Do your client’s business protocols match the current physical environment?

October 27, 2014 by
Filed under: Business Analyst Skills, Project Management, ROI 

Businesses can spend a lot of time documenting protocols for how certain events are to be handled when they occur. However, these protocols can be left to gather dust until the next event happens.

From a business point of view, the business needs to consider all protocols it currently has defined and weigh them up against priority of use – meaning that just because an event has not happened for a while does not meant that a slow response will work as gaps in protocol are uncovered due to changes in the environment. Protocols that require immediate response will be considered higher priority for review of relevancy versus those that can have a delayed response.

Examples of protocols:
1 – What to do when the stock market crashes?
2 – How to handle regulated products?
3 – Backup locations for offices if the current ones can no longer be used?
4 – Bad weather grounds plane throughout the country, how to get the planes back on schedule?

What usually gets businesses is an event that does not happen very often that has a high priority resolution required. As there is lack of practice some protocol steps may no longer be valid when the event occurs, people may not be trained in their use and the right licensing may not be in place to perform the task. Failure to respond quickly and correctly to the event can lead to significant income loss for the business involved.

Ebola case in Dallas 2014 highlighted several failures of protocol:
Lack of training / proper equipment lead to further infections.
Inability for toxic waste to be carried off site immediately because of transportation license restrictions placed on the waste which the transportation company did not have.
Limited ability for Hospitals to deal with their own sterilization as this has been outsourced in a lot of cases requiring the receiving location to be licensed to transport / handle the waste at a level they may not be used to.

As business analysts, we need to mentor our business clients through the risks of these often ignored protocols and ensure that they get the review they deserve. At the same time we need to limit the effort spent on protocols that do not have high priority resolution associated with them so that we can be good advocates of our business client’s expenses.

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