Some ideas to brush up your business continuity for the new year!
Happy New Year to you all and I hope you had a good break!
I thought, as this is the first bulletin of the year, I should write some business continuity resolutions for you to consider.
This is the time of year when everybody is trying their best to lose weight, keep fit, stop smoking and make more time for their family.
As we all know New Year’s resolutions rarely last, so I decided to put down some small business continuity changes that you can actually achieve!
Follow these five steps in 2014 and it will help minimise risk for the year ahead.
1. Did you have any incidents over the holiday period? If so, make the effort to carry out a debrief and learn lessons from what happened.
2. Both the UK and the USA are experiencing a prolonged period of bad weather which has caused widespread floods here in Britain and freezing temperatures across the Atlantic. Thanks to climate change we have been told to expect more extreme weather and so we should revisit our threat assessments and existing mitigation measures. They may be good enough to protect us against a short bout of extreme weather but will they work if it lasts much longer than this?
3. Many of the business continuity plans I review as a consultant are very samey and it is difficult to distinguish the finance recovery plan from the human resources recovery plan. The New Year could offer a good opportunity to further tailor each department’s plan and make sure that the recovery details are not generic but contain department specific detail.
4. Over the last year we have seen an increasing demand for incident management training and in fact I have been carrying out some today in Northern Ireland. Many people know their plan but often are unsure how to execute it and don’t know how their team would manage an incident. Our incident managment training is an ideal way to train your team whether it is strategic, tactical or operational in how to manage incidents.
5. If you are not going for the ISO22301 standard, staff awareness is often towards the bottom of your list of activities to carry out. When I was a business continuity manager, I did very little of it. If you are going to carry out awareness then consider the most effective way of doing this. Make sure you do it in a way that gives improvements to the plan or your BIA from increasing awareness. Involving staff in the planning and developing of business continuity plans can provide an extra check on the recovery strategy and they may identify flaws or improvements! Don’t underestimate how useful staff, and their intimate knowledge of your company, can be.
Next week I am going to be taking part in an ISO 22301 audit in Sweden and so will take the opportunity to review for you Dejan Kosutic's recently published book on ISO22301 "Becoming Resilient: The Definitive Guide to ISO 22301 Implementation".
If are looking to dust off your business continuity plan and give it a polish, then take a look at our sister company BCT's one day Writing the Plan training course, which is running in London on June 4th.