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2015 Planning: BCP – Phase 2 – Risky Business!

2015 Planning:  BCP – Phase 2 – Risky Business!

Now that we know which events can put us out of business, or at least delay operations for some undetermined amount of time, it’s time to see what parts of your business are affected by each of those disasters defined in Phase 1.

Now, here is where the next big level of work goes into creating your BCP.  Phase 2 deals explicitly with identifying which business functions will or could be affected by each Disaster scenario identified from the Phase 1 work.  At the onset, it doesn’t sound too bad, especially for smaller companies, but small or medium or large, no page can go unturned.  What you and your team have to do is assess which business functions, processes, controls and departments are impacted by EACH of the scenarios defined in Phase 1.  Not every section, process, department or function will be affected by a specific disaster scenario, but the support structure will be.

Your team has to have or your company needs to get, sufficient knowledge to determine ALL interdependency’s between each department and process, control and function that makes your company tick!  Oh, and don’t forget, you will definitely need to know the tolerance for maximum allowable downtime, for each section, as it relates to each scenario, including all interdependencies.

So to building a team is one of the most important steps, and this team should stay consistent throught the whole process.  So who should be part of this team?

Let’s start with the REAL stakeholders:

  • The President/Owner/CEO of the company
  • The Chief Financial Officer
  • Human Resources
  • The Chief Information Officer or whomever oversees your computer related technologies
  • The Chief Operations Officer – usually this person is one of the leaders of such a group
  • ANY Manufacturing, warehouse, product, customer relations, sales or any other department head or manager your company may have.

The bottom line – if they are responsible for any part of the operations, they need to be involved.  If you get any flack from someone, remind them that if something does happen and their area is not operating and working – then they aren’t likely working either…catch my drift!

This team should create a matrix that illustrates each disaster and the affected company operations and processes that will need to be planned for if a disaster were to happen.  Don’t forget this:  You MUST detail all connections for all disaster scenarios for all business levels and departments.  You should be able to see which scenarios affect each operational item as well as which operation-based items are affected by EACH disaster scenario; followed by WHO is responsible for each of those operations items and any 3rd parties or others outside of your company that will be affected as well.

Now if this sounds like a lot of work, well it is.  It certainly is a large undertaking for mid-large sized companies and typically, the larger the company the more complex its needs and operations typically become.  That’s not always so though…keep in mind many smaller companies outsource services, people, product, supplies, etc. and those are all areas that need to be included in this phase as well.  There are many large companies that are very simple in the way their business flow and operations work as well.

As I’ve mentioned before, we do this work every day, and we can help in a number of ways if you need it.  So please don’t hesitate to ask, we’re here for you.

Next – the centerpiece of the whole process – Phase 3…how do you solve all those problems?

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