A few months back before the lockdown, if you asked a company for their business continuity plan you may have received any of these typical replies:
- I’m too busy to do that
- What’s a business continuity plan?
- We have a disaster management plan
- What do we need that for?
- We’ve got a strategic plan
- Health and safety handles crisis management
- Supply chain can handle this
Business continuity management has been a hard sell under these misconceptions.
For most managers the possibility of business interruption was something foreign. Yes, they knew about disruption from strikes but that was something that they had learned to deal with and manage.
Then came the big business disruption where all businesses had to close because of the lockdown.
Now as businesses run on half throttle as they cope with COVID requirements, companies are requiring business continuity plans from their suppliers. (Remember that most companies are suppliers themselves to some customer no matter the size of the company.)
Companies are concerned that their suppliers will be able to continue to supply them and have proper systems in place to manage the impacts of Covid-19 and other forms of business disruption.
Let’s clear up one misconception among managers, a strategic plan is not a business continuity plan. The strategic plan directs the purpose of the business (whatever the purpose the ultimate goal is to its ability and capacity to make profit) while a business continuity plan minimizes the risk of business disruption.
Another misconception is that a Disaster Recovery plan is a business continuity plan. The DR plan details how to restore infrastructure and operations after a crisis (and is one part of a complete business continuity plan).
If you’ve never had a business continuity plan or your plan was updated a long time ago, now is the time to develop and plan update it. Before you lose business because customers perceive your company as having too much inherent risk (internal and external).
A business continuity plan can better equip your company to reduce the impact of a business disruption and return to operations faster than would be the case without business continuity management.
Chesney Bradshaw is an experienced internationally certified and registered ISO 22301 business continuity implementer and auditor able to advise on:
Business continuity management
Business continuity implementation
Business continuity auditing
Business continuity pre-audits
Business continuity simulation
Business continuity testing
He has PECB ( certification body for persons, management systems, and products) certifications:
ISO 22301 Lead Implementer
ISO 22301 Lead Auditor