Your Business Continuity Plan is a long-term commitment, not a stand-alone project. BCPs are living documentation; you should never stop updating this information. Updates are needed immediately after creation. Over time information will become useless and archaic if not updated.
- Secure executive level buy-in and add BCP initiatives to your Scorecard matrix. Without executive support and backing, staff may not feel motivated to put in the efforts.
- Engage staff to ensure importance is understood. Not only is good DR a member benefit but safety/security for staff. Operational areas have difficulties with finding time to dedicate to planning and updating. These areas are the most critical as they support the front line during and after an incident.
- Dedicate organization wide resources responsible for the planning and updating of your BCP. Without proper delegation of planning activities, responsibilities don’t miraculously get completed. Consider these competencies when selecting the proper individuals: good communicator, works well with a team, commands respect, accountable, flexible, and has a good understanding of the organization.
- Educate and empower. Make certain they know what is expected of them and empower them to make the decisions in order for them to accept the responsibility.
- Provide the best tools possible to enable a solid BCP. The latest most expensive software isn’t always the answer. Identify the needs and fulfill it with something that is consistent and easy to manage.
- Facilitate discussion – people are more likely to participate when the feel supported and valued. Open conversation help everyone understand better the impact each has on the other.
- Include BCP planning in job descriptions and annual objectives. This ensures accountability.
- Create annual objectives throughout the organization. Provide performance updates to staff as well as your Board of Directors.
- Secure annual sign off from executive team and the Board of Directors. Add planning as a part of your project implementation plan. System changes (core and auxiliary systems) have an impact on IT’s recover plan as well as organizational member and process support.
- Debrief after exercises and events. Details should be documented, assigned for follow up and provided to BOD. Those items not followed up on will just sit there and wait to bite you again the next time.Keep your BCP on the corporate agenda. Have the executive team and department individuals present their plans regularly to the Board of Directors. Keeping on the agenda ensures plan access and updates on a regular basis. Prescription for health of your BCP. If you are up the BCP coordinator, consider yourself the doctor. You have a team of highly effective staff to support you. Everyone is needed in the operating room!
Need more ideas on how to keep your BCP alive? Reach out and talk to a certified planner today!