Business Continuity Management (BCM) According to ISO 22301

Doing business is a great thing if everything runs perfectly. As we all know there is no such thing as a perfect way of doing anything. This is true in the business arena. Things are going to happen which is not in the best interest of the day to day operation of any business. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fire, and volcanoes can happen at any given time. Your business could be a victim of a serious data breach. All of the previously mentioned scenarios can seriously affect how business is run.

To counteract those on foreseen events every company should have a continuity disaster recovery plan. Planning for the worst case and how the company is going to limit their downtime. The ultimate goal of the disaster recovery plan is to limit every potential risk and get the organization running as close to normal in the shortest period of time. Interruption is going to happen in any business lifetime. A solid disaster recovery plan must be in place. This puts confidence in your business partners and customers mind that your organization will be resilient and will be around for a long time. Your place in the business market won’t be swept away that easily due to lack of planning for the worst case disaster scenarios.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is used by large and small business across all sectors to help with continuity and recovery when faced with problems or when things are simply not working as they should. The ISO 22301 standard provides guidelines and requirements when a business is faced with a disaster situation.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) According to ISO 22301

Building a business organization is hard work. Much thought has to go into planning from the beginning stages and up to running the business. One has to plan for continuity when disaster strikes. Disaster may not happen today or tomorrow but they are going to happen. A business has to be prepared to deal with that disruption when it occurs. Many companies out there adopt the ISO 22301 standards. This standard gives any organization a framework on how to recover from disruptive situations with minimal risk in the shortest period of time. It allows a business to be resilient and maintain its stature after a disaster. It is wise for a business to adopt that standard. Honestly, it just makes sense because you want your business to grow and be prosperous.

For an organization to incorporate the ISO 22301 standard into their business they have to study and thoroughly understand how it works. When the standard is understood they can incorporate their company’s objectives into the objectives of the BCM model. Any organization that uses this model has to be in full compliance with its policies, rules, and regulations. Compliance is very important in order for any business to be certified under ISO22301.

This module has six critical processes that should be adopted and followed when using this standard. Here are the different processes: program management, understanding the organization, determining the BCM strategy, developing and implementing a BCM response, exercising the response, as well as maintaining, reviewing and embedding BCM in the organization’s culture.

In addition to the critical processes or phases, there are steps that must be followed in other for a business organization to have a truly comprehensive continuity plan.

  • Step 1: Nothing at this magnitude happens with senior management blessings. The top management has to be convinced and be onboard with the plan for business continuity management. Policies must be created, once management has signed off on the BCM standard. This is particularly important since the project will be executed by senior management.
  • Step 2: Once a policy has been developed key personnel has to be made aware of its existence. The policy must be communicated to People such as stakeholders, vendors and third parties.
  • Step 3: After all the important people have been made aware of the policy, someone with authority that is capable of implementing the Business Continuity Management plan as per policy must be identified. Normally the identified person who will implement the plan will be working with a team to build the framework that covers everything under the policy scope. The business goals, mission, and objectives must be aligned with the BCM objectives. This should contain or include an acceptable level of risk, legal, regulatory and contractual commitments in order to satisfy the needs and interest of all stakeholders.
  • Step 4: Using the business continuity management lifecycle examine and point out important function included in the scope of the business continuity management and perform a risk assessment on these particular functions. After you have gotten the results from the risks assessment the business may have to look at other disaster recovery strategies. An incident plan may have to be developed with appropriate response framework.
  • Step 5: At this stage implementing the previous plans come in handy. A program must be developed to cover different plans that have the same objective as the BCM. All plans must be studied to make sure all flaws and gaps remedied. All plans need to be updated based on the flaws and gaps discovered during the assessment testing.
  • Step 6: This is the last step in the Business Continuity Management Standard. The plan is carried out which should include managing the entire program. Management should conduct regular reviews, audits, and assessments to ensure the plan is effective. To truly embed the BCM module in the organization culture preventative maintenance and corrective actions must be taken for constant and consistent growth and improvement.

The world we live in is highly competitive and the economy is growing. Vendors and customers don’t have the patience to deal with subpar service and as several companies seek cheaper labor in other countries business organization continue to bring great service at agreed levels and without failure will continue to thrive. Having and following the BCM standard allows a business organization to continue serving excellent product and services during and after surviving a disastrous disaster.

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