BCP Life Cycle Stage 2 - Plan Assessment

by Scott Owens, PMP, CBCP on September 15th, 2011

One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is to assume that the business continuity (BC) or disaster recovery (DR) plan that was created several years ago for your organization will be sufficient in a crisis. Are you sure that the plans were all-inclusive? What if your firm never got around to completing this initiative?

And what about the impact that natural disasters have had on businesses? To date in 2011, FEMA has declared 81 disasters, equaling the twelve month total from 2010, and on pace to shatter the all-time record. Did any of these situations have a direct or indirect impact on your business, your customers, or your suppliers? Were you prepared for these? Did your plan reflect this?

How do you know if your plans are as comprehensive as they need to be, or if they will stand up to the scrutiny of an audit if you are in a regulated industry?

The reality of business in today’s climate is that in the span of a year, critical business assumptions, resources, finances, sales, products, teams, technology, customers, suppliers, regulations, and even physical locations are likely to change or adapt. If your BC / DR plan has not been updated in the last 6 months to reflect changes in your business, the plan might be worthless in a true crisis.

The easy answer to all these questions is that you probably need to start with an assessment of your status quo. Understanding your environment (technical, operational, financial, regulatory), your teams and their capabilities, and your risk tolerance, is critical to making sure you have a solid plan. Knowing what exists from a BC and DR perspective, and performing a comparison to a core set of best practices is a great start. From this gap analysis, you will have a roadmap of how to best update your plans to protect the organization.

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with BCP Life Cycle, Risk


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