Survival Tips for a Business Continuity Plan Through a Merger

Conference rooms fostered secrets, whispers blew through the halls, and executives traveled more frequently. Everyone suspected a merger lingered on the horizon. And finally, word came down today: the merger and acquisition (M&A) is a go.

The near future will be a beehive of layoffs, position eliminations, position creations, financial juggling, responsibility shifts, department reorganizations, and perhaps a culture change. There will be gains and there will losses. One vital component you must avoid losing is your business continuity plan (BCP).

Amidst the upheaval and disorientation that an M&A detonates, business continuity management (BCM) often gets lost in the debris. Even when the turbulence calms and organization is renewed, BCM rarely sits at the forefront of collective decision-making minds. But there are actions you can take to keep your BCP alive through an M&A.

5 Survival Tips for Your BCP

  1. Don’t Lose Your BCP
    Make the new administration aware of its existence and do what you can to retain all files, data, and documentation. This is critical. If you lose your BCP, then you will be starting over from scratch and you may experience even greater difficulty selling its worth without something to show.
  2. Don’t Let It Get Cold
    Though it’s tempting to wait till the dust settles to make changes and adjustments, it may behoove you to change what you can when you want to avoid potential disruption during the M&A. For example: If a new IT manager has already been announced and activated, enter his contact info into your BCP and inform him of your current protocols and procedures for cyber prevention and incident response. This will lessen the likelihood of a mismanaged or delayed response should a cyber breach occur while the company is in transition.
  3. Tell Execs It’s Your Compass
    Incoming management must understand the importance of your BCP. Define its value by explaining that a BCP guides you through unknown territory. It gives you explicit direction through disruptions and disasters, expediting your arrival at response and recovery – therein mitigating loss and damage. It can also help steer you away from potentially treacherous terrain as well – prevention of disruptions and escalated incidents.
  4. Show Them It’s Your Cash Cache
    If all else fails, bring out your business impact analysis (BIA) and show them the numbers. Present decision-makers with hard numbers contrasting the cost of updating and maintaining the BCP versus potential revenue lost in the event of disruption. Explain that lost finances are not only in the form of money appropriated for recovery of an incident. Downtime and tarnished reputation bear an impactful cost as well.
  5. Adapt to Your Surroundings
    Should you make it through the M&A obstacle course, you then must adapt your BCP to the new company. Involve all departments for a total organizational buy-in and adjust processes and procedures accordingly. Also ensure all personnel contact and job position information are updated for your incident management and emergency response.

Staying Alive
Business continuity management stands as a vital survival tool for any organization – large, small, new, old – and merged. If your new entity is to survive, you must keep your BCP alive. 

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