Unit 4. Practical cases

• 2 Real Life Business Examples
• 2 Business Scenarios
• 2 best practices (global level related with the topic)

Real life business continuity: Dell Inc.

Real life business continuity:
Evonik Industries

Best practice 1: «Scenario independent plans» (1/2)

«Scenario independence» is a concept that will be most relevant when we talk about business continuity plans, but it is also one of the key advantages of business continuity methodology, as compared to more probabilistic approaches to risk, like risk management.

«Scenario independent» thinking means that the organization plans and implements its business continuity strutctures to respond to business disruptions without considering their possible causes.

This approach provides two main benefits:

1. It avoids the common impulse to want to fix the cause of the disruption. While this is an important goal, it is only relevant to the organization if the cause is within the organization’s power to fix – which isn’t often the case. Even then, the resilient organization wants to minimize product and service delivery disruptions as much as possible, which can be achieved by focusing on alternative delivery methods while «fixing-the-cause» efforts proceed in parallel.

2. It allows the organization to create effective plans regardless of the nature of the disruption. If all disruptions can cause organizations to lose access to a worksite, to their staff, to their technology assets, or to their supplies/suppliers, and I have plans to continue product and service delivery for each of these four instances, my organization can be said, with four plans, to be able to respond to an almost infinite number of possible circumstances.

Best practice 1: «Scenario independent plans» (2/2)

Scenario independent plans work like this:

They focus on unavailability scenarios, common to any type of disruption. These are the standard scenarios:

•Worksite unavailability
•IT/technology unavailability
•Staff/personnel unavailability
•Supplier/supply unavailability

For each of these scenarios, focus not on fixing the cause of the unavailability (which is often out of your control), but on restoring the output that the lost asset(s) usually contribute.

Since these four scenarios are common to all possible incidents affecting the organization’s business continuity, a single scenario independent plan can contribute significantly to a product or service’s resilience in the face of any number and kind of incidents – a very efficient state of affairs.

Best practice 2: «Professional certification»

Just like any other professional skill, there are professional certifications for business continuity, risk management, and other organizational resilience disciplines.

Much of the perceived difficulty of implementing a business continuity management system or equivalent for other disciplines comes from a lack of a structured and proven methodology – a methodology that is quite easy to learn through available certification courses.

Certification can systematize «scattered» knowledge and provide a reliable method for implementation, but certification can also serve as external proof of reliability and embedded skills/resilience.

Many open and invite-only tenders require candidates to provide evidence of professional skills and the good news is that business continuity and risk management certifications are easy to achieve, but widely recognized.

Main takeaways

Implementing a BCMS with the proper methodology can transform a complicated process into a linear effort.

Each project phase improves and flows into the next; correctly executing one, in the proper order, means benefits further along the project. Accordingly:

1.It is useful to follow a predetermined project plan;

2.Each project phase has its own importance – understimating one because it doesn’t seem important in the moment is NOT a best practice;

3.A BCMS is a great tool for capacity building – by embedding it into daily activities, you can make it become «second nature»