Across every sector, there is always the risk of something going wrong. This may be a physical disaster such as a fire, which means you can’t access your supply chain. It can also be a range of other unpredictable events such as losing a key employee, experiencing a cyberattack or facing a global pandemic.
In short, Business Continuity Management is about putting processes in place to deal with these potential upsets. This can minimise the consequences when something doesn’t go according to plan.
Why Is Business Continuity Management Important?
Business Continuity Management is essential for creating a sustainable organisation. Even if your organisation is running perfectly now, doing your due diligence will help avoid being knocked off balance by something you can avoid.
The process starts with working out the most important parts of your organisation and how you can access or substitute them if necessary. Many organisations have inflexible governance structures, which means a disaster will entirely disrupt their internal processes.
Of course, it is impossible to plan for every single eventuality. There are always things outside our control! But one of the most significant parts of business is being able to adapt to sudden changes. BCM will set you ahead of the competition when difficult times do come and give you the tools to recover.
How To Create a Successful Business Continuity Plan?
There are several steps you can take to ensure an effective Business Continuity Plan. In contrast to Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity is all about checking the right processes are in place.
- Ensure The Right People Are In Charge
As with every aspect of business, delegation is crucial when it comes to Business Continuity Management. This means putting a team together who can accurately assess the future of your organisation.
Part of Business Continuity Planning is simply working out who should be responsible for different events. A skills audit will help ensure you have the right skills in place to deal with anything that comes your way.
- Understand The Organisation
Every organisation is different and as a result the way they deal with challenges varies considerably. For example, a petting zoo’s first priority would be very different from that of a tech company! Not all organisations have to worry about their animals and instead have concerns of their own.
As a result, understanding the things that matter to your organisation is crucial for an effective Business Continuity Plan. This may include people, supplies, locations, technology, or data. Before you even begin to think of contingency plans, it is necessary to think about what you are trying to protect.
- Assess The Risks
Once you have established the most important parts of the organisation, it is time to start a risk assessment. This means looking at what potential risks there are to the organisation and how likely they are to occur.
Just as every organisation has different priorities, they also have different risks associated with their business practices. Effective risk assessments are crucial in maintaining good governance. In certain circumstances, where there is a risk to staff, they may even be a legal requirement.
- Develop Your Response
Only after these planning stages, you can begin to develop your response. This means putting contingency plans in place to deal with the potential risks you have outlined. Some risks can be mitigated at this stage. For example, by backing up your sensitive data, you won’t remove the risk of cyberattack, but you can minimise the consequences.
You could also introduce different forms of working that help mitigate risk. Hybrid working may improve the flexibility of your organisation and make it easier to adapt in difficult times.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of Business Continuity Management. It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect plan if no one knows about it! Your staff should be aware of the protocols in place for a disaster, and particularly those which will affect them most.
Efficient training is crucial, so information can pass fluently through the organisation. It will also support staff in feeling confident when a disaster does occur, so they can act rationally and make the best decisions for the organisation.
More widely, communication will improve the relationship between you and your employees. In the case of a disaster, there is no time for inefficiencies.
How Can Convene Help You With Business Continuity Management?
When it comes to Business Continuity Management, you need to understand every aspect of your company structure. Flexibility and communication are key parts of the process that can’t be overlooked. This means you need to ensure the streamlined flow of information across the organisation.
Convene is an award-winning Board portal designed to improve communication within your organisation. From creating an agenda to establishing a strong admin trail, every step of the process should be as smooth as possible. Our comprehensive meeting management software is trusted by professionals around the world.
Convene is now also available fully integrated with Microsoft Teams, so more than just your Board can benefit from Convene's features. The software simplifies remote, in-person and hybrid work for your whole organisation. With Convene in Teams, business continuity has never been easier!