Will your business survive or sink?

“Around half of all businesses experiencing a disaster with no effective plans for recovery fail within the following 12 months.” This is the why of this preparedness article from the Greater London Authority, and contained within the various strategy links is the how. Using a five step guide to help businesses begin understanding the importance and structure of Business Continuity Management (BCM), the article reviews how to analyse your business, assess the risks, plan and prepare, communicate your plan, and test your plan. In the “Test your plan” step, the article suggests exercises to assure your company is prepared in the real world as much as it is on paper. This includes seminar exercises, table-top exercises, and live exercises, all with the same purpose: Whatever type of exercise is chosen, it is important to evaluate the event. Holding a short debrief at the end of the exercise, or a short time after, allows participants to feedback their views on how well the exercise went and how response plans can be improved. The outcomes of this debrief should then be written up into a report outlining the exercise successes and improvements that can be made. You may need to review your plans in light of the outcomes of your exercise – make sure you keep a record of amendments made to your plan and keep copies of different versions. The article also provides a business preparedness checklist which acts as a “ten minute assessment” to determine how far your organization has come with BCM and where you still need to focus.

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