In 2013, Target Corporation, the world’s fourth largest general merchandise retailer, suffered an extensive unanticipated long-term disruption to one of its headquarters buildings in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The cause? A leak in the water line for an ice machine.
In a December 2014 journal article in the Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, Bryghtpath CEO Bryan Strawser, along with Kim Hirsch, then of Target, write about the lessons learned from this large-scale business disruption.
Here’s the full abstract from the publication:
Business continuity practitioners routinely determine which teams in their companies are critical and undertake extensive and rigorous planning processes. But what happens when a business is faced with an unanticipated long-term disruption that primarily affects non-critical teams? How can a company use the essential principles of business continuity and crisis management in order to respond? This paper explores a 2013 business disruption experienced by Target Corporation at one of its headquarters locations caused by a leak in the water line for an ice machine. Challenges encountered and reviewed include supporting non-critical teams, leadership of a multi-week business disruption and how remote work technologies have changed traditional continuity alternative workspace solution planning. Lessons learned from this activation are presented with implications for business continuity and emergency management planning that are applicable to any industry.
The journal article details can be viewed by PubMed and other academic journal resources.
Full citation: Hirsch KD, Strawser, BE. When a drip becomes a flood: Lessons learned from Target Corporation’s first large-scale business disruption. J Bus Contin Emer Plan. 2014 Winter;8(2):114-21.