Beach Factor (term)

Beach factor is a more human-centric alternative to the term bus factor.

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I have always disliked the phrase "Bus Factor (term)" for two main reasons:

  • It's incredibly morbid and it's about me dying (an extreme example where I'm no longer part of the company because I'm no longer part of the world).
  • It makes the problem about the company's needs and not how critical a single person is to the company.

My co-worker Duncan Smith said a great alternative: Beach Factor.

Beach factor is a way to determine if an individual could go on a long vacation without impact to the organization.

It's about the critical nature of restoration of an individual before it's about operability of a company (while still recognizing operability as important).

Next time you think to reach for "bus factor" (or hear a peer say "bus factor"), consider shifting the phrase and the paradigm towards a kinder, equally clarifying phrase: Beach Factor.

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