Speakers’ Soapbox: Tracy Stourac On BC Scorecards & President Kennedy

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 11:31am
Luke Simpson, Editor

Tracy StouracIn the leadup to the 11th Annual Continuity Insights Management Conference, April 22-24, 2013 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, Continuity Insights asks presenters about their chosen topics, lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy, critical business continuity skills and hypothetical band names. This week Tracy Stourac, Business Continuity Manager at TransUnion, discusses BC scorecards, the importance of personal preparation and why President Kennedy would have made a good business continuity professional.

Continuity Insights: Your session is titled The BC Scorecard: A Catalyst For Executive Engagement. What are the main elements of a BC scorecard and why do executives like them so much?

Tracy Stourac: As much as I love data, I have to admit that the most important element of a scorecard is the audience. You can measure whatever piece of data you want but someone has to care about it for it to matter.

Executives will only care about the information you put in front of them if it is meaningful, useful and actionable.

CI: What is the number one lesson learned from Superstorm Sandy in terms of business continuity and disaster recovery strategies?

TS: Preparations begin at home. So many people were unprepared to face the storm; so many personal tragedies could have been avoided had the public been better educated or taken the warnings seriously. We as business continuity professionals must do a better job educating our employees on home preparations and safety so they will not only be prepared personally to face a situation such as this but also be in a position to assist our company in our business resumption efforts.

CI: Complete this sentence: To be a successful business continuity professional you must master the risk assessment, the BIA and ________________.

TS: Ah geez, then I am in trouble … I haven’t mastered either of those! I think to be a successful business continuity professional you must master strategic thinking, communication skills, and the ability to challenge, be quiet, then challenge again. A business continuity professional has to be detail oriented, inquisitive and persistent. We have lots of tools in our tool boxes but sometimes we get so focused on the tool (BIA, risk assessment, scorecard, etc.) that we forget to focus on the skill set.

CI:  True or false: There are some things you simply cannot plan for, e.g. the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.

TS: True

CI: Which U.S. president, sports person or musician do you think would have made a good business continuity professional and why?

TS: President Kennedy: During the Cuban Missile Crisis he surrounded himself with the most educated advisors yet realized the decision was his to make. He measured the risk, and then measured the risk again and again. He knew he had to make a decision, yet did not rush to make one; he took his time, yet did not come to a decision too late. He handled the extraordinary pressure and ultimately made a decision that was best for all.

CI: If you formed a band with other business continuity professionals what would you call it?

TS: Prepar8tion

For more information on Stourac’s presentation, visit


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