Why Do You Need Quality Metrics for Your Business Continuity Program?
You need to measure it in order to manage it. This applies to almost anything in business. Would you conduct the following ventures without measuring their returns and performance? A marketing scheme, a new product, a distribution channel, new technology adoption, or a customer retention program? You probably wouldn’t continue any of these unamended without regularly calculating their performance.
But what about your business continuity management program (BCMP)? Do you feel its performance should be regularly measured? Well, it can. And it should. But we’re not talking about just reporting the volume of work and planning and testing activities (analyses completed, number of tests conducted, what exercises performed, plan updates, etc.), but also appraising the end results of your processes – will it work in a real-life crisis?
“What’s measured improves.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
Upon hearing this many program owners suggest they don’t know what to measure, how to measure it, or think it doesn’t need to be measured (most detrimental). And this brings us back to: if you can’t manage it, you can’t measure it.
Program performance metrics – or key performance indicators (KPIs) – grant you the valuable insight – on a consistent and regular basis – to determine how your organization would weather a disruption and reveal which elements of the program need improvement. Ultimately, KPIs geared towards performance and recoverability paint a clear and transparent picture, which accords management better transparency of the program management throughout the enterprise. That, in turn, delivers an opportunity to offer feedback and prioritize improvements.
“A useful metric is both accurate and aligned with your goals.” ~ Seth Godin
Here are the vital benefits of BCMP KPIs:
- Help quantify your BCMP status and goals
Numbers grant better precision. If you set your ideal program rating between 90 and 100, but your tallied metrics only hit 67, you can see that you need to improve and in which areas.
- Grant objectivity
Quantifiable performance also permits better objectivity. Many organizations think their programs are sufficient and meet compliance standards, but KPIs tell the truth.
- Give performance at a glance
Execs like quick, easy answers. KPIs allows management to efficiently grab a glance at up-to-date performance status whenever they want.
- Offer precision
KIPs provide details, which can quickly answer a specific question or address a concern.
- Delivers ease of understanding
KPIs don’t have to be complicated. They employ the similar measurement and communication techniques used in other parts of business
The Whole Performance Package
To reap the most guidance from your KPIs and gain a full-spectrum picture of your program’s effectiveness, you should include a combination of metrics for two key fields: the foundation of the program and the execution.
The foundation determines how well the program lines up with industry standards in terms of program administration, incident management, recovery, and supply chain risk management.
The level of execution helps evaluate the remaining risks once you’ve determined your risk tolerance, recovery plan risks, and the status of your mitigating controls. You can then take steps to diminish the remaining risk to tolerable level. The lower the level of your risk, the higher your level of execution capability.
Moving to Metrics
In their Continuity Insights Report, the offers some helpful tips to begin harnessing the power of KPIs for your program:
• Determine how KPIs can add value to your existing business continuity and disaster recovery programs
• Identify situations where these metrics and others may be useful
• Review the use of these metrics with management (and the audit department) to ensure their use is acceptable
• Begin defining relevant metrics and create indexes and reports on BC and DR risks and performance
• Develop a plan for implementing the metrics in your BC and DR program efforts
• Integrate KPIs with program management activities
• Use results from KPI/KRI initiatives to identify opportunities for program improvement and improved risk management
A Complete Program
Business continuity management program performance metrics are just one valuable element of a complete and successful BCMP. Forgoing KPIs is sacrificing critical insight and power to easily and efficiently elevate and refine your program.
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