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Business Continuity Scenarios to Review for Effective Preparedness

Posted on Thu, Aug 04, 2016

Many companies are looking for greater assurance that their business could withstand an unprecedented operational disruption. Yet, as potential influences continue to evolve, companies must ensure effective and applicable Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) are in place and are well-maintained. Mitigating business continuity response processes, procedures, and personnel responsibilities must be adaptive enough to account for current instigating conditions.

In order to effectively implement a relevant and applicable BCP, company leadership should:

  • Support budget allocations for the BCP program
  • Appoint key personnel to lead the program
  • Ensure the BCP team is staffed and fully trained to implement the plan
  • Provide the resources necessary to maintain an up-to date program that accounts for any site-specific changes to facilities, personnel, or processes
  • Provide support and resources to implement the BCP process and recovery strategies

 

Business Continuity Vulnerabilities

At any time, unforeseen circumstances beyond a company‚Äôs control can influence the operational status of a business unit. Managers should regularly monitor incidents that may cause a business disruption and/or have a serious impact to operations. Companies should continually evaluate the following scenarios to identify any vulnerabilities that may affect operational continuity. (Note: The list of vulnerabilities is not all-inclusive. Additional vulnerabilities may be applicable to your company.) 

  • Human errors or failures
    • Lack of training or policy guidance
    • Inadequate supervision
    • Intentional or unintentional disruptive practices
  • Human resource limitations
    • Strike
    • Inaccessibility to site
    • Pandemic outbreak
    • Aging population
  • Supply chain dependencies
  • Equipment damage
    • Vehicles
    • Critical industrial mechanisms
  • Technology-related failures
    • Cyber-attacks
    • Data fraud/theft
    • Critical system or network failures
    • Communication network failure
  • Infrastructure failures
    • Power failure
    • Water damage
    • Improper maintenance
    • Water supply crisis
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  • Failure of regulatory compliance
    • Fines
    • Mandated shutdowns
    • Reporting obligations
  • Natural disasters
    • Fires
    • Earthquake
    • Severe flooding
    • Hurricane/typhoon
    • Tornado
    • Volcanic eruption
    • Tsunami
    • Landslides
  • Regional and civil disturbances
    • Urbanization
    • Terrorism
    • Corruption
    • Religious fanaticism
    • Protests
  • Economic
    • Price fluctuations in critical commodities and/or natural resources
    • Dependence on central and/or commercial banks
    • Political influences
While many companies have BCPs in place, oftentimes they are untested or ill-suited for evolving conditions and potential threats. The BC program manager should ensure BCPs are applicable to relevant, realistic risks, and threats to their critical operations. A BC manager should:
  • Comprehend basic BC principles and methods
  • Ensure consistency in business impact analysis to identify critical business functions
  • Understand the correlation between operations, business continuity, IT disaster recovery, and emergency planning
  • Ensure that the BCP reflects the current hazard risk analysis, mitigation processes, business impact analysis, response management, and recovery strategies
  • Encourage coordination between all company staff while implementing a BCP
  • Identify and initiate appropriate, cost-effective strategies and procedures to recover critical business functions and information assets
  • Formally assign BC responsibilities to appropriate department managers and ensure each receives proper training to implement the BCP
  • Ensure that necessary contractual agreements exist for recovery of critical business functions and information resources
  • Review, update, and communicate BCP content changes
  • Continual improve the BCP as required

Preparedness and Emergency Management - TRP Corp

Tags: Business Continuity Plan