Good news at a time of freeing economy:
“BUSINESS CONTINUITY – More than 60% of international stakeholders are satisfied with the business continuity aspect.”. Lessons learned, which Krzystof Herdzik (Independent Leadership and Innovation Expert) collected from the Polish branches of international companies and shared (after the first 6 weeks of lockdown caused by Covid-19).
Owing to which actions was it achieved?
These companies were well prepared (despite the fact that they did not test such a scenario!), Emergency plans and procedures worked, crisis response teams worked (everyone responsible for the data in this area of tasks knew what to do and how to ensure continuity). “All hands on board” – cooperation and team involvement proved to be effective: IT, Operational, HR teams were particularly important, communication worked! and priorities set by management as well.
Is BCP (Business Continuity Plan) as an integral part of BCM (Business Continuity Management – according to ISO 22301) a topic only for large companies/corporations? No, but in the case of corporations it is more advanced and developed.
Where to start, what to specify, what plans and actions to create so as not to be afraid of business continuity in the event of a crisis?
- Begin by analysing the impact on the business of such a situation, i.e. determine the impact on: the client, operational, legal, financial, reputation impact;
- Identify activities, processes, critical resources (based on key products and services and activities supporting them, performed internally and externally – also with the help of partners – make sure how the company can rely on them to support critical activities);
- Specify the target recovery time (product delivery time, activities, services, process after the crisis);
- Properly identify risks and develop solutions/workarounds that minimize them to an acceptable level (risk can be defined as a combination of the probability of the event and its consequences);
- Estimate the resources needed to resume critical operations: equipment, skills, technology/ systems/applications, area / headquarters, logistics, funds, information;
- Respond effectively to a crisis (by defining responsibilities for managers in advance and testing the tasks of members of the crisis response team);
Operation in accordance with the cycle: Plan – Do – Check – Act is recommended here to constantly improve the business continuity management system so that it turns out to be effective when it is needed!
Plan (PCD Business Continuity Plan in line with the Strategy, which will specify the methods and resources necessary to resume operations) – Perform (implementation and functioning) – Check (review/update plans and procedures) – Act (proactive, corrective, training/exercises/testing activities various emergency/crisis scenarios).
Benefits of implementing BCP:
- having plans for dealing with probable emergencies and potential threats along with the possibility of simulating their occurrence;
- expanding the awareness of the selected rapid response team in the company about the essence of responding to potential crises;
- correct risk assessment;
- ultimately maintaining business continuity and competitive advantage, without ultimately deteriorating SLA and the quality of processes focused on providing specific products or services.
The essence of Crisis Communication: successful transition through a crisis situation largely depends on it. According to the appropriate plan, it should be established with: internal and external departments: suppliers, customers, partners, supervision. Rules should be established for informing employees and the media (during and after the crisis, select the types of media, specify the frequency and methods of providing information, persons preparing / transmitting information). At the root of this plan are always current lists: critical persons (and their deputies) along with their telephone numbers, service providers (along with their telephone numbers).
A well prepared and implemented communication plan, as an important part of the entire BCM, undoubtedly had a positive impact on maintaining the business continuity of many Polish companies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Author: Beata Filipkowska
IM/SIM Trójmiasto/Operations Manager/Strategic Project Manager