Many companies decide they want to create their own Business Continuity Management (BCM) plan themselves. There could be many valid reasons for taking this decision, but the decision to go it alone should include a realistic understanding of the many pitfalls involved.

In ContinuitySA’s experience, many companies end up with failed BCM programmes after months of work and effort—amounting to many hundreds of thousands of Rands wasted—simply because their methodology and/or ability to maintain the programme was faulty.

For example, one of the fundamental mistakes is that companies approach the Business Impact Analysis phase incorrectly. Because Business Continuity is concerned with recovering business processes in a sequence that is logical in terms of the overall corporate strategy, it’s necessary to determine the impact and time-urgency of each process. This exercise can be a political minefield within the company, with each department “talking up” the importance of its own processes. Without a skilled and knowledgeable BCM facilitator, this will result in incorrect information being collected and will jeopardise the integrity of the whole programme of work.

It’s easy to see how tricky such an exercise can be, and how easily it can yield the wrong answers. It can also take much longer than it need to—by a factor of 400 or 500 percent in many cases! Inevitably, too, such plans will be 80 percent useless because they do not reflect the nitty-gritty of the recovery process or the strategic imperatives of the company.

In short, it’s vital that the corporate strategy is used as a measure against which to assess the relative importance of business processes, and how soon each one needs to be recovered. It’s also vital that the team putting the plan together understands how to negotiate the political minefield of the Business Impact Analysis.

Proper training can help you to avoid such costly errors. ContinuitySA has been running a very successful and popular five-day course for BCM practitioners. The course builds on our decades of experience to help attendee’s avoid common pitfalls, manage company politics successfully and navigate the Business Impact Analysis phase and other phases in the BCM lifecycle. In addition, we offer courses tailored to meet the needs of the different layers of the organisation from general staff induction to executive awareness and more detailed courses for those who have specific BCM responsibilities.

We recognise that a five-day course will at a minimum provide you with a framework and techniques, but the need for post-training support for day-to-day implementation issues is where the heartache is felt by most practitioners. That’s why course attendees automatically become members of the ContinuitySA Special Interest Group (“CSA SIG”). Monthly SIG meetings provide a great opportunity for mentoring by our in-house specialists, an opportunity to ask questions in an open forum and interact with other practitioners in a safe learning environment.

Truly a way to save costs for your company in the long run!

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