How can you make time to maintain the business continuity plan for your credit union? Here are three tips to ensure continued operations—no matter what.
When people put plans in place, they often assume that’s it! They’re done! But unfortunately, that’s not how business continuity planning works. Technologies change. Business practices evolve. Staff churns. Plans that were rock-solid at the beginning of the year may no longer apply at the start of Q3.
Business continuity plans are no different. To ensure the continuous success of your credit union through various worst-case scenarios and disasters, you’ll need to maintain your continuity plan to keep it in a first-rate shape.
Credit unions must maintain their business continuity plans—and they must make time for it. That means that when you’re not developing your BCP, and when you’re not actively testing it, you should maintain it. So, to review, update, or align across management, you’ll need to carve out time to sustain your plan. Here’s how:
Tip #1: Put 15–30 minutes of review in your schedule
Schedule this time as you would any other meeting. You don’t have to schedule a meeting with employees, managers, board members, or anyone. You can take this time for yourself, whenever it’s most convenient for you.
If time is tight (or if you take leisurely meals), review or adjust a small section of your business continuity plan during your lunch break. Focus on a small aspect of it so you can quickly accomplish this task.
Tip #2: Include BCP maintenance in your staff’s annual performance review
Put business continuity plan maintenance into your staff’s performance annual performance review. It will incentivize your employees to pay attention to operations and procedures that safeguard your credit union and its members against unfortunate events.
It will also establish clear goals on which your employees may focus. After all, if they know preparedness and continuity is a metric by which they’re measured, they’ll pay closer attention to it.
Finally, it will create clear expectations across levels of staff and management about how all employees can take responsibility when things go south.
Tip #3: Report to the board of directors
We suggest developing a committee for this specific purpose. It could be named the Business Continuity Planning Steering Committee (BCP Steering Committee), the Information System and Technology Committee (IS&T Committee), the Information System Steering Committee… it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that the committee oversees and steers basic business continuity planning maintenance. They should help the board understand continuity risks—and the plans that mitigate those risks. Doing so will keep you and your managers accountable for keeping plans up to date.
Continual review and reevaluation of your BCP will secure your credit union against new threats. It’s your responsibility to maintain your plan, but with these tips, you can protect your credit union and its members from various threats and risks, both inside and out.
Ongoing Operations helps credit unions develop, test, and maintain business continuity plans. We’re more than happy to discuss your BCP questions or challenges. Simply fill out this short form and we’ll be in touch!
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