The implementation of a Business Continuity Management (BCM) Program allows organizations to increase their resiliency and better handle disruptions to their operations. However, the development, implementation and maintenance of the BCM Program often poses challenges. This is especially true for smaller organizations, because their budgetary and human resources are limited. Large organizations still face many of the same challenges but can overcome some of them more easily.
For smaller organizations, the initial implementation of a BCM Program can be difficult or even out of reach. The initial expense of BCM Program development and implementation may be discouraging, even if the program has potential to save money in the long run by reducing downtime and losses from disruptions. Small organizations do not have the necessary knowledgeable staff, which means they must look for help outside of the organization. In many cases they may also not have the budget needed to hire permanent BCM staff. Attempts to develop a BCM Program without the right experience will often lead to a long and slow implementation process that ends with an inferior result and a lack of proper management support.
Smaller organizations are faced with BCM Program challenges
Even organizations with the appropriate budget can struggle with some of the BCM Program components. Pandemic Planning, Communication Planning, Emergency Planning, Business Continuity Planning and IT Disaster Recovery are some of most challenging Program components for small organizations. The development of these program components requires experience and knowledge of all relevant best practices and guidelines, legal and regulatory requirements, crisis/disaster types and most efficient service recovery methods.
After implementation, BCM Programs require ongoing maintenance activities to ensure their effectiveness and compliance. Every organization will experience both internal (staff turnover, new services) and external (supply management) changes over time, and these changes must be captured through BCM Program maintenance activities. The goal of the maintenance is to keep all program components up to date by accounting for any changes in the organization’s recovery objectives or recovery abilities. Maintenance also includes activities such as governance and policy updates, employee training and test exercises.
BCM Program maintenance is key for long-term Program sustainment
Effective maintenance will usually require the organization to assign some of its staff to various roles within the BCM Program in addition to their regular responsibilities. This can be especially problematic for smaller organizations where employees may not be able to take on any additional workload or may not have the specific knowledge required. These organizations often face the problem of the BCM Program maintenance being too challenging for their existing staff, but not so time consuming to justify hiring additional staff solely for BCM activities. In addition, even with dedicated BCM staff, the input of all employees and stakeholders is still required in some capacity to ensure that the BCM Program accurately captures the organization’s needs and abilities. As a result, if not maintained properly, BCM Programs become less relevant over time and organizations are back at square one.
Can BCM software be a solution?
Employing BCM software can be helpful in BCM Program development, implementation and maintenance, but it is not a complete solution. A solid knowledge of BCM components is still required to set up and utilize the software properly. Additionally, the cost of a comprehensive and effective BCM software suite is often too high for small organizations, while cheaper options sometimes lack functionality. Software packages can greatly enhance and simplify BCM Program operation, but they are not a replacement for the expertise of a BCM professional.
How can StratoGrid Advisory help your organization to implement a robust and sustainable BCM Program?
Contracting an BCM Program advisory firm can help organizations avoid running into challenges in both the development and maintenance of their BCM Program. StratoGrid Advisory offers BCM Program Advisory as well as BCM as a Service to help organizations develop and maintain effective BCM Programs. Our experienced team can perform an analysis of your organization’s specific goals and needs to create the right sized BCM Program. We can also aid in staff training, various scenario exercises, as well as ongoing maintenance. We can tailor our services specifically to your organization’s needs, which allows us to address all the challenges mentioned in this blog. Having access to our experts allows organizations to get the knowledge they need without hiring new permanent staff.
The bottom line is that StratoGrid Advisory knows that effective BCM Program maintenance can be achieved by outsourcing most of the Program activities to a trusted partner. We will bring the knowledge and tools and ensure that your organization’s operational resiliency is following all regulatory, compliance and best practices. Your staff will be able to focus on what they do best and support your organization mission statement.
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