One-minute business continuity plan – is it possible?

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The COVID 19 pandemic has demonstrated how ill-prepared companies and small businesses were for a total shutdown of their operations.

Where was their business continuity planning? How many had reserve cash funds available to stay the course of months of no trading? Smaller businesses lacked a cash kitty.

Employers who grudgingly let employees work from home or were mulling over so-called work-from-home policies but never taking action were in for a surprise. Overnight employers had to rely on employees working from home, many using their own data.

Business risks come in many forms: Economic risk, compliance risk, security and fraud risk, IT and IT infrastructure risk, financial risk, Reputation risk, operational risk, competition (market) risk. Business continuity mainly deals with operational risk but includes the impact of other risks.

So what has this got to do with the One-minute business continuity plan?

Well, if you had the right set of strategic questions in front of you it would be possible to go through them in one minute and perhaps realise that your business would need to come up with a business continuity plan (BCP).

I’m not saying that you can produce a BCP in one minute. That would be ridiculous. But in a minute, if you were serious about it, you could quickly recognise the key business risks you face.

If you had only one minute to decide whether to produce a BCP, what would you need to know?

Here are the most important points:

Have you fully defined the scope of your business operations?
What risks do you face in your business operations
Which risks require a business impact analysis?
How will you address the risks?
What is your recovery time objective?

It’s important that you know the answer to these questions as you call lose thousands and in many cases millions by not understanding the inherent internal operational risks in your business and the external risks your company faces.

Business continuity management can help companies secure future opportunities, such as tenders and contracts. Some large companies are now requiring a comprehensive BCP before approving a supplier contract.

A BCP will not take a minute to complete but a quick understanding of your business risks will get you started in the right direction.

Business continuity planning could take days, weeks and longer depending on the size of your business. For a mining operation, for instance, meetings would need to be held to define risks, analyse them and prepare a BCP.

Remember that a BCP to be effect should be part of a company-wide business continuity management system (and preferably be implemented and audited by ISO accredited specialists).

If you need a free one-minute consultation to evaluate your business risks, then please feel free to contact me.

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