Build a BCM Program in 7 Steps!
Fulfilling your role as a business continuity executive effectively requires you to not only understand your organization's ability to remain resilient in the face of any disruptive event or disaster, but also to proactively contribute, sanction, and enforce an effective program using BCM Software. Our executive team has provided a brief outline of the steps you should take as you develop a business continuity management program.
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Building a Business Continuity Management Program:
1. Create your own 'best fit' framework for long-term resilience, continuity, and disaster recovery.
The critical considerations of this framework include:
- Sponsorship, steering committee, and policy are all part of the program strategy.
- The size, breadth, and depth of the program
- Program support includes rollout, training, work effort, and a support model.
2. Create a multidisciplinary business continuity management team
When developing an enterprise-wide program with standardized methods, tools, and expert support, involve the most senior leadership from each department of the organization. Each department head should "own" their portion of the strategy.
3. Define and understand Seven corporate competencies such as:
- Leadership - Executive management's commitment and understanding of the implementation of an appropriately scaled, enterprise-wide business continuity program. In addition, the degree to which executive management has articulated and comprehended the "business case" for implementing sustainable business continuity.
- Employee awareness - Refers to the breadth and depth of business continuity conceptual awareness at all organizational levels, including consideration for the quality and sustainability of the BC training and awareness program.
- BC Program Structure - The scope and appropriateness of the enterprise-wide business continuity program. The extent to which the BCM Program corresponds to the articulated "business case."
- Program Pervasiveness - The extent to which departments, functions, and business units across the Enterprise coordinate business continuity. The extent to which business continuity issues have been integrated into other relevant business initiatives, programs, and processes.
- Metrics - The development and monitoring of appropriate measures of BCM Program performance. The creation and maintenance of a business continuity competency baseline.
- Resource Commitment - The application of adequate, properly trained, and supported personnel, financial, and other resources to ensure the BCM Program's long-term viability.
- External Coordination - Coordination of business continuity issues and requirements with the external community, which includes customers, vendors, government, unions, banks, creditors, insurance carriers, and so on, in order to ensure that critical supply chain partners have adequate BCM Programs in place.
4. Don’t forget the 8th Corporate Competency!
Implements the four central disciplines of business continuity:
- Incident Management - Ensuring that all aspects of emergency response, crisis management, and any other activities involved in command, control, and communications are addressed appropriately during an organizational crisis and/or disastrous event.
- Security Management - Entails ensuring that physical security, information security, and any other activities related to protecting the integrity of specific information and resources are addressed appropriately.
- Technology recovery - Includes ensuring that critical information systems hardware, software, networks, and applications can be recovered in a timely manner.
- Business recovery - Represents critical business functions and resources can be adequately recovered within specified recovery time frames.
5. Consider the use of BCM software.
BCM software is powerful, but it is only as good as your overall continuity management program and the plans and data you input into it. Enterprise resilience can be a long-term process if business managers are "hands-on" in building and providing updates, allowing Business Continuity professionals to spend their time analyzing risks, improving preparedness, and consulting with the business continuity team. Managers of business units should be able to easily "own" their data, documents, and plans.
6. Choose a dynamic vs. static resilience program posture
It should also be adaptable over time to the changing maturity of your program. It is important to note that program maturity will be influenced by a variety of factors such as executive support, organizational change, regulatory change, and system change. To keep the organization resilient, the business continuity program must remain dynamic and adaptable.
In order for a program to be sustainable, it must first:
- Increase enterprise engagement
- Communicate with the data, the systems, and the team
- Obtain senior management commitment
- Be specific to the needs of your organization
7. Prepare an executable BC Program Implementation Plan:
- Build a plan that includes the following:
- Program Staffing Plan
- Business Continuity Policy
- BC Program Launch Plan
Phase 1 – Prepare for BC Program Launch
Phase 2 – Conduct BC Program Pilot
Phase 3 – Launch BC Program
Phase 4 – Sustain Program Steady State Continuous Improvement