Nothing can derail a continuity program faster than having executives who don’t support the initiative. The following are tips to help “sell” your BCM program:
Many people focus on the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) when discussing continuity planning. It is true that one key benefit of a good continuity program is lessening the impact of unplanned incidents. Instead, focus on the positive: you are selling tomorrow. A good program will ensure your organization will be prepared for the future regardless of what may come.
Almost everybody and every organization will purchase some type of insurance. Business continuity planning helps insure against disruption in the event of a catastrophic event.
Use your business continuity program to create allies in other groups that will sell the idea for you. You can do this by using data collected from business continuity to help out the groups. Examples of what you can provide:
Some executives state that they don’t need a continuity plan since they already pay for business disruption insurance. The challenge with that approach is that during an event, you will be tasked with substantiating your loss in order to make a claim. A good business continuity plan does just that; so by doing both, you will ensure the effectiveness of your policy.
What customer wants to hear that a key supplier or service provider is not prepared for the worst? Make an ally out of your marketing department. Let them use the concept of tomorrow to create positive content for your organization’s marketing efforts.
Many, if not most, regulatory agencies mention continuity planning as a requirement: FFIEC, NCUA, FERC/NERC, FAA, FDA, OCC, ISO, BSI, FDIC, and the list lengthens each year. Educate your executives that BC planning is not a choice; it is a requirement.
Talk to your peers at competing organizations. Present the fact that “everybody else is doing it” and then ask, “Why aren’t we?” The idea that the competition knows something that we don’t is a powerful motivator for top executives.
Consider loss of facilities, staff, vendors, technology, and business processes. Then squint your eyes and ask your executives in your best Clint Eastwood voice, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?”
It is best practice to conduct a business continuity exercise after your plans have been created; however, exercising makes continuity planning real. Design the exercise to highlight the deficiencies that you know exist. Conduct the exercise and use the gaps to drive the creation of a business continuity program.
Fear of the unknown: you simply don’t know what you don’t know. Question anything that is not documented; sow uncertainty about theoretical plans. Doubt any plan that has not been proved with an exercise.
Contact us for more information on our Quantivate Business Continuity Software.