Train Support Assure™
PlanB Consulting has developed a methodology, Train – Support – Assure™, for developing Business Continuity across a number of business areas simultaneously. This methodology allows for a high level of embedding of Business Continuity knowledge with the organisation’s staff and is cost-effective. The methodology is tried and tested, having been used successfully by TNT, East Ayrshire Council, NCFE, Shetland Islands Council and a number of Ministry of Defence sites.
The methodology is very simple: all business units within scope designate a Business Continuity Coordinator (BCC). Each BCC attends three 7-hour workshops with a two to three-week gap between each workshop. The workshops consist of basic Business Continuity knowledge followed by training on how to develop the pre-prepared templates for each stage of the business continuity process. As much as possible of the business continuity development work is done in the classroom. BCCs are then sent away with their ‘homework’. This has to be completed before the next workshop. Telephone and e-mail support is offered after each workshop, if required. Once a BCC has compiled his/her homework it is sent to PlanB Consulting, who quality assures it and sends it back to the BCC with any comments. This ensures that before the next workshop all BCCs are at a similar stage, their work is checked, and that throughout the whole process their work is quality assured.
This approach has huge benefits for the organisation as it facilitates maximum business continuity skills and knowledge transfer to the BCCs. It also promotes ‘buy in’ to Business Continuity, embeds business continuity within the client and is very cost-effective. The methodology ensures that plans are developed by those who understand the organisation best and that the quality of plans and their look and feel are standard across the client’s organisation.
PlanB Consulting believes that plans produced using this methodology are as good, or better, than the quality of plans written by an external business continuity consultant. PlanB Consulting has recently been carrying out workshops for an East Ayrshire organisation, whose BCCs began their Train – Support – Assure™ process some three years ago. They still update their plans, talk knowledgably on the subject and are still enthusiastic about Business Continuity.