Process and procedural effectiveness and efficiency are key elements in determining a company’s success. Critically detailed reviews, evaluations, and improvements to your processes and procedures can contribute to overall corporate viability and profitability. Process and procedural effectiveness and efficiency are also critical when it comes to developing and implementing business continuity plans.
The goal of business continuity planning is to efficiently restore operations through a predetermined, systematic approach. Unfortunately, many companies lack adequate recovery planning, and recuperative procedures to restore critical information, essential processes, and normal business operations within an acceptable recovery time frame. The lack of business continuity preparedness can adversely affect corporate reputation, financial stability, and overall resilience.
The business continuity recovery process is typically a sequence of concurrent activities and interdependent activities that facilitate measured advances toward a successful recovery. Decisions and priorities set early in the recovery process often have a cascading effect on the evolution and speed of the recovery progress and business continuity efforts. Because recovery timeliness has a direct impact on operational viability, pre-planning business continuity implementation processes and intended procedures is critical.
Developing relationships and common understandings of roles and responsibilities prior to a disaster increases post-disaster collaboration and unified decision-making, and streamlines the recovery process. A fully coordinated recovery plan may require utilizing internal and external stakeholders. Business unit management and staff, in conjunction with external participants, must be familiar with and trained in the recovery procedures in order to effectively implement directives and maintain minimal business continuity.
Recovery time and outcomes vary based on incident circumstances, challenges, and priorities. A successful disaster recovery can be characterized as the return of operations to pre-disaster conditions. FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Framework provides key factors that contribute to a successful recovery. With secured sharing abilities, a web-based, database driven planning system can aid in the management and communication of the key factors of a business continuity recovery process. These factors include:
1. Effective Decision-making and Coordination:
- Confirm roles and responsibilities of recovery team and stakeholders
- Examine recovery alternatives, address conflicts and make informed and timely decisions that best achieve recovery
- Establish metrics for tracking progress, ensuring accountability and reinforcing realistic expectations among stakeholders
- Track progress, ensure accountability, and make procedural adjustments as necessary
2. Integration of Community Recovery Planning Processes:
- Engage all stakeholders in pre-disaster business continuity and recovery planning, training, and exercises
- Establish processes and criteria for identifying and prioritizing key recovery actions and projects
3. Well-managed Recovery:
- Leverage and coordinate recovery teams, local response groups, government liaisons, and non-governmental organizations to accelerate the recovery process and avoid duplication of efforts
- Surge staffing and management structures as necessary to support the workload during recovery
- Establish leadership guidance, including the shift of roles and responsibilities, for the transition from response operations to recovery, and eventually a return to a normal (or new normal) operational state
- Ensure regulatory compliance throughout recovery process
4. Proactive Community Partnerships, Public Participation, and Public Awareness:
- Ensure transparency and accountability
- Communicate recovery objectives (short, intermediate and long-term) and applicable detailed information to employees, stakeholders, and community members
5. Well-administered Financials:
- Clearly identify funding sources and financial recovery processes
- Evaluate and present external programs that can provide financial assistance to aid in the recovery progress
- Allow for budgetary flexibility, yet maintain adequate financial monitoring and accounting systems
- Implement processes and systems that detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse.
6. Organizational Flexibility:
- Institute scalable and flexible processes that can align with recovery operations objectives
- Institute business processes that can evolve and adapt to address the changing landscape of post-disaster environments
7. Resilient Rebuilding:
- Invoke “Lessons Learned” in the restoration phase to minimize risks and threats, and improve response, recovery and restoration efforts.
For a free Response Procedures Flow Chart download, click the image below: