We survived the pandemic, life is returning to a new normal and I am back at my office (part-time). With hindsight, the move to working from home wasn’t so bad and all our systems worked and our people connected well and were productive. So, why would I need a business continuity plan? We made it work when we had to and we survived!
I am sure this question is going to be asked a lot, and that as risk professionals we are going to have to answer it numerous times.
Business Continuity Plans are not only important after COVID-19, they are even more important than before.
This pandemic has shown us that anything is possible when it comes to scenarios that impact our businesses. In 2019 If I had chosen a global pandemic that shuts down the world as a scenario for an exercise I would have been laughed at. Now, there is acknowledgement that we need to be prepared for the worst and that it can happen. Therefore, we need to use our learnings from this pandemic to enhance our preparedness moving forward (to the next phase of COVID-19 or other situations into the future):
- Capture what has been learned and document it.
- Consider if the response was as good as it could have been and plug the gaps.
- Setup six or twelve monthly training and testing sessions to keep everyone ready to respond – whether it be working from home, thinking through problems or triaging issues.
- Enhance BCPs to include everything that has been learned from COVID-19 across all your scenarios – this was not only a loss of site situation.
- Don’t get lax with keeping your crisis management team prepared – this pandemic is only one of a myriad of scenarios that could hit your company.
To do these things, you need to consider how you manage your business continuity data. (As many of you know) I am a strong believer in the KISS principle and therefore online systems that support this. Don’t use this pandemic to buy a wiz-bang, all guns blazing BCM system that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes a team to administer – in a year or two it will be forgotten and not used or funded. Consider simple to use, cheaper solutions that are sustainable.
We are working through COVID-19, now lets keep our businesses ready to respond to the next challenge – or phase of COVID-19.
Get in contact to learn more about our online tool set that can streamline your BCM programme – Business Olympian Battleground – and to learn about how we can assist you through your BCM journey now and into 2021.