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Adaptive Business Continuity is a flexible and outcome-oriented alternative to traditional continuity planning. Its focus is the continuous improvement of an organization’s capabilities to recover from disruption and disaster.

Adaptive BC draws from the far-reaching management trends (some of which are discussed in Chapter 5) that have developed in project management and process improvement, including:

  • Agile project management, which emphasizes responding to unpredictability through flexible work processes and feedback.
  • Lean process improvement, which defines value and organizes to deliver what is needed when it is needed, as reflected in work processes and feedback.

Adaptive BC uses these trends to facilitate the rapid enhancement of recovery capabilities. The practitioner should work in short cycles to prioritize efforts and produce deliverables that provide value to the organization. Adhering to the principles of the Adaptive BC Manifesto, practitioners should develop their business acumen, taking time to learn about the mission and culture of the organization, and adapting to the needs of each department, instead of forcing a strict methodology across all parts of the organization.

The Adaptive BC approach is nonlinear, allowing the practitioner to prioritize efforts based on the relative value provided. Throughout the process, the planner adapts to the needs and culture of each department, improving existing capabilities and empowering employees to adapt to disruptive events as they unfold. Planning is social and collaborative, requiring the practitioner to work and build trust with all participants. The required outcomes of the BC program should be balanced with the environment of the organization.

Excerpted from the book Adaptive Business Continuity: A New Approach, by David Lindstedt and Mark Armour.