Monday, December 19, 2011

The principles of Business Continuity Management


The constant evolution of today’s corporate environment has prompted many questions on how we plan for business resilience. Changing business dynamics coupled with the current economic climate pose new challenges for business continuity management; while events such as natural and manmade disasters we have witnessed this year push BCM to the fore as organisations seek to protect their continual survival.
Most articles on BCM have highlighted how an effectively structured and implemented continuity plan can serve to protect high-value activities and stakeholder interest. We ignore how BCM has contributed to overall business success and competitive advantage.

Artco solutions aim to offer an insight into what in our opinion are the nine principles of BCM

1.       Strategic orientation
BCM is a strategic initiative. It should be integrated into the corporate strategy planning level. Top management recognition and adoption of this strategic initiate is paramount to achieving organisational excellence. The business continuity manager has a pivotal role in establishing the competitiveness of the business through aligning BCM processes strategies and plans to corporate policy and structure.

2.       Leadership
Proactive business continuity leadership ensures that reputation and business performance are sustained from the moment disruptive event begins. It is important that business continuity is introduced at board level since it enhances the organisation’s long term competitiveness.

3.       Governance
BCM is an important element of an organisation’s overall approach to governance. It provides the impetus for delivering and governing the resilience programme in the organisation and its supply chain. It helps to establish the oversight capabilities required by senior executives to carry out their responsibilities for ensuring that effective management systems, including monitoring and control mechanisms have been out in place to protect assets, earnings capacity and reputation of the organisation.

4.       Good Business Management
The management function is about understanding the business philosophy, strategic objectives, corporate structure and critical operations of an organisation. It challenges corporate assumptions about threats and uncertainties, and facilitates greater certainty in the planning and achievement of long term goals.

5.       Multi disciplinary functions
It involves the skills and knowledge of a diverse group of people in the design, implementation and management of the programme. Management concepts in the field of strategy development, risk and insurance, human resources, quality planning and control, and finance, are all now essential parts of managing the BCM programme. The collective management progress preserves the long term well being of an organisation and its stakeholders, thereby facilitating business excellence. Core competence skills, notably, organisational management, analyse, communication, leadership, coordination, and innovation are the six fundamental managerial competencies of business continuity professionals.

6.       Anticipation
BCM is an active process which helps organisations anticipate threats and perceive the potentially significance implementations they could have for the organisations. This proactive sensing mechanism helps to remove the potential risk systems failures and safeguard mission critical operations.

7.       Communication
BCM promotes transparent communication within the organisation and amongst its stakeholders. A communication structure based on BCM underpins the corporate governance and improves the information flow to parties who require it for decision making, planning and implementation. During a crisis, it demonstrates the organisation’s transparency in dealing with the situation and reassures stakeholders. Such an approach reinforces stakeholder relationships and enhances shareholder value.

8.       Value preservation
Through BCM organisations are better able to withstand the impact of crises or recover more quickly thereby reducing the impact of loss and as a result preserving their overall value.

9.       Evolution
BCM is constantly changing and breaking new boundaries. One of the most common pit falls is that many regard it as simply a ‘crisis and invocation’ process stemming from IT DR origins. However, BCM has evolved significantly since then and is continually changing to meet new business challenges. It now offers a means of competitive advantage and gaining market share.

As business evolve BCM Mangers must take up the challenge of aligning BCMN with organisational performance, and promoting to senior executives the benefit it can provide in the context of strategic planning and the delivery of corporate goals.

Artco solutions believe that by training, exercising and rehearsing any organisation can make its plans, people and processes more resilient to a crisis. ‘We call this managing with certainty’. Our proficiencies reflect our strategic vision and ability to provide for the needs of new and existing clients to continue operations in the event of a disruption.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is the London 2012 Olympics going to affect your business?

Let us engage in a conversation ...
London will be hosting the world’s largest sporting events in 2012. The games are already benefiting businesses. With billions of pounds of contracts to supply for the London 2012 games. The games promise to deliver a London changing experience. However, there will also be some challenges for business and individuals.
With 10.8 million tickets sold around 2 million Olympic visitors are expected to share the same resources as you and I struggle with daily. This will means millions of extra people will be using the transport system during the summer, a time that is already busy in the capital. Each individual or business will be affected by the games in different ways and to different extent and you will know best what is likely to work most effectively for you and your business.
The Game is likely to have an impact on the following areas of your business:
·         Travel to and from work for you and your employees
·         Travel for your customers or other visitors or family
·         Deliveries/ collections and other supplies
·         Business travel / personal travel
·         Internet security/ cyber attacks

Having established that you or your business will be affect, how are you preparing to manage these impacts?
·         Have you thought about  home working
·         Alternative routes to work
·         Have you thought about your supply chain management
·         How will your business deal with high absenteeism
·         How about flexi working times for employees
·         Using alternatives to meeting methods like teleconferencing, web conferencing
·         Have you thought about stock piling of non perishable goods
·         Have you asked your suppliers their plans for business during the games
Please share your thought below on how you/ your business is planning to reduce the challenges the LONDON 2012 games bring.