be engaged only if threats and disruptions occur. These actions will include identified triggers that must be monitored and tracked throughout the Olympics. Most of these strategies, hopefully, are already in place as part of their existing Business Continuity Program.
The London Olympics will certainly disrupt the commuting processes to London area businesses and introduces a threat of civil disorder, terrorist activity, and security breaches. London area companies should be well aware of the Olympic footprint and understand the traffic flows that may interfere with their employee’s commutes. And, these interruptions and threats will exist for pre-Olympic activities as well as for the Paralympics that follow.
Where possible, we believe London area businesses should evaluate the possibility of minimizing their London-based business activities during this event to lessen the possible impacts to their firms. Wherever you can take precautionary steps at low expense, it might be advisable to do so. And, of course, you should brush the dust off your Business Continuity Plans and ensure that your recovery strategies are still viable given the risks this event incurs. For example – if your alternate site locations are also within the Olympic footprint, you may need to establish a temporary other location during this event.
Certainly, there will be plenty of security provided and lots of precautions and contingencies put in place by the local and national authorities. Be sure you are aware of these plans and make sure that your plans will work within the parameters provided.
We hope for a smooth and exciting Olympics in 2012 – let’s just hope all of the excitement is on the athletic fields and within the competitive framework of the games.