I have been in more than a few BIAs or business continuity planning sessions when it is like pulling teeth trying to get business managers to identify the applications and/or other requirements and resources they need to minimally perform their mission critical business processes.
This is especially true when working with financial traders. First, they under-estimate their need for tools and resources, believing that as long as they have a phone, they can conduct trades. But then the list of requirements grows and grows.
A typical requirements analysis session with traders might go like this:
ME: What do you minimally need in an alternate site to conduct your business?
TRADER: I don’t need anything. Just give me a phone and I can trade anywhere.
ME: So, all you need is a phone? You can trade with just a phone.
TRADER: That’s right. Just a phone. Well, I also need my data feed. But, just a phone and a data feed.
ME: Nothing else?
TRADER: Well, I need a phone, my data feed and the blotter system. Just a phone, data feed … oh, and I need trade tickets. Just a phone, my data feed, the blotter system and trade tickets. That’s all I need. Oh, and I need my directory of phone numbers… and a recorded phone line.
Does this sound familiar?
Here, check out this link to a secretly videotaped, recovery requirements session I conducted with one business manager:
Okay, so I am being funny. But, if you have done this for as long as I have, I am sure you shared in the laugh. I have used this routine in a few public speaking sessions I have done on business continuity planning. It is always a good trick for getting my point across and keeping the audience awake.
And maybe, just maybe, I am being a Jerk!