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What do you do when things blow up?

The short answer: IMPROVISE!

I just tried to give a final exam in a computer class I teach at Mercer. The final is given online using an online service we use in the class – and have all semester relatively successfully.

The class yesterday took it with a few problems, but nothing major. Today, though, was a different story.

3 of the 20-some student could access the final exam – and a 30 minute conversation with tech support resulted in the response “We don’t know what is causing your problem.” This is tech-speak for “That shouldn’t be happening, and we’d need to do some serious forensics work to figure it out – and that’s not going to happen”.

This started me thinking about what a small business needs to do when thigns blow up. In my case (a college class), I discussed with the class the options – and made a change the syllabus (not count a final exam and adjust the percentages in other areas to make up the difference) – so it wasn’t a busizes-critical thing.

But if it HAD been, what would I have done? Anyone who depends on technology has got to think about that – the biz calls it “disaster-preparedness”, but I’d call it “common sense”. You KNOW your machines are going to die, and they will do it at the WORST possible moment.

Every machine on the planet has the middle name of “Murphy”, and they follow Murphy’s law to the letter.

So make plans for your machines going down. How will YOU improvise when it happens?

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