The holiday season is coming to a close, and as businesses and organizations gear up for 2019 and prepare to handle the ever-changing threat landscape, we thought it would be fun to put a little holiday spin on your BC prep and analysis. After all, with the new year looming, the time for reflection is at an all-time high. Why not lean into that and take the opportunity to make sure you’re ready to tackle 2019 with a complete, thorough, robust, and adaptable business continuity plan? With these 12 steps, you can feel confident about where you’re headed, whatever 2019 has to throw at us.
1. Take Stock
First things first, what do you have going on now? What systems do you have in place? What does your current plan look like? Even more important – how well, and thoroughly, is it all documented? The first step to any good analysis is fully understanding your starting point.
2. Identify Holes
On the second day of BC Analysis, it’s time to look at where things could be going better. Pre-drill, create a list of weaknesses that may exist in your plan, your platform, your technology, your IMS or emergency notification systems. Consider the way things have evolved since you last made adjustments to the plan or the last time you had a full-scale drill. Chances are, some of the threat landscape has changed since t hen, and it’s time to account for what might not have been a concern before, but now is. Consider the increased frequency of natural disasters of greater severity, or the prevalence of shootings and bomb threats in our society. Just a couple of weeks ago, a mass threat was sent out to businesses across the country, demanding bitcoin to avoid a bomb being detonated. Even when threats turn out to be empty, you need to be prepared to respond to how they disrupt your business in real time.
3. Run a Drill
Once you have the initial areas for improvement identified, it’s time to run a drill. We know, we know, this seems like an odd time of year to run a drill, but we think it’s just as important to run these drills at “inconvenient” times as it is to run them under ideal situations. Business disruptions don’t stop for holidays, so knowing how your plan works within the parameters of one is valuable information. Running your drill, you will have the opportunity to pay attention to where your previously identified holes come into play during the drill, and whether or not they are as glaring as you thought.
4. Evaluate Effectiveness
Throughout the course of the drill, you’ll probably identify a few more things, or a few different things, that need adjusting, areas where your whole system could use an upgrade, or a situation where a different IMS or emergency notification vendor might help. You may also identify pieces of the plan that no longer serve your organization and the way it’s structured. Take note of these.
5. Inventory Tools
Now it’s time to make a list. What technologies and tools are you using to help implement and execute your BC plan when the time comes? Your tools should serve you well in times of crisis and outside of those times as well. A mass notification system worth it’s salt can help you message your entire staff effectively even when the information isn’t coming in the aftermath of something terrible or disrupting. Are your tools doing everything you need them to, really?
6. Weigh Costs
Cost is always part of the equation. Finding places you can streamline money without sacrificing level of service and quality of available tech is important to every business out there. It’s entirely possible that you’re paying too much for your IMS and emergency notification systems. Consider the cost of your current tools compared to other choices on the market.
7. Look to the Future
Investing in an Incident Management System and a quality emergency notification isn’t a small decision. You need a system that will support your needs now and into the future. Choose something that offers the ability to integrate with third party apps, has a mobile app of its own, and can support your BC needs no matter when and where they strike.
8. Analyze Options
Figure out what you really need in an IMS, and what you really need to support your BC plans and efforts as an organization. No matter where you land on features and integrations necessary for you to move your business forward in the face of any disruption, consider the value of having an expert team on your side to help support you and your system, and helps you create the infrastructure to support your needs.
9. Make Necessary Tweaks
Whatever tweaks you can make to your existing plan, do so now. This will put you in the best position to determine whether or not you need to make bigger shifts, or seek out a new system entirely. (Feel free to repeat step 1 here after tweaks have been made).
10. Create an Implementation Plan
Integrate those tweaks into your existing plan, and prepare to implement in any new threat situations you can think up. It’s time-consuming work, but being exhaustively prepared is the key to a truly successful business continuity plan, when paired with the ability to adjust, move, and change on the go. Your implementation plan should be exhaustive, detailed, and ready for anything, but it should also allow for the flexibility a true business disruption requires of even the most well-laid plans.
11. Determine Best Moves
If your current systems don’t allow for that combination of preparedness and flexibility, your best move in 2019 might be to shift to a new system. Make a plan that makes that possible, and reasonable, for your team and your needs. Check out your Readiness score with us, and schedule a demo to see if MissionMode can fill the gaps in your current needs.
12. Run a Drill (Again)
There’s no such thing as overprepared in the world of business continuity, so when you think you’re almost ready to call it a day, it’s time for one more drill. With new tweaks and adjustments, and possibly even the idea of what a new system’s features and capabilities could bring to the table, run a drill and think through the options on the table.
With those 12 steps under your belt, you can make the decisions in 2019 that your organization needs to take your BC team to the next level, and for the peace of mind that comes with an IMS and emergency notification system that can completely integrate with your business continuity plans.
MissionMode is the trusted leader in providing organizations with an effective and reliable emergency notification and incident management system, specifically designed to handle your organization’s needs from end to end. The MissionMode Notification Center allows our clients to send two-way multimodal notifications to employees during times of crisis. Our Situation Center acts as a virtual command center in times of emergency or during a business disruption, helping our clients to successfully manage the given emergency by enabling your team to be activated in a virtual setting, performing assigned tasks and checklists related to the given incident from onset to resolution.
From incident management to mass notification to interactive field communications, mobile control, integrated weather planning and more, MissionMode’s team of seasoned and certified emergency managers and business continuity practitioners are dedicated to being a reliable partner in your incident management and mass communication needs.