The development of an effective resilience strategy is really the start point of any resilience project and careful attention and time needs to be paid to its development. It is important that organisations both define the boundaries and scope of this and in advance of any event, define outline strategies that can be implemented quickly in an incident.
All organisations whatever their size, must explore which are the greatest areas of risk within a company, and how they should be planned for or prevented. The focus is on the threats to the critical activities of the organisation.
After a resilience strategy has been agreed, the next step is undertaking a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) which largely informs the actions required in the resultant plans. BIAs are used to explore the critical activities and vulnerabilities of each individual unit, or sub unit, or business process, or IT application used in the organisation
The Business Continuity Plans (BCP’s) themselves, are then developed and aligned directly to their accompanying BIA’s. BiCEPS can assist in in rejuvanting existing plans and keeping the staff motivated and enthusiastic for BC issues.
Crisis management is about the immediate response to an incident, emergency, crisis or disaster that threatens to disrupt your normal business. Actions taken during the early stages of an incident or crisis will significantly alter the outcome for your organisation: a fast effective response can shorten a crisis and minimise its impact; a random, uncoordinated response will almost certainly exacerbate it.
The plans of which, are directly linked to the business continuity plans, and for some organisations to their major incident plans (such as in NHS settings). All too often these plans have in the past been lengthy, detailed plans being ignored in real events. Indeed, over the years, many different styles of plans have evolved from the weighty crisis response plans to short aide memoirs with detailed annexes where they are required. BiCEPS can author any form of plan that is appropriate to the organisation, its response levels and intentions. All forms of plan would be aligned to ISO 22301 requirements.
Frequently many organisations are tempted to exercise their plans without giving the staff adequate training in their roles and responsibilities. BiCEPS strongly advises clients undertake thorough training in their plans before any exercise takes place. This gives the staff the confidence to undertake the exercises with enthusiasm rather then trepidation.
Once your organisation has adequate plans in place it is vital to test them through exercising and rehearsals, partly to make sure they work and to expose any holes in the plan, but also so that employees feel confident following the plans and comfortable with their roles in a crisis. Exercises validate crisis management, crisis communications, business continuity and emergency management plans, improve processes and prepare people - from strategic senior executives to tactical level and operational front line staff so they have the confidence and competence to perform in a co-ordinated, rapid and effective way when a real incident occurs.