In one of our previous blogs on the Good Practice Guidelines 2013, we indicated that the Business Continuity Institute has identified six professional practices that are linked with the six stages of the business continuity management (BCM) lifecycle.
We’d now like to explore these professional practices over the next four blogs.
The first is Policy and Programme management, which aims to define the organisational policy relating to business continuity, and how it will be implemented.
In ContinuitySA’s experience, it’s vital that companies understand that the business continuity policy is driven from the top down. This is important for two reasons:
- It is the executives and directors who are ultimately responsible for the company’s ability to keep on trading, its organisational resilience. Logically, then, they are the ones who must identify which are the most important parts of the business, and thus need the most focus when it comes to budgetary investment and business continuity planning. Once the executive team have made their decision, the business continuity team can proceed with developing the policy and planning its implementation. Failure to determine what is important to an organisation may in all likelihood result in a significant waste of finance and resources as a blanket approach will be adopted.
This approach is also recommended because executives and directors have the requisite bird’s-eye or strategic view of the company as a totality; more junior management will typically have a partial view of the company, skewed by their operational responsibilities.
- As with most enterprise-wide initiatives, business continuity must be visibly and actively sponsored by senior executives in order to gain traction and credibility across the company. Without this type of sponsorship, business continuity management will remain a policy that needs to be constantly implemented, rather than becoming an integral part of the corporate culture—which is the topic of our next blog.
Policy and Programme Management is covered on pages 15-36 of the Good Practice Guidelines. For more information, visit the BCI website to download the Good Practice Guidelines or contact us for BCM advisory.