Once a business continuity or disaster recovery plan is created, it must receive regular attention through testing, updating, and maintenance. Attainium can design an ongoing maintenance plan for your organization's specific needs.
Finally, a well-trained staff will greatly reduce the risk that a disruptive event will turn into a crisis. Let Attainium produce training programs to increase your staff's awareness and skills on how to use and execute your business continuity plan ("BCP"). This investment will result in effective and efficient crisis response and disaster recovery.
Risk and Business Impact Analysis
Attainium will assess the criticality of your organization’s business processes and determine the impact and consequences of loss of service or a reduction in normal customer service levels. Key Business Processes are those that, under any circumstances, could not be outsourced to a third party vendor or organization.
The analysis will contain information on the threats to normal service levels and the impact on profitability and continued viability. This section lists the key business areas and assesses the risks that could affect each of the business processes.
Areas to be considered include:
- Customer/Member communications
- Other on-line real-time customer services
- Service delivery processes
- Quality control mechanisms
- Customer service handling
- Maintenance and support services
- Sales and sales administration
- Finance and accounting
- Human resources management
- Information technology services
- Premises / facilities
- Marketing and public relations
Business Continuity Plan Development
The Business Continuity Plan will help to provide information and guidance to your organization in returning to normal operations following a disaster or other business disruption. It should serve as both a knowledge repository and roadmap for employees to follow in recovering from a catastrophic event. Through our Plan-A-ware process the BCP will identify key leadership and employees who will be involved in response and recovery, including critical action steps to take to ensure a quick execution, as well as the following key components:
Crisis Management Team
The success of the Business Continuity Plan and your organization's recovery from a disaster will rest on the key individuals selected to carry out the actions listed in this plan. Proper identification and training of these individuals is critical. The ownership of the BCP rests on the individuals selected to serve on the Crisis Management Team.
We will clearly detail the actions your Emergency Response Team must take, both those responsible in the activation of the Business Continuity Plan, and those responsible for business operations during times of disaster. We consider the suitability of a wide range of disaster response procedures including evacuation procedures, fire regulations, and health and safety procedures.
Crisis Management can be thought of as everything you do “during” the disruption to respond in a timely and effective manner. These are the actions that were developed in the Business Continuity phase that will allow you to mitigate or avoid damage to your profitability, reputation or relationships. Each crisis or disruption is different... you still have to assess THIS crisis and define the problem so you can decide what elements of your plan to implement.
Immediately following a disaster or crisis, your Business Resumption Team and stakeholders must know what to do to begin the recovery process. Should your organization’s physical premises be affected by a disaster, individuals involved in the business resumption procedures must work quickly resume normal operations (repairs, access, leases, etc.). In addition to this information, certain decision-making procedures must be in place to quickly authorize repairs (if the space is owned) or to contact individuals to make the repairs (if the space is leased).
We will incorporate the immeasurably important human side of Business Continuity Planning. In the knowledge-based economy we live and work in today, the value of the employee has never been greater. Employees’ experiences and knowledge give organizations their unique value and the promise of business success. In addition, it is the employee that will assist the organization in recovering from any disaster or business disruption.
Actively recruiting individuals to serve on the Crisis Management Team, educating them about their role and impact during a disaster, and ensuring all employees are aware of the potential risks they and the organization face are critical success factors in any Business Continuity Plan.
A summary of the existing IT back-up and recovery procedures will be documented. This information will cover both hardware and software systems in addition to data back-up and recovery processes. Information will also include any off-site data storage arrangements.
As with any organizational project, senior management and leadership support are critical to a Business Continuity Plan’s success. We begin by interviewing your leadership, staff, key suppliers, and building managers to provide the information necessary to evaluate your organization’s readiness for a disaster.
The evaluation continues with a review of your policies, and/or procedures relating to the areas under investigation, such as evacuation plans, documentation provided by your building manager, server backup procedures, organizational/management structure, etc.
Our research and assessment of your organization’s readiness includes these crucial functions and more:
- Leadership support and commitment
- Delivery of service to customers
- Building and infrastructure
- Human Resources and Communications
- Crisis Management
- Organizational Mission
- Crucial Business Functions and Key Business Processes
Ongoing Business Continuity Plan Maintenance
A Business Continuity Plan never exercised is a Business Continuity Plan never implemented. Employees must be totally familiar with all the aspects of the plan. Through thorough maintenance, your organization ensures the resources and solutions contained in the BCP are current and appropriate to your everyday, real-life risks, and potential disasters. We will work with your organization to determine a maintenance schedule that is appropriate.
Training and Awareness Programs
Attainium develops and conducts comprehensive education programs for your leadership and employees. While the BCP is important, it is only effective when everyone affected is aware of the valuable information contained in it. The initial education of employees should take place after the completion and approval of the Business Continuity Plan, and continue regularly over time as a refresher for current employees, and as part of new employee orientation.