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The 3 Core Components of a Healthy Business Continuity Program
If you have a business continuity (BC) program in place, it’s likely you’re well-versed in evaluating risks and planning to recover from potential disruptions to your operations. But do you know if your BC program is healthy? Do you routinely evaluate your program to ensure its continuously supporting your organizational goals?
Here are three core components to think about when analyzing the success and sustainability of your BC program:
Accurate, complete, and quality data is an essential part of a healthy BC program. When facing a crisis or disruption, accurate data helps your team make faster, more detailed decisions.
If your organization fails to gather, update, and maintain accurate data, response can be delayed and some decisions or plan activations could be incorrect, costing additional downtime and financial losses.
Questions to consider:
- When was the last time we audited our data?
- Do we have enough data to build actionable plans?
- What’s the quality and antiquity of our data?
- Do we have accurate and complete data related to applications, vendors, hardware, locations, processes, etc.?
- Do we have too much data? Is the volume of data we have preventing us from getting what we need quickly?
- Do we have a tested and consistent process in place to routinely gather and update data?
- Is our data easily accessible and understandable?
Do you need help maintaining and updating your contact data? Try partnering with your human resources team. They can make BC awareness part of onboarding and can capture key contact data needed when a new employee starts, an employee leaves, or an employee has changes in contact information, position or responsibilities within the company.
Don’t forget the value of contact groups. You can even put dynamic contact groups to work for you so you don’t have to constantly manually update your contacts. Check out our Emergency Notification Tip Sheet for more tips about maintaining accurate and timely contact data.
As you constantly review, update, and improve your business continuity program, maintaining system health is crucial to ensuring program success. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including making sure needed critical information is accurately entered into your system and that your workflows and plans work as you want them to. The key to system health is removing unnecessary complexities and ensuring you have access to all the information you need, when you need it, in easy-to-digest formats.
Questions to consider:
- Have I created risk action plans that include all of my organization’s priority processes, applications, vendors, supply chain, locations, and people?
- Is my system agile enough to meet all of our organizational needs?
- Are the processes and workflows we have in place effective?
- Are we overwhelmed by processes we don’t need?
- Are the fields in our continuity system updated on a regular basis?
- Are any of our processes or resources no longer applicable?
- Have we assigned the right tasks and responsibilities to the right people?
- How often are our employees logging in and using the system?
- How many templates types are being used across the system?
It’s important to make sure your BC program’s goals and objectives align with your organization’s broader corporate objectives. This includes taking a close look at how prepared your organization is overall and understanding all the business risks that may occur during a disruption.
Questions to consider:
- Have we determined if our organization will benefit from a centralized or decentralized business continuity program?
- Have I done my homework? Do I know what a successful BC program should look like and which components are critical to success?
- Which processes and applications are most critical to our business?
- Do we have a plan for things we might not be able to remediate?
- Have we established program metrics?
- Who might be overwhelmed during an event, i.e., too many tasks assigned to them?
- Do we routinely review analytics about program performance?
- Do we share data with executives, key decision-makers, and relevant team members and stakeholders?
- Have all of our plans been exercised?
Routine analysis of your data health, system health, and program health can lead to improved operational efficiencies while helping you manage risks and meet compliance obligations.
Business continuity software can provide you with a complete look into your program to help validate preparedness, health, and overall resiliency. The days of piecemealing information together through disjointed word processing and spreadsheet programs are soon to be forgotten.
Castellan can forever change the quality and accuracy of your BC program. Through dashboards and analytics tools, you can ensure that you’re getting the right data into your system, that the data is being seen and evaluated by the right people, and that information is exchanged at the right time.
Castellan Insights gives you comprehensive visibility and actionable intelligence about the health and readiness of your program. You can monitor the status of your continuity risk posture and identify the processes, applications, and data that need your attention. You can also create executive-level snapshots, capture your plan’s history and review changes, and even make real-time updates and see how those updates are reflected within your plan.
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