Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Re. the business continuity plan

With the new year in full swing, many of us will already have forgotten all about our resolutions, focussing instead on the challenges that lie ahead.
A new year is often a time of significant change, and this year is likely to be no different. In fact, many of us may be facing the prospect of major upheaval, with re-organisations, re-structures and various other re-’s to contend with.
In the midst of all this turmoil, it can be all too easy to take our eye off the business continuity ball, perhaps because there are other things clamouring for our attention or because resources are stretched more than ever before.
And does it really matter anyway if the names and contact numbers in the business continuity plan haven’t been updated for a while? Well maybe not; maybe we’ll still be able to muddle through. But there may be other changes that, if they’re not reflected in the business continuity strategy and plans, could seriously reduce our business continuity capability.
For instance :
  • If the organisational structure has changed, does the business continuity structure still fit or does it need re-designing?
  • If there have been changes to the business model, or to the key products and services, or to the activities that underpin them, does our previous view of what was most critical still hold true or do we need to revise our assessment? 
  • Are the underlying business continuity strategies and the solutions that support them still applicable or should we re-visit them?  
  • Are the recovery time and recovery point objectives on which those strategies and solutions were based still valid or do they need to be re-assessed?
  • If key people move (either within, into or out of the business), do business continuity roles and responsibilities need to be re-evaluated or re-assigned, and are the people that they’re re-assigned to up to the job?
  • Do our training or awareness requirements need to be re-evaluated as a result?
  • Have our risks changed and are there, as a result, any holes in our mitigation measures that need to be repaired or reinforced? 
Whilst a business continuity plan that’s slightly out of date may not be the end of the world, a business continuity strategy that’s no longer relevant, and a reduced capability or inappropriate solutions are a different matter entirely.
So this new year, why not resolve to review, re-assess and revise (along with any other re-’s you can think of) your business continuity arrangements in light of any re-organisations or re-structures, to make sure your business continuity capability isn’t reduced as a result?