Who “owns” your BCP? Hopefully not “The Volcano”

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending our annual EMEA Partner Conference in Budapest Hungary.  Ironically, one of the topics I spoke about was business continuity and crisis management in the contact center including an example from my past life in the travel industry.  Now, like so many other travelers, I am anxiously monitoring the news for updates on when the airspace over Europe will fully reopen after the impact of “the volcano” in Iceland (it’s almost surreal to even type that by the way) in hopes that my trip home won’t be too painful.    

The local media is describing this as the largest transportation event since the September 11th terrorist attacks so suffice it to say, it’s a big deal.  People are sleeping on cots in the airports and yesterday alone there were more than 15000 flights canceled throughout Europe.  As I weighted the impact of “the volcano” on travel in general, the topic of business continuity quickly came to mind.  Contact centers in the travel industry are no doubt drowning in volume as I type this and having spent a large portion of my career in the travel industry, I feel their pain this week.

Ownership of the BCP program can be a very large and exciting challenge, especially during an event like this.  I am sure there are BCP owners out there right now running on almost no sleep and reworking plans for when travel resumes.  The concept of who “owns” the BCP program can vary pretty widely from one contact center and industry to another.  In most of my previous roles, all or part of the BCP program was the responsibility of the Workforce Management team.  I mention “all or part of” because in some cases the WFM team had full responsibility (including the IT side of making routing changes, etc.) and in others they partnered with their IT teams to make those changes happen.  It really doesn’t matter what structure/ownership model you use as long as it works for your company but I am curious to hear from some of you on the topic.   

Do you have a Business Continuity Plan in your contact center?
If so, who who “owns” it? 


Troy Plott (volcano watcher and business traveler)