When it comes to BCM, don’t forget about the people

When it comes to BCM, don’t forget about the people

Assigning the right people to the right roles is critical in achieving business continuity management (BCM) goals.

By Karven Naidoo, Client Executive, ContinuitySA

It seems obvious, but many organisations fall short in this area: once the need for BCM has been agreed and a plan has been drawn up, scant attention is paid to assigning roles and responsibilities. Equally lacking is the framework for evaluating results. This is especially true when a company uses an internal resource to develop the BCM plan rather than engaging a qualified BCM practitioner.

Every BCM plan is unique because it reflects a specific company’s business strategy and context. It’s thus not possible to provide a boilerplate set of roles and responsibilities either. Ideally, what should happen is that the plan should specify what the primary needs and requirements for the company to recover within the designated timelines are. In turn, these should be mapped to tasks.

The next step is to look at the company organogram to match the skills needed with actual people. It’s impossible to overemphasise the need to ensure that people with the right skills are appointed for each task. This is the best way to get the job done right, and also to build accountability into the plan.

To give an obvious example: the person assigned to ensure staff members gather at an assembly point should be somebody who is familiar with the building and where his or her colleagues sit. It is also important that this person has initiative and stays calm under pressure.

An important point to notice is that the BCM plan is a living document and is constantly changing as circumstances change and as testing is carried out. Similarly, the assignment of roles and responsibilities must also reflect the changing plan—and also take into account the changes in personnel as well as how well individuals actually performed in their roles.

There’s no state of perfection, just a constant progress toward it—but you won’t get there if the right people aren’t in the right roles.

For more information or assistance on with your BCM planning, contact us.