Maintaining business as usual, no matter what the business disruption requires insightful and meticulous planning. A successful Business Continuity Plan identifies and analyzes the risks that could cause business process interruptions and their effect on the flow of business. However, it is not enough simply to identify the risks. Plans need to be created that will mitigate unacceptable risks and protect people, critical business functions, assets and information from avoidable downtime, delays or losses. Fast, comprehensive and predictable response to an emergency is a key component to every successful business recovery. The “Business Continuity Plan” can be in any form; from a handful of documents to an entire web-based electronic library of plan documents, depending on the size of the organization.
Business Continuity Planning
Following the selection of the most cost-effective Enterprise Resiliency, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery strategies and solutions for the organization, it is important to support the program through the development of a coordinated and complete set of documented recovery processes and procedures in the form of Business Continuity Plans. The Plan, once built, also becomes a training guide for educating employees on existing programs and capabilities.
The Eagle Rock Solution for designing Business Continuity Plans:
Business Continuity Plans are developed by the following activities:
- Documentation of Continuity Procedures including:
- Notification and Activation
- Mobilization and Relocation
- Recovery Requirements At Time Of Disaster
- Restoration and Workaround Processes
- Alternate Site Set-up / Operations Procedures
- Return Home Procedures
- Quality Assurance Process for validating Business Continuity Plans
- Gaining approval of the documented plans by senior management
- Establishing Testing and Maintenance Policies and Procedures
- Establishment of a Business Continuity Organization including:
- Governance team with Business Continuity Subject Matter Expertise
- Crisis Management Team
- Disaster Support Team(s)
- Individual Departmental Business Continuity Team(s)
Below are the high level steps required for an organization to properly engage in Business Continuity Planning:
- Identify: Risk Assessment
- Analyze: Business Impact Analysis
- Design: Strategy Selection
- Execute: Plan Development and Execution
- Measure: Plan Testing and Maintenance
With robust Business Continuity Plans in place, the enterprise can be confident that its business will meet and overcome the challenges presented by business interruptions large and small, very critical and “only scary” critical.
Disaster Recovery Planning
Preparing for a disaster requires detailed planning, preparation and testing. Knowing what IT assets need to be recovered, where to recover them and how to recover them is the essence of Disaster Recovery. The initial challenge is mapping the prioritized business requirements to the IT assets so that recovery can be quantified, tested, rehearsed and staged. The recovery strategy then evolves based on the available options which support the required recovery objectives.
The Eagle Rock Solution for designing Disaster Recovery Plans:
With Eagle Rock's assistance, your plans can properly address some or all of the below Disaster Recovery planning aspects:
- IT Recovery Strategy Development
- Disaster Recovery Plan Development / Maintenance
- Hardware / Software
- Voice / Network
- Data / Vital Records
- Alternate or Back-up Site Evaluations
- Test Plan Development, Scripting and Support
- Strategy Implementation Support
- Recovery Asset Management (Database View)
Crisis Management Planning
The ability to provide timely, visible and credible leadership during a crisis is important to the safety and welfare of personnel and the public, and is vital to the initial response, management of the disruption, and ultimately, the long-term reputation and viability of the enterprise. This requires proactive planning, an effective organization and well-timed response, coordination, and communication capabilities.
The Eagle Rock Solution for designing Crisis Management Plans:
Communication with critical information sources, first responders, civil authorities, facilities personnel and utility providers sets the stage for proper assessment of the incident and its impact. Communication with staff members allows the flow of vital information to ensure safety, security and proper response to the crisis. Communication with clients, business partners and stakeholders is key to preserving the reputation and marketability of the enterprise. Communication with key vendors, outside service providers and other third parties is vital to establishing smooth and continued operation of business and the avoidable consequences of a poor response to an unplanned event.
The essentials of an effective crisis management plan are developed by identifying the following information:
- Development of appropriate policies and procedures
- Establishment of the teams that will make up your crisis management organization
- Identification of critical management personnel who will be required to react and make decisions in a crisis situation
- Identification of critical clients, custodians and counterparties and emergency contact numbers for them
- Development of likely threats /risks and a review of how the organization would respond to these scenarios
- Identification of communication / notification capabilities
- Identification of alternate command centers for critical management relocation and communication resumption
- Documenting the organization’s crisis management and communication strategies along with the organization, capabilities and procedures that will support these strategies
- Validating the Crisis Management Plan with scenario based Table Top Tests
The development of a crisis management plan provides the ability to maintain critical communication in a crisis and the knowledge of how and where to reach critical staff as well as communication with clients, custodians and counterparties to determine their status and if they were affected by the same crisis.
Emergency Response Planning
Employees are an enterprise’s most valuable assets and the organization has a vested interest in developing emergency response plans to protect employees, contractors, clients, and vendors in the event of crisis situations in or affecting their facilities. Local statutes may also add specific requirements regarding how a corporation protects against and plans for emergencies and manages in the aftermath.
The Eagle Rock Solution for designing Emergency Response Plans:
Below are the high level steps required for an organization to create the Emergency Response Plan:
- Establish a Planning Team
- Analyze Capabilities and Hazards
- Utilize local civil authorities as a resource
- Develop the Plan
- Implement the Plan
- Conduct Drills and Tests
Catastrophic events at the work place have the potential to have a significant impact on employee safety and well-being. How the organization prepares for these events and how effective it is in providing a secure and safe shelter in place or exit tells a lot about the culture of an enterprise.
Pandemic Response Planning
Not only are we challenged every day with the state of our economy, but out of left field we then are suddenly threatened with a potential pandemic, causing an enormous scramble for fast answers to complicated human and business issues. In the periods when the issue appears to be subsiding for now, we may have a reprieve during which sober, patient planning can take place before the next scare.
We can now ask ourselves if our existing response strategy provides us with the ability to maintain a minimum of services if we experience a high absentee rate (of 40% to 60%) for weeks at a time. Have we evaluated alternatives and workarounds for meeting our customers' requirements in light of a reduced workforce? Have we set company, employee, client and contractor expectations for safety and performance under adverse pandemic conditions?
Now is the time to leverage the new lessons learned and address management's heightened concerns to set up policies, procedures and actions to respond to the threat of a pandemic scenario.
The Eagle Rock Solution for designing Pandemic Response Plans:
Eagle Rock can guide and assist in confirming business protection requirements in the event of a pandemic. By evaluating or complementing your existing risk management program, Eagle Rock can provide a documented and tested plan and capability, and peace of mind, as we:
- Evaluate your existing response strategy and existing policies for dealing with a threatened or actual pandemic situation
- Identify, at a departmental level, your most critical functions and employees and determine any cross-training requirements you may need
- Work with your HR and legal departments to establish policies to address the issues
- Determine the most appropriate strategy to deal with social distancing
- Develop the plan to complement your existing contingency strategies
- Test, exercise and train to validate and socialize the policies and plans throughout the organization and its key business clients and suppliers