***** Principles and Practices of Business Continuity: Tools and Techniques. By Jim Burtles; published by Rothstein Associates, www.rothstein.com (Web); 285 pages; $99.
Business continuity is increasingly important in a “flat” world where disasters seem to occur with greater frequency: product recalls, forest fires, earthquakes, storms, bombings, and floods, just to name a few. Each brings with it not only personal tragedies and dislocations but also threats to the viability of affected businesses.
Companies generally recognize the need for planning to ensure that they respond well to such incidents—especially with regard to mitigating damage and getting back to normal afterward. But the path to a comprehensive and well-functioning business continuity plan is filled with twists, turns, and roadblocks.
Those charged with this function always welcome a solid, fundamental guidebook. This work is just that kind of basic reference. Its author has more than 30 years of international experience in a wide variety of disasters, which has equipped him to write an overview of what goes into business continuity planning and his book does this very well.
Of particular practical value is the book’s accompanying CD-ROM, which has 24 planning and analysis tools, including sample plans, checklists, exercise guides, case studies, exercises, Web references, and more.
The text does, however, suffer from a few shortcomings. While providing a full overview of the elements of business continuity planning, it merely touches on them without much depth in many cases. This is helpful to the discussion of such planning and provides an excellent point of departure for it, but more details would have been welcome. Also, the lack of an index prevents rapid location of key items. This oversight makes the book more of a primer, although the accompanying CD compensates to a degree.
Reviewer: Mayer Nudell, CSC (Certified Security Consultant), is an independent consultant on crisis management, contingency planning, and related issues.