On the Buses

The Client
Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, is responsible for implementing the policies of the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority, including :

  • The provision of public passenger transport services where the needs of the area are not met by the commercial network;
  • The administration of a concessionary travel scheme;
  • The planning and development of major transport projects and the management of the public transport infrastructure in West Yorkshire.


Metro’s head office is in Leeds city centre. Metro also has two other offices in Leeds and staff at a number of locations throughout West Yorkshire.

The Requirement
Metro had an existing business continuity plan that had been written some years previously, was largely IT-oriented and was owned by the IT department.

Metro recognised the need to bring the plan and the underlying business continuity strategy up to date, to ensure it met the requirements of the business and to involve the business more in the business continuity process.

The Solution
Acumen was appointed to work with Metro due to our philosophy of practical, capability-based business continuity management and our previous experience of implementing a business continuity management programme with another Passenger Transport Executive.

The first stage of the project was to assess the current level of business capability via a health check of existing business continuity arrangements and to identify the business requirements using a business impact analysis.

Once the business requirements and the gaps in the current plan had been identified, a cost-benefit analysis of the various options for business and IT recovery was carried out. This would enable senior management to make informed decisions regarding the business continuity strategy and what specific solutions needed to be implemented in support of the strategy.

Alongside this, an incident management and business continuity plan framework was agreed, appropriate to Metro’s culture and management style. As part of the framework, incident management, infrastructure recovery and business recovery plans for the key business areas identified by the business impact analysis were developed jointly by Acumen and representatives of the various teams. An incident management team was nominated and briefed, and underwent a scenario-based exercise to develop the team’s capabilities and identify issues and actions for the business continuity programme.

A series of business recovery team briefing sessions were conducted to bring the key business areas up to speed with the business recovery plans and their roles and responsibilities within them.

Ownership of the business continuity process was moved from the IT department to the Corporate Development function, to improve business buy-in and to dispel the previous perception that this was a purely IT-related process.

Throughout the process, there was regular consultation with Metro’s Directors, Assistant Directors and the Risk Management Group, to ensure continued management buy-in and support.

A schedule of incident management exercises and plan reviews and updates is planned to further develop Metro’s business continuity capability and ensure that the plans remain current.

What the client said...
“Our decision to move the business continuity process to a corporate function with facilitation by Acumen was an excellent one. Throughout the process Andy Osborne kept the team and Directors involved with a proactive and hands-on approach. The plan we have is 'live' and we continue to work with Acumen to review and test the process on an annual basis.”

Chris Taylor
Assistant Director Corporate Development Metro