The biggest learning from the unexpected disruptions of economies, countries, and even businesses that we see today, calls for a deep hard relook at business continuity plans
COVID-19 disruption has served as an eye-opener for corporate planners, providing an opportunity for business leaders to encourage innovation and creativity to help and ensure business continuity.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Amid all the confusion and uncertainty that businesses are operating in, it is imperative for them to device ways and means to mitigate risks and lead the recovery efforts for the businesses and communities during these crisis times.
All businesses primarily rely on the effectiveness of the Business Continuity Plan to retain business-critical data and normal functions after all crises. Firms need to check for these and start afresh.
A robust Business Continuity Plan needs to follow some steps to be effective.
Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
It is very crucial to first evaluate and determine the effects of any potential threat for business operations by imposing a BIA in place.
Build Modeling Scenarios
Creating models for “most-likely” and “worst” case scenarios will provide the organizations with sufficient knowledge required to be prepared to combat the Crisis. The concerns of the key stakeholders and the risks should be identified promptly for each group, checking for possible operational, strategic, and financial outcomes for the coming months. Business leaders should strategize to find alternate business models or innovative ways to serve customers better.
Risk Mapping and Analysis
Organizations need to identify new risks and analyze them in real-time to ensure business continuity. Businesses should consider different scenarios to detect new threats such as – strategic, operational, financial, and external — and the probability of occurrence should always be considered.
Prioritizing Organizational Communication and Alignment
It is crucial for business leaders to develop a holistic cross-functional response system to ensure organizational alignment around the key objectives, particularly to secure required governance and compliance. Also, identify the content and the frequency with which the c-suite needs to communicate with the stakeholder groups, as convincing the stakeholders remains a vital part of every business continuity plan. It is of utmost essential to have specific landing pages for customers, investors, employees, etc., with all required resources and guidance.
Continuous monitoring for action plan implementation
Key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be identified prioritized and should be able to enable continuous forecasting in essential functions, continuously adjusting to them by leveraging real-time data feeds. Workforce remains another vital aspect that should be focused on. Additionally, enterprises should possess the ability to continually satisfy consumers, as well as maintain the production lines along with the supply chain.
The need for having a business continuity plan has never been as evident as it is in the current pandemic situation. The enterprises that already had an effective business continuity plan in place have emerged as the winners throughout the COVID-19 Crisis.