Business Continuity Management has tremendously evolved since it originated in the 70’s but some common clichés are still lurking in the shadows. Avoid these 5 mistakes to create a successful business continuity management program that is objective, consistent & repeatable.
1. Every business continuity program is the same
Don’t fall into the trap of one size fits all or “This is how we did it at my last company so let’s go!” Is it possible that all the factors that went into the success you had with your last employer will come together at this organization? Sure, why not! Should you bank your career on that happening? Hmmm, maybe not. Each organization has its own unique ‘best fit’ framework for a sustainable resilience program.
Define business continuity/organizational resilience as it relates to your organization or industry. Every organization has unique needs & priorities that vary based on industry, geographic location & resources.
2. Only BC professionals need to be included in the process
Don’t ‘go it alone’ and accept the responsibility of launching a program without senior leadership support. Getting senior leadership initially engaged can be difficult. What keeps your CEO up at night? Quantify the total financial impact with the cost of a disruption or large scale disaster to really make them sweat.
3. We'll let each plan owner determine their recovery time objectives
If you’re not in a regulated industry and you’re launching the program ‘slowly’ to demonstrate its value to the organization, go ahead! However, if you are in a regulated sector or if you do have executive support, you may want to consider a different approach. We call it the ‘Executive BIA’ or eBIA for short. Using this approach, our consultants guarantee you can dramatically reduce the work effort of generating functional or dependency recovery time objectives (RTOs).
Don't let each site (division, business unit) stand up its own program. There needs to be consistency and cohesiveness throughout your organization to maintain a connection & common thread.
4. We don't need a practice run, let's just launch!
Resist the temptation to simply ‘get ‘er done’. Leave that to the ‘Cable Guy’. Even when challenged by executives to meet an arbitrary deadline, make time to pilot the method, the tools, and your support model. You will find things that need to be changed before the final launch and invariably learn something(s) that will save time, money, and possibly your job.
5. All your BCM needs will be solved by program software
It is so tempting to think that all we need is “the right tool” and all will be fine. Our plan owners will adopt it and the program will move forward and be sustained for years. If only it was that simple.
Software is powerful, but it only works as well as your overarching continuity management plan & the data you put into it. For a program to be sustainable, it must first:
- communicate with data & systems
- gain commitment from senior leadership
- build enterprise wide engagement
Then, the software you choose should not only match how you deploy your business continuity/resilience program today, it should also be easily altered over time to adapt to the changing maturity of your program.
I hope this has been helpful knowing some of the clichés of business continuity management. Many BC professionals before you have succumb to their treachery but I hope you can avoid these mistakes and get optimal results from your business continuity & resiliency plan. If you have questions, or want to learn more about business continuity management tools or Virtual Corporation, feel free to contact me.