Business Continuity Planning

When's the last time you dusted off, reviewed and updated your business continuity plan? Many of you will answer never or several years ago. If you haven't done so in the last year, you definitely need to be doing it now so you can be confident in it if you have to use it. Do all your employees know about it and what their roles are, even the new employees? We thought not. Soon we will turn back the clocks and we should be tuning up our plans as well.

Creating, updating, and testing your plan are all critical to responding successfully to a natural disaster or other business disruption. (Item #1)     A common cause of failure to implement BCM successfully is a lack of people with the right level of knowledge and skills, and the purpose of planning and delivering a business continuity training and awareness campaign is to avoid that pitfall. (Item #2)     Lack of water could present serious challenges to an organization, especially one that operates in an area where access is scarce. (Item #3)    

These seven elements are essential parts of any effective business continuity strategy. (Item #4)     If you set aside time once or twice a year to review your plans, you can identify new risks and monitor the effectiveness of your current risk management strategies. (Item #5)     Institute a prep-at-home program at work… ensure your employees are personally prepared at home for a crisis. (Item #6)    

As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Business Continuity Planning in Action: Keeping your Business Ready for an Emergency

More than half of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan, and of those that do, the vast majority spend very little time making sure that their information is updated and understood by all who need to implement it. Not having a plan, and not exercising the plan, is almost like making the same mistake twice--and the result can be devastating to your business.

2. Practical advice on business continuity training and awareness raising

The objective of the business continuity management (BCM) process is to improve an organization's business continuity capability over a period of time. The process is initially implemented using project management techniques, and as it matures over the years, this gives way to an annual program of work. In both the initial implementation and the ongoing programme, BCM involves undertaking a range of activities, and, if the BCM process is to be successful, these activities need to be undertaken by people who have the right level of knowledge and skills.

3. Could Water Scarcity Impact Business Continuity Professionals?

Resource management is a critical concept when it comes to resilience. An organization can't function properly without the things it needs to do so. While resources are important, there are few that are as universally needed as water. Nathaniel Forbes of Forbes Calamity Prevention argues that the impact of restricted access to water is something more business continuity professionals should focus on.

4. Seven Key Elements of Business Continuity

It's no fun to think about all the ways your business can be disrupted--hurricanes, tsunamis, snow storms, epidemics, earthquakes, tornados, terrorism, floods, fires, even relatively minor incidents like a failed water main or a planned event like an office relocation. It's the kind of thing that keeps business execs and IT leaders up at night. The best remedy: a solid business continuity strategy you can count on to minimize the impact and keep your business running through thick or thin.

5. Why You Need to Review, Update Your Business Continuity Plans

Companies can spend considerable time putting together a risk management plan that is unique to their workplace and operations. But, after they have created and implemented their plan, many businesses fail to evaluate and update it on a regular basis. You will need to test, evaluate and update your risk management and business continuity plans regularly because risks can change as your business, your industry and the environment you operate in also change.

6. Improve business continuity by encouraging personal planning at home

Businesses are finally putting business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans in place, only to discover that all their planning efforts are basically useless if their employees are not on hand to execute the plans during a crisis. Employee unavailability is largely due to their not being personally prepared at home for a crisis.

Quote of the Week:

"Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. And the nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise; rather than being proceeded by a period of worry and depression."

-- Sir John Harvey-Jones
businessman and BBC personality

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