- An updated business impact analysis (BIA)
- Exercises of the crisis management plan (CMP)
- Preparing articles or a newsletter for BCP personnel and executives in your organization that analyze recent disasters or crises of another organization in the same industry or of another organization in the same locale.
- Providing presentations on the recent incidents mentioned above. These presentations can be provided by you – or a member of another organization that experienced the incident.
- Contract with a high-profile consulting firm to participate and report the findings on exercises of your BCP, particularly the exercise for the CMP.
Preparing articles for your organizationA suggestion for you to consider is writing articles or a newsletter that is be sent to your organizations’ BCP personnel and executives. An article can be used to examine a recent disaster (or crisis) that has occurred to another organization in your same industry or to another organization in your same locale. The article can analyze the cause and effect of the incident. In the article, you can point out any similarities to your organization and its BCP. You can refer to the strengths of your BCP, and any weaknesses can be brought up diplomatically as “concerns of yours” – based on this other organization’s experience. Hopefully, this will not only give your organizations’ BCP personnel pause for thought, but also your executives. After all, no one wants to be known as the current “Edward J. Smith.” (Smith was the captain of the Titanic. He established a remarkable reputation before the collision, but many believe Smith’s behavior and decision making became questionable after the collision.) The article will give you the opportunity to allude to how your plan could be enhanced as a result of what happened with the other organization’s disaster or crisis.
Providing presentations for your organization
Another suggestion is that you provide presentations on the recent incidents mentioned above. You or a member of the organization that experienced the incident can provide these presentations. Why not just write an article? Why the presentation? While the article is informative, it is not interactive and does not provide the opportunity to exchange ideas. The presentation allows BCP personnel to participate in the process. During a “question and answer” section of the presentation, information and new ideas can be exchanged and acted on.
OK, I know what some of you are thinking. Ed, it’s not easy to get someone who has experienced a disaster or crisis to be allowed to stand up in front of a group and discuss the incident. Generally, management of such an organization doesn’t want to “air their dirty linen in public.” On the other hand, over the years I have heard numerous people speak to their recovery operation from a disaster. They will usually confine their comments to the successes of the operation. In a few cases, BCP professionals have shared some of the “lessons learned.”
Contract with a high-profile consulting company to exercise segments of your BCP
How many of you have contracted with a high-profile consulting company to assist you in exercising segments of your BCP?
Ed, where would I use them? A good example would be to use them to exercise the crisis management plan. They can work with you to establish the “scenario” to be used during the exercise. They can assist you in writing the report on the CMP exercise. They can participate with you on the presentation of the results of the exercise to the executives of your organization.
Clarification. What do I mean by high profile?I am referring to a consulting group that:
- Has an excellent reputation as a business continuity professional.
- Has no problem justifying charging a large amount of money for their services. Why do I stress this? Because the reputation and the cost of services will cause your senior executives to want to meet with these consultants to find out why they charge so much. Basically, they will open their door for the consultants and for you.
- This will make it easier to get executives to participate in the exercise and easier to schedule an exercise for executives each year.
- Document an executive crisis management plan. Get them involved.
- Exercise the crisis management plan.
- Contract with a high-profile consultant to assist you in the exercise, the writing of the report of findings, and participate with you on the presentation of findings to your executives.
- Make sure they include you in all phases of development and/or meetings with executives.
- Go beyond disasters and include non-physical damage crises.
"Appeared in DRJ's Spring 2007 Issue"