Last time, we discussed the importance of BCM in managing operational risk. Now let’s talk a little about how to implement it effectively. The key is to approach BCM holistically and methodically. The important point to remember is that BCM is not a once-off event. A company changes, its environment changes, and thus the risks it faces change. It’s thus very important to see the BCM process as a life cycle, constantly being renewed over time as new risks appear and old ones mutate.
ContinuitySA recommends following the following five steps:
- Understand your business: Business impact and risk assessment tools are used to identify the critical deliverables and enablers in your business, evaluating recovery priorities and assessing the risks which could lead to business interruption and/or damage to your organisation’s reputation.
- Develop continuity strategies: Determining the selection of alternative strategies available to mitigate loss, assessing the relative merits of these against the business environment and their likely effectiveness in maintaining the organisation’s critical business functions,
- Develop the response: Improving the risk profile through improvements to operational procedures and practices, implementing alternative business strategies, using risk financing measures (including insurance) and building continuity plans.
- Establish the continuity culture: Introduction of the continuity management process by education and awareness of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders.
- Exercise and plan maintenance: Ongoing plan testing, auditing and change management of the continuity plan and its processes
Next time, let’s look a little more deeply into BCM.