Your business lives with risk every day from competitors, cash flow, and changing technology. If you work somewhere where there is weather, rely on utilities in your workplace, or need clean water to run your business, then you need to integrate business continuity planning (BCP) into your business operations. Effective BCP prepares you to meet the challenges that disruptive incidents can have on your bottom line and require you to develop that expertise or hire it. If you are looking to do the latter, allow me to lend you my perspective of putting together plans for some of the world’s most complex operations.
1. Make This about People
The core of any business is the people that you employ to do the job. Incidents that interrupt your business will likely impact your personal extending the time that they will get back to work. Every incident I have responded to included the no-show of personnel that were unable or unwilling to respond, including public safety personnel. Your BCP planners that you hire should put a premium on human capital and home and personal preparedness elements to motivate your personnel to return and assist your clients.
2. Manage the Technology Dependency
Information technology (IT) is either integrated into your operations, or is integrated into the vital systems your organization or business relies on every day. A good BCP planner should have the vision and the experience to identify, inventory, categorize and maintain the vital systems you can control, or manage the public infrastructure that you are dependent on. They will also teach you how to increase the usability of your current technology, and a plan for your future technology purchases to meet your BCP timelines.
3. Experienced Practitioners develop a capability, not just a 3 ring binder
If you’re hiring a BCP expert, the good ones will engage you and your staff and maximize that precious time. You can hire BCP practitioners to meet a compliance requirement, to mitigate risk, or to reduce your insurance cost. Deliberative plans can accomplish those things, but they can’t replace developing a planning capability integrated into your daily operations that helps you, and your employees adapt to a fast moving incident and reduce the interruption of your business.
These are just three minimum elements that should be in your mind as you develop your plan, or engage with a BCP professional.
You know your business, work with them to help you protect it.