Sometimes the hardest part of running a business continuity program is engaging your internal partners during the planning phase. At any industry meeting, you are likely to find yourself in a discussion about the trials and tribulations of a business continuity program. Do you find getting plan updates and approvals in a timely manner is like pulling teeth? Are you banging your head against a brick wall trying to engage the right individuals? Ever accommodate a partner by putting off meetings or a review cycle so often that you think pigs may actually fly first?
Internal partners sometimes put the business continuity review process just slightly above a day waiting in line at the DMV because they do not see the value in their day-to-day operations. Certainly, everyone is engaged during incidents. It is navigating the planning phase that can be a challenge. We all sympathize to the competing priorities and tasks that our colleagues juggle every day. We try to accommodate their schedules and minimize the impact to their busy schedules. We implement solutions that make the review and approval process virtually painless. And, we make training and exercising concise, engaging, and fun! While these strategies demonstrate that we will make effective and efficient use of their valuable time, it still is not demonstrating the value of the business continuity program to the bigger picture.
What other program prioritizes processes across the entire organization and identifies what it needs to operate? Business Continuity is the big data of an organization. This data is valuable for mergers and acquisitions, organizational management, and resource management. During mergers and acquisitions, a change management team sends out surveys to gather information to assist in aligning the companies. Much of the data requested is data that Business Continuity programs already have vetted and approved. This same data is valuable to organizational management and resource management teams that are reviewing processes and dependent resources across the organization. There are significant cost saving opportunities to be realized when consolidating redundant IT applications. When engaging internal partners, be open to adding data attributes or use cases such as physical security assessments or vendor assessment to your business continuity software to assist them.
Learn how to champion the value of your data in the day-to-day operations by engaging your internal partners and your program may overcome the trials and tribulations of the planning phase.