Lootok's 8Rs ™ of Resiliency - easy and effective model to communicate, employ, and remember

By Sean Murphy posted 06-24-2016 05:05 PM


When working with the masses [end-users; not experts in risk management, business continuity, crisis management], I find it beneficial to present clear, concise, and concrete packaged solutions. People need guidance and structure to help them think through problems and build effective plans. This is one of the reasons Lootok created the 8Rs ™ of Resiliency. The goal the 8Rs is to reduce uncertainty, simplify complexity, structure thinking and dialogue, build common ground, and establish preparatory activities. The 8Rs facilitates planning with a plan as the end deliverable (i.e., plans are the byproduct of planning). The 8Rs are designed to provide people with a set of options they can employ to continue operations under various threats and timelines. The 8Rs ™ of Resiliency comprises of the following: 

  1. Relocate - physical moving assets (e.g., people, technology, equipment) to another location 
  2. Reassign – transferring processes (i.e., work) to another location 
  3. Repair / Replace – capabilities in place to fix the problem at time of event
  4. Reinforce – fortify, strengthen, assets to tolerate greater impacts and occurrences  
  5. Replicate – simultaneous production (i.e., processes, technology, work) at two locations [duplication]; active-active
  6. Redundancy - extra capacity and inventory
  7. Risk Transfer – shift risk to other entities through insurance, contracts, and risk pooling 
  8. Relinquish – do nothing [e.g., too cost prohibitive]; risk acceptance strategy

The 8Rs can be adopted to either prevent or minimize the impact of an incident or be implemented once an incident has occurred. The 8Rs™ of Resiliency is a wonderful mnemonic. When working with executives and managers on resiliency strategies, we recite the 8R’s. What about ______? Each incident or crisis is different and we need as many strategies as feasible to react to a specific situation. The more solutions we have available to us, the better chance something will work.

Some of our clients use the 8Rs with a timeline in a grid format as their basic plan. This one-pager provides them with a simple and easy map to navigate ambiguous and unpredictable situations. It allows gives end-users the ability to use judgment and flexibility to improvise at time of event. 

The 8Rs confronts three (3) challenges that end user can experience when planning for threats: 

  1. Options
  2. Timeline
  3. Context


A common question from end-users is "what should I do if ____?". The more options available to you, the more resilient you are. Provide a set of standard options for end-users to choose from.  

Here are a few lines from Yossi Sheffi’s new book that eloquently illustrates the value of options: “One role of risk managers is to prepare options for crisis managers and their teams. An option represents the right, but not the obligation, to take a certain action ... a tool or capability that they can use, at their choosing, in case of a disruption. To use a trivial example, when a firm invests in fire extinguishers in a building, it, in effect, acquires the option to use them in case of fire. Real options are tangible assets that give the owner of the option the right, but not the obligation, to do something. For example, the extra inventory in a warehouse or spare capacity in a factory is a real option stemming from supply chain design; the owner can use that spare stock or extra capacity during a supply disruption or a surge in demand. Similarly, crafting a well-documented business continuity plan to deal with certain type of disruption allows crisis mangers to active that plan when the need arises. Real options have two defining elements: a known upfront cost of creating the option (e.g., the capital cost of spare factory capacity or the cost of training and drilling) and an unknown payoff that is contingent on some uncertain future event (e.g., the value of business continuity if the redundant or flexible capacity is needed). The mathematics of real options weighs the uncertain benefits of being able to use the option in the future against the certain costs of creating it in the present. The model considers the statistical likelihood of the benefit over time and the cost of the money over the time period when the option is available."


A common question from end-users is " the solution depends on the duration of the impact. Is it 1 day, 1 week or 3 months?" This is a great comment. The solution will depend on the length of impact. The 8Rs provides end-users with a set of options that can be employed simultaneously and change as the situation changes. Our response can be completely different under different timelines. The timeline and 8Rs allow end-users to think through various scenarios and build in flexibility in their plans. For example, I may reassign work to an alternate site for three (3) days. If the impact is greater than three (3) days but less than fourteen (14), I will relocated. 


Context creates the infamous end-user comment, "it depends". And they are right (again) ... it does depend on the situation defined by the relationship between the threat and the operating environments at that specific point in time. The end-users can record the 'R's' intent and basic procedures. The intent acts as a guide. It should capture the essence of what needs to get done. 

We use workshops and interviews to facilitate planning, strategies, and plans. One way we assist teams in developing strategies and plans is to throw as many situations at them as possible given the time, resources, and budget. We present a situation and the team determines how the 8Rs can be applied. We use Lootok's Activity Base Data Collection and Analysis ™process, such as Lootok's Crisis Cards™, Attackers & Defenders™, and Risk Matrix activities to assist with planning, plans, and planners. 

  1. Crisis Cards™ Activity: Playing cards with an applicable rapid-fire scenario on one side
  2. Attackers & Defenders™ Activity: Two teams attack and defend various aspects of the organization
  3. Risk Matrix Activity: Identification and classification of risks

The three activities are collaborative, thought-provoking, and memorable (i.e., builds tacit knowledge). The 8Rs and activities facilitate planning and plans in a fraction of the time and cost than traditional methods. 

Enjoy - Sean