Following the context set in Part 1 it should be noted that a comprehensive business continuity management (BCM) programme must cater for the following plans:
- Emergency / incident response plan: This plan is mostly site specific and typically deals with the initial response to an incident. The aim of this plan is to safeguard human life and protect physical assets.
- Crisis / communications management plan: This is an overarching plan that is applicable to the entire organisation. It is structured to facilitate internal and external communication protocols and procedures and aims to protect the brand, reputation and image of the organisation.
- Business continuity plan: Similar to the emergency response plan, this plan is also site specific. The plan contains a set of guidelines and supporting information that are used to implement the business continuity solutions and enable the recovery of key functions/ processes / services after a disruption.
- Information technology (IT) service continuity / disaster recovery plan: This plan is linked to the business continuity plan and used to recover and restore systems, applications and data sources to pre-dined levels.
The question is commonly asked: What else should be in a scenario response plan (i.e. Pandemic response plan), that is not already in the fore mentioned plans?
The direct answer is: Nothing.
By way of the Pandemic scenario example let me share some insights;
- Remote working was an immediate reality (once lockdown came into effect), therefore the emergency response plan was not utilised because offices, sites and branches were not occupied.
- The crisis management plan was used to ensure communication to staff, stakeholders, clients, took place according to the pre-defined protocols and set procedures.
- The business continuity plan was invoked to ensure the key functions / processes / services continue, within the set recovery time objectives.
- The disaster recovery plan was partially activated to ensure remote working capability in terms of connectively, access to IT systems and data sources and contact with IT technical staff (i.e. to enable new applications virtual platforms) were enabled and supported.
If your organisation has a comprehensive, fit-for-purpose and well maintained BCM programme, no need to keep up with the BUZZ…
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