Remaining resilient – Top tips for maintaining business continuity
With disruptions to businesses like never before, it’s important that your organization is well-equipped to effectively minimize disruptions to your business.
Read our top tips on how you can better prepare and respond to disruptions whilst remaining resilient.
1. Identify critical business functions
Mitigate risks posed to your business by identifying your critical operations and applying a methodical approach to the threats that are posed to them.
2. Produce a plan
Make a plan considering the seven ‘P’s needed to keep your business operational: providers (internal and suppliers), performance (service level agreements you need to meet), processes, people, premises, profile (your brand) and preparation.
3. Document your plan
Ensure your plan is well documented and easily accessible. Work with your key stakeholders (including suppliers) to put in place ‘back to normal’ recovery plans and ensure they are agreed and documented.
Don’t let your plan gather dust on a shelf. Ensure plans are communicated, understood and made available to key staff. Equally, share non-confidential aspects with clients and other key stakeholders to boost their confidence in your ability to maintain ‘business as usual’.
5. Test your plans
Exercise your business continuity plans in mock scenarios to ensure roles and responsibilities are clear and that any flaws are exposed. If possible include clients and suppliers in your exercises. Remember to test them, not only in scenarios where there may be a physical risk such as poor weather conditions making premises inaccessible, but people risks, such as supply chain challenges and boardroom departures.
6. Your suppliers need BCM too
Identify your ‘critical’ suppliers and ensure they have business continuity arrangements in place that fit with your objectives and are defined within your contract. Also consider setting up more than one source of supply or increasing your stock of critical resources.
7. Ensure continual improvement
If your plans haven’t been reviewed for a few years then they probably won’t meet current requirements. Organizations engaged in business continuity management will be actively learning from their internal audits, tests, management reviews and even from incidents themselves.
8. Align to organizational objectives
Plans that don’t reflect the organization’s strategy and objectives can lack credibility and are unlikely to succeed in the longer-term. Instead, make sure your plans allow you to get back up and running in a way that aligns with your organization’s objectives.
9. Insure your organization
Unexpected disruption can have a huge cost to business, so insure your organization against worst case scenarios. Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement in the UK and can help compensate employees in the event of a crisis.
10. Have an incident communications plan
Having a nominated senior spokesperson deliver a communications plan can ensure clear messages are communicated to your stakeholders. Reinforcing confidence in your organization’s ability to recover is half the battle in business continuity.