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A projects leader’s view on ISO 22330 – Interview of Lynne Donaldson

We took the opportunity to talk to Lynne Donaldson at the recent meeting of ISO/TC 292 in Edinburgh. Lynne is the project leader of ISO 22330 which has recently been approved as work item in the committee.

Could you briefly describe ISO 22330 and what you are trying to achieve?

The People Aspects project puts people at the heart of business continuity, either those affected by an incident or those involved inLynne delivering the response and business recovery.  It recognises that no continuity plan will work without their cooperation, capability and engagement and also that their behaviour cannot be assumed or carefully mapped. 

We wish to help organisations build a capability that gives them the best chance possible to deliver a response in line with their expectations. We are working on an approach that considers people aspects across the organisation, from creating an environment that supports Business Continuity to delivering Business Continuity processes with people at their heart.

Practically, this means looking at everything from safety and wellbeing, mobilising support and managing resources, individual and team competencies and approaches to communications and engagement; and all of these across the whole continuity cycle from planning to recovery.

Our aim is therefore to expand on the requirements of ISO 22301 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements and ISO 22313 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Guidance, people focused guidelines that will support and enhance these governing standards.

What kind of expertise are you looking for in order to develop ISO 22330 and what are the benefits of joining a project like this?

With a focus on people, this is a great opportunity to bring together experts from a variety of backgrounds. As well as the need for strength in business continuity expertise, involvement from professionals and academics in people related subjects is essential; in particular, practical, senior level Human Resources management experience and recognized expertise in psychological factors will both add value. The project would also benefit from input from professionals in other fields, for example risk management, emergency response and community resilience, to provide important linkages between this and other standards in the same family.  

What are the key challenges in trying to develop ISO 22330?

You might say that the main challenge of the project is also its most interesting point: it is about people! People, with their individual perceptions, emotions, needs and expectations, mean the project team will need to constantly challenge the guidance we develop to ensure we avoid dangerous assumptions and generalisations.

We are also looking at aspects of corporate culture; this will impact how an organisation approaches Business Continuity through the involvement of its people but we cannot assume that these building blocks will always be in place.

Why did you decide to join ISO/TC 292 and work with standards?

It is not every day that one has the opportunity to develop ideas by working with such a wide range of people who are experts in their fields and with such interesting and diverse professional backgrounds. Their different international perspectives ensure we can examine everything from IT failure to infectious disease to major natural disasters and the project team members bring a wealth of real life experience and depth of knowledge to our discussions. This is such a positive way to produce something practical that is intended to support organizations in their long term ambitions – I’m delighted to be a part of it.

Interview made by Lynnda Nelson and Deborah Higgins