Tag Archives: BCP

The Glo-cal Approach for Business Continuity across Multiple Locations

DRI ANZ

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What is the common factor between worldwide fast-food chains and successful business continuity management in different offices of the same organisation? The answer is that both use a combination of global and local approaches, otherwise known as ‘glo-cal’. For the fast-food restaurants, global rules that must apply everywhere include safety, hygiene, accounting and branding policies. However, on a country-by-country basis, establishments may be able to offer their clientele supplements or variations to the standard menu. A similar idea can be applied to implementing business continuity planning and management across different branch or country offices.

Business continuity standards and best practices are relevant to everyone. They describe the principles to be used, as well as the key processes. This foundation is essential if business continuity is to work correctly. Consistency between locations is important for ensuring efficient use of resources. It also allows different members of staff to step in and maintain business continuity if necessary. In addition, using the same proven process to reliably assess and plan for business resilience means that items are less likely to be overlooked.

However, local adaptations in business continuity management are also possible. For example, communicating and educating employees about business continuity might be done in different ways. In one office or country, the business culture may be to have formal training sessions. In another, on-the-job instruction and monitoring of employee business continuity awareness may work better. Part of the art of good business continuity is finding the right balance between defining policies and procedures that must globally be observed, and allowing suitable local flexibility to enhance people’s acceptance and enthusiasm for following them.

Your Organisation has Business Continuity and Resilience – But What About You?

DRI ANZ

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Sometimes we concentrate so hard on overall resilience and business continuity that we neglect another vital aspect – the resilience of individuals in the organisation. While it’s true that there is often a positive spill-over from enterprise to employee, people need attention just as much as processes. Resilient people are better able to plan, execute and manage crises if they have to. Take a look at the list of characteristics below. If you think about how these points could be applied at a personal as well as at an organisational level, you’ll already be a big step ahead.

  • Keep a sense of perspective. Business continuity planning gives you simple and effective methods to measure risk and decide priorities, methods individual can apply for themselves too.
  • Set goals, go after them and leverage successes. Building resilience in an enterprise is often a case of setting manageable, achievable goals, and getting increasing support as each one is met. The same works for your personal goals too.
  • Make the effort to communicate well. Communication skills can be learnt if you feel you don’t quite have them at the moment. The better you communicate BC objectives and results to your colleagues, the more resilience you’ll build up personally too – a mutually reinforcing cycle.
  • Follow good advice you have given to others. Whether it’s good BC practices for staying in business or healthy eating for staying in shape, you owe it to yourself to ‘walk the talk’ too.
  • Consider change as part of life. Nothing stays the same. Nothing ever has. Life is change. When you accept that notion, you’re already half-way to managing it.
  • Act decisively. Use information, use tools, communicate with others to get points of view, decide on a plan and do it (get any third-party support you need as well). If you make mistakes, accept that this is always a risk and handle them effectively. But with the resilience checklist above, you’ll probably be making fewer mistakes anyway.

7 Basic Ways to Ensure Good Business Continuity Planning

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Smart business continuity planners regularly return to the basics. Although BCP can be complex if a particular situation makes it so, good plans are still built on solid and simple foundations. By keeping these in mind, BC planners can avoid straying from the straight and narrow path that must be followed if business continuity is to be guaranteed.

  1. Cover all areas. Even if IT is often a large part of BCP, it’s not the only part. All functional departments must be considered, as well as all sites including headquarters and branch offices.
  2. Check inputs and outputs. If a key supplier breaks down or if your distribution network fails, only good business continuity plan that includes these external factors will save you.
  3. Focus on handling outcomes. While it’s important to prevent a problem from happening again, it’s the effect that will have an immediate impact on your business. Trying to identify every possible individual incident leads to unmanageable detail. Plan to handle the effect first (different problems can have the same effect) to ensure continuity. Then eradicate the cause.
  4. Write it down. Or type it out at your PC. You need a document you can refer to and copy to the relevant people so that it is available to them at all times.
  5. Test it. You should make the most realistic test possible without upsetting (too much) the daily working of your organisation. But you must test. An untested plan is incomplete.
  6. Plan for the media. If a crisis hits and your organisation must react to ensure its continuity, the public and the media may want details about what is happening. Designate the right people to communicate with the media and make sure everybody else refers the media to those individuals.
  7. Update it. Business continuity planning needs periodic revision and continuing attention. Like getting your car serviced and watering your plants! Define a review cycle (every six months perhaps) and note the action you must take in your agenda – and in the agenda of all other required participants in the BCP review process.