It’s a fact; business continuity management programs (BCM) that consistently perform well-planned exercises get better results when dealing with real crisis situations. After all, you never know when a disruption will take place, so ensuring you run business continuity management drills can greatly improve your team’s ability to adequately respond when they need to.
Business Continuity Management Drills: Practice Makes Perfect
Running business continuity management drills is a key role for any business continuity program leader. Drafting BCM plans and making sure they work effectively in a crisis are two wildly different things. Plan testing is critical from a number of standpoints:
- Team Building: Unlike many teams, business continuity teams frequently consist of cross-functional representation including a variety of individuals who do not typically collaborate outside their BCM roles. Most of these team members do not have formal training in business continuity, and they are not accustomed to working with each other. Exercises help team members get to know each other better to build relationships and trust. The more you know and work with colleagues, the more likely you are to take your role on the team seriously.
- Team Training: As stated above, most BCM functional team members have little or no formal training. They are communications specialists, customer service managers, operations directors, IT program managers and more. These team members are selected for their functional expertise and need to be trained on the requirements of the business continuity role. Team training should cover the end-to-end incident management process, including; risk assessment, impact assessment, response planning, recovery and post event evaluation.
- Plan Validation: Exercises fulfill an important role in validating the effectiveness of the plan. Are the templates and task lists clear? Have all the critical steps been identified? Are the pre-populated messages valid? Have all the right team members been identified? What about their alternates, have they been identified and trained? BCM exercises frequently identify gaps that, once filled, make event resolution run more smoothly.
- Support Tool Configuration: Every BCM program uses some form of support tools. Whether these include fully integrated emergency notification and incident management systems or simply shared drives and conference bridges, the team needs to be trained on the tools and complete test drills so that when a real crisis occurs, technology will help speed resolution vs. hinder team effectiveness.
How to Use This Information
When it comes to BCM, being prepared is the key. We all know that it is a question of when a business disruption will occur – not if your organization will face one. The more your team is comfortable the plans and able to work together, the better your response and ability to minimize loss. MissionMode has the collaboration tools and expertise to help improve your business continuity program success. Please give us a call at 877-833-7763 or contact us online to discuss your unique circumstances.