Benjamin Franklin once said, “Lost time is never found again” as a way of convincing someone not to wait to take action. In this Blog series, we take a look at the critical steps needed to ensure a responsible approach to developing plans and measures to combat business interruptions.
No matter the cause, there is a systematic way to analyze, prepare and respond to any threat to make sure your business survives. There are plenty of closed businesses that wish they could go back and put a focus on Business Continuity Planning. Unfortunately, lost time is never found again.
So, what is the first step, you ask?
Step 1 - Business Continuity Analysis
Before you can start making improvements to something, you need to understand the current state. The same is true with your business. In this step, we look at the current state of business continuity capability, make some decisions regarding the desired state of readiness, evaluate the potential risks and get executive-level buy-in.
Conduct Maturity Assessment
We’ve created a Business Continuity Maturity Matrix based on the best practices of businesses around the world, and learned from real-world emergencies, to help evaluate the 20 different elements that are essential to ensuring a business is capable of responding to any emergency.
These areas are:
1. Essential Functions
2. Emergency Management Structure
8. Vulnerability Assessment
9. Hazard Mitigation
10. Information Technology
11. Cyber Security
14. Plan Content / Maintenance
15. Physical Security
16. Post-Event Reentry
17. Threat Monitoring
18. Alternate Sites
19. Training & Exercises
20. Resource Management
Using our Maturity Matrix (downloadable HERE) begin your current state analysis by looking at each of these 20 areas to determine how effectively you are protecting your business today. Those 20 elements should be ranked on the maturity scale from “Unfocused” to “World-Class.” This will give you a thorough evaluation of the current state of business resiliency.
Perform Gap Analysis
With the completed Maturity Matrix, you can clearly see the differences between where the business is now and where you want the business to be in the future. This forms the basis for your Gap Analysis. In each of the 20 elements, identify the actions that need to be taken to increase the Business Continuity Maturity in order to make the business more secure.
Identify Potential Risks
Once you have an idea of how the business is positioned, you then want to take a look at the potential threats. This is largely dependent on things like business location, business type, size, geographical distribution and even the company’s public visibility. Knowing what threats are most probable, can help to prioritize mitigation and planning actions.
Acquire Executive Buy-In
Consensus is a key part of any major business activity but Business Continuity Planning affects all parts of an organization, which makes it critical that the leadership team be in lock-step on the actions that need to be taken. Dissenters can pose big obstacles to actually achieving the level of protection needed and result in a waste of time, money and effort. Not to mention put the business in grave risk.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Use our Business Continuity Maturity Matrix (downloadable HERE) to evaluate your organization’s current state of readiness as well as your desired future maturity.
For more information on securing the future of your business, contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org