Posts Tagged ‘Linear Thinking’
Geary Sikich wrote an interesting article on Continuity Central, titled “Unrealistic Scenarios? C’mon Man!” In the article Geary compares linear planning to nonlinear planning, and he argues that nonlinear planning is required to develop “truly resilient plans and capabilities.”
He describes linear thinking as:
“A process of thought following known cycles or step-by-step progression where a response to a step must be elicited before another step is taken.”
He describes nonlinear thinking as:
“Thinking characterized by expansion in multiple directions, rather than in one direction; based on the premise that there are many points from which one can apply logic to problem.”
In the summary of the article, Geary wrote one statement really stuck out for me, which I think applies to many organizations today:
“Current planning techniques are asking the wrong questions precisely; and we are getting the wrong answers precisely; the result is the creation of false positives;”
Current linear planning techniques argue that the business managers must classify the business value and importance of each of the applications and business processes that support the business, and prioritize business continuity plans to maintain or recover the “important” applications and processes. The challenge with that approach is that environments are dynamic, applications are in constant flux, and the importance of applications to a process may change over time.
We recently met with an investment management company that has a staff of seven, four of which support applications and 3 of which support infrastructure (servers, storage, networks). The company has over 300 custom applications and 150 packaged applications, supported by four application developers. For a company with this many applications and this few staff, it is virtually impossible to maintain a ranking of the relative importance of each of the applications.
At Axxana, we would argue that a company which asks “Which applications are important?” will get a very precise answer. But answering that question will lead to the false positive that the company can restore the business to full operations.