Business continuity planning should be a priority for organizations. Natural disasters, cyber threats and acts of violence can all have a serious impact on an organization’s operations and your employees’ safety and ability to work.

Creating A Team

Your organization will benefit from the creation of a business continuity team that will address its risks and continuity needs. In a recent AlertFind webinar, business continuity expert Bob Clark emphasized the need for a group effort, and not have the onus fall entirely on one person.

“I would recommend that someone be responsible for business continuity management,” Clark said. “It shouldn’t be someone who is just assigned the responsibility and ideally not someone from the IT department. [Assigning an IT member] demonstrates that the decision-makers are not taking this sort of threat seriously and that it’s an IT problem instead of a business problem.”

Clark noted that the business continuity team should be made up of a diverse group of employees who are led by a dedicated business continuity manager. The manager/leader should be trained by an expert or take extracurricular education classes to gain some foundational knowledge and a business continuity certification.

The manager should collaborate with the team to establish the plan. Clark said that business continuity management doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. So if these plans exist, and they apply to your company, use them. Based on the plan you select, you can create the incident reporting line.

Alongside the business continuity manager should be the IT expert, who can handle the tech needs and IT alerting. Also, consider bringing in people from security and HR to address the needs of those specific areas. Depending on the type of business, you may need to have other areas of the organization represented.

C-Suite Sponsorship and Its Role

Another critical member of the team is an executive or member of the C-suite. Getting executive buy-in and support is crucial to the team’s success.

Similar to the concept of business continuity not being “just an IT problem,” the business continuity team assumes responsibility and accountability, Clark said. “The person who’s accountable should be at the board level. Because if you don’t have the mandate and the support from the board, then you will not have the urgency from the organization and other decision-makers.”

Putting The Team To Work

With eyes and ears in various departments instead of being limited solely to one business continuity manager, this team approach will make your organization more agile and able to react to the growing variety of risks.

“That is how you will validate whether a plan actually works,” Clark said. “The last thing you want to do is find out the plan is flawed when you’re faced with a serious incident.”

To learn more from Bob Clark about how companies can evolve their business continuity planning, listen to our new webinar, “No Threat Too Large Or Small: Business Continuity Planning for Today’s Risks.”

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