Building entity resilience
Continuity team members
Team members must understand, and be capable of carrying out, what is required of them in a business continuity situation and must be aware of the possible disruptive consequences of their actions or inaction. This requires explicit communication and coordination through job descriptions, awareness programs, special training and testing and exercising of plans.
Human resource management can be a challenge to successfully activating the contingency plan. For example, if the business continuity plan calls for staff to move to another location, some staff such as primary carers, part-time students, and members of volunteer services, may not be available.
We don’t have a plan, so nothing can go wrong.
- Spike Milligan.
Documentation of the recovery arrangements to be implemented after a business disruption has occurred is the role of the business continuity plan.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to developing a business continuity plan. The size and structure of business continuity plans will ultimately be determined by the entity’s environment and requirements.
Better practice business continuity plans produced consist of action-oriented procedures, based on the approved recovery treatments and alternative activities and resources identified.
If the structure that is created for operating during a business disruption event consists of multiple teams or includes sub-teams, it is important that each team has its own plan with action-oriented procedures and contact lists. If there are multiple plans, it is also necessary to have an overarching entity-wide plan to coordinate the sub-plans. Thus the suite of planning documentation may include an emergency response management plan, an incident management plan, an entity-wide business continuity plan, and several business continuity sub-plans.
As the focus of this guide is business continuity management, the development of the entity-wide business continuity plan and the business continuity sub-plans is discussed. However the principles involved in preparing these plans are applicable to the other plans.
No matter how well designed an entity’s business continuity plan may seem, it is essential to train staff and conduct testing and exercises. Training is discussed on page 19 and testing and exercising is discussed on page 61 of this better practice guide.
The entity-wide business continuity plan
The Workbook contains an example of responsibilities for various business continuity roles. Click Here
The workbook contains an example table of contents for a business continuity plan, and a pandemic plan. Click Here