Q?What is Business Continuity Managment?

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is an holistic process that identifies threats to an organisation and the impact to business operations that those threats, if realised, might cause.  It provides a framework for building operational resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value creating activities.

In other words BCM is about preparing an organisation for any unpredicatable incidents which may interrupt that business & providing the organisation with the capabilities and competencies to recover and resume normal business as quickly as possible.

Examples include: IT systems failure; Power failure; Natural disasters; Disease; Terrorism; Fraud; Reputation; Brand

BCM is not generally about minor or daily interruptions – these are dealt with under “business-as-usual” activities.

Q?What is in a Business Continuity Plan?
A.A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a documented collection of procedures and information that have been developed, compiled and maintained in readiness for use in an incident, to enable an organisation to continue to deliver its important and urgent activities, at an acceptable pre-defined level.

It outlines the actions to be taken and resources to be used.  It is not a complete, step-by-step, how-to-do-it manual – rather it suggests actions to take & offers guidelines to serve in managing a major incident.  A BCP is not a substitute for informed decision making nor provide for dealing with day-to-day issues.  Most importantly the purpose, assumptions and boundaries need to clearly defined as well as circumstances under which the plan is to be used.

Q?Why does our company or organisation need to worry about Business Continuity?
A.Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail!!
Q?Rather than develop our own, could our company not simply copy the Business Continuity Plans from another company ?
A.No. Each company and each organisation is unique. Although from a distance companies and organisations may appear to be the same when one gets closer, and lifts the lid, subtle yet significant differences appear.
Q?Our company developed a basic Business Continuity Plan some years ago. Isn’t that good enough?
A.No.  It is not good enough.
Q?Our organisation developed a basic Business Continuity Plans some years ago but we haven’t found the time to do any exercising or training yet. Do we need to?
A.Yes. An untested plan is only marginally better than no plan at all.  To ensure that BCM capability continues to reflect business requirements, it must be understood by all staff and stakeholders.

The major objective of exercising and training is to ensure that the importance of BCM is understood by all staff  and they are aware of roles and responsibilities during an emergency or crisis situation.

Q?What is in an IT Disaster Recovery Plan?
A.An IT Disaster Recovery Plan (IT DRP) is an operational plan for the resumption of IT services & functions covered by the plan from the beginning of the incident through the recovery phase back to ‘business as usual’.