Business Management Tips: Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Management (BCM) usually involves having a contingency plan in place should disaster strike, to ensure that essential functions can continue during and after the disaster, and to minimize the disruption by avoiding the impact of an unplanned interruption of service.

One of the most well-known precautions that companies take is to have off- site IT back up. But this is only the first step that most companies will need to take.

The objective is to prevent interruption of critical functions and to return to normal functioning as soon as possible. It is impossible to envisage and guard against all the potential events that could interrupt business as usual.

So the key to effective planning is to consider the loss or non – availability of key resources, no matter what the cause.

First of all the critical functions and processes necessary to keep the business running need to be identified. Each business critical function should have its own contingency plan, independent of the others, which allow for it to maintain essential services.

The plan describes how the organisation will deal with a disaster and the precautions it takes to minimise the effects and allow the business to return to normal.

Developing the BCM plan

A Business Continuity Management Plan sets out clear roles and responsibilities, nominating staff assigned to manage liaison with customers, employees and the emergency services.

It lists contingency plans to enable key business activities to continue in a crisis and also details emergency procedures to ensure employees’ safety.

To develop the BCM plan, the management team need to identify the parts of the organisation that they can’t afford to be without.

Depending on the business, this may include maintaining information, stock, offices or other buildings, protecting staff, accessing key pieces of equipment, or the ability to communicate with remote teams delivering a service.

The team first need to identify the business’ key products or services, and the critical activities and facilities required to deliver them without interruption.

Then they will need to identify the risks to the critical activities and facilities, and then consider how they can maintain these critical activities in the event of different types of crisis.

Should we use consultants to develop the BCM plan? Continue reading Business Management Tips: Business Continuity Management