Top Tips for successful Business Continuity planning

By Andy Cuerel

Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) encompass comprehensive and often detailed suites of activities. Comprehensive, however, does not equate to incomprehensible. And detailed should not be a euphemism for over-engineered.

Consideration of the following should help keep your BCMS lean, mean and fit for purpose! Continue reading

Business Impact Analysis: value added or added toil?

The business impact analysis (BIA) is a key facet of any business continuity programme. It sits right at the heart of the benefit that business continuity can bring to any organisation.

It has concerned me recently that I have read a number of papers suggesting that the business impact analysis is either unnecessary or that short cuts could be used. While it is understandable that people would like to reduce the work involved in delivering a business continuity project, to play around with the business impact analysis without understanding the risks of doing so is to put the whole business continuity plan at risk.

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Launch of BS 11200 – the new British Standard for Crisis Management

bs11200In May this year, the Cabinet Office and BSI published BS 11200 – the new British Standard for Crisis Management – Guidance and Good Practice.  Its official launch will be on 18th September in London.

Many would say the new Standard is long overdue; others that crisis management is already covered by ISO 22301, the International Standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.  However, whatever your view, no one can demur from the fact that BS 11200 covers the subject in far more depth and detail than any other Standard hitherto.

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The Crisis Management Conference 2014; Planning for Prosperity with a Coherent Crisis Management Capability

CMC2014 logo.jpgThe 2014 Crisis Management Conference (CMC 2014) will take place in London on Thursday 18th September. Delegates will be given a unique opportunity to hear speakers from the BBC, Network Rail, John Lewis, UBS, O2, UK Cabinet Office and the University of Liverpool discuss their first-hand experiences in preparing, responding and communicating in crisis. Click here to see the full programme.

Crisis management was long associated with failure and a desire to “keep covert” any crisis plans and preparations. Today, however, it is a topic of success, heralding responsible guardianship for the future well-being of an organisation’s people, performance, assets and reputation. It signals excellence in governance and leadership and is seen as an integral part of an organisation’s resilience, enabling it to thrive, survive and seize opportunity. Continue reading

Reflections on BCM World 2013

BCMWorldConference logoSo, the BCM World Conference 2013 is now over and we can all reflect back on the trends it has presented.  Dominic Cockram from Steelhenge  led a presentation on “Achieving Control in a Crisis” on the first day and the stream – Thought Leadership – had an excellent turn-out. Dr Paul Robertson followed on the subject of crisis leadership and both sessions seemed to go down well although it was a quiet audience in terms of questions which was a shame.

Overall the conference felt as though there were slightly less people than last year but still a good turn-out at Olympia; never the most intimate or exciting of venues for conferences and more suited to large exhibitions.

As ever, there was a large turn-out of technology stands at the exhibition and the development of BC software, notification solutions and crisis software suites seems to continue to grow and develop.  We spoke to a number of visitors however and they seemed to want “something simple which just does what it says on the tin” so it still seems that many do not see the tech solution as giving them quite what they need  as yet.

The conference had a good spread of speakers and the case study stream had some excellent sessions looking more closely at how some are actually doing BCM.  The delegates always like to hear the realities from those doing the work at the sharp end. Our own business continuity planning case study of Establishing ISO 22301 in Crossrail: Europe’s Largest Construction Project, presented with Steve Hails, Health & Safety Director for Crossrail was extremely well received and it was a shame that the clock restricted the discussion session at the end.

Overall I would think it goes down as another good conference and well done to the BCI for all the work they always put in.  The trend seem to be moving towards Crisis Management and Resilience as the key areas of focus for the future, and reflected upon by Lyndon Bird in his article recently in Continuity.  Crisis Management is certainly seen now as a key area for businesses and the public sector to get right and there is much more effort heading in that direction now, as well as focus from the senior management teams which always helps.

Resilience continues to grow as a topic and is definitely gaining ground as the new arena for development.  Bringing together all the capabilities in a more integrated and measured fashion to ensure that organisations are ready for whatever is thrown at them.  The Mega Trends of the Future as set out in the PwC Global Review this year give some insights to way the world is heading and some of the issues we all need to face up to in the not so distant future and Resilience could be the approach to face this period of change and disruption to the norms we know now.  We shall see but it definitely offers considerable scope as a concept for such developments.

Other related posts: Resilience: The 21st Century Imperative

Steelhenge achieves certification to Business Continuity Standard ISO 22301

By Isobel Nicholas

Following our external certification audit on 21st March 2013, the Steelhenge Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) has been recommended for certification to ISO 22301, the international business continuity management standard.

Passed-Exam-Image-1It is particularly pleasing as the auditor gave the BCMS a clean bill of health with zero non-conformances of any kind.  So, congratulations to the Steelhenge BC team!

As business continuity specialists, we would expect our business continuity planning and BCMS to be up to scratch, but even though it was previously certified to BS 25999-2, an external audit to a newly published Standard is never taken lightly. This was particularly the case in transitioning from BS 25999-2 to ISO 22301 because of the significant number of new requirements in ISO 22301, plus the new standardized management structure introduced for the first time by the International Standards Organization in ISO 22301. Continue reading

Business Continuity Planning – 5 Top Tips for Transitioners

By Isobel Nicholas

BCAW2013

To coincide with BCAW 2013, Business Continuity Awareness Week organised by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), here are our five Top Tips on transitioning your Business Continuity Management System from BS 25999-2 to ISO 22301.

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Report from the field: business continuity planning with ISO 22301

By Isobel Nicholas
ISO22301_prosconsAs we set off into the New Year with publication of both ISO 22301, the requirements for Societal Security – Business Continuity Management Systems (May 2012) and ISO 22313, its supporting Guidance (December 2012), what is the feedback on the new Standards to date?

It is still early days and accredited certifications are only just coming on-line, but our experience from both supporting clients in the process of implementing ISO 22301 and transitioning our own certified BCMS Continue reading

Lights on at Goldman: When good business continuity triggers criticism

By Dominic Cockram

Last week, while Hurricane Sandy continued to cause devastation across America’s east coast and floods in New York City had yet to subside, images of the Goldman Sachs building lit up against a dark skyline (see above) was shared across social media. While this beacon of light was testament to their rock-solid business continuity planning and preparation, many saw it as a symbol of corporate greed and all that is wrong with modern America.

Here are a choice few reactions from the Twittersphere:

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When a crisis hits, morale matters: Lessons from the floods

As I read news of Hurricane Sandy approaching the shores of east coast America last night, I was reminded of driving through the flash floods that hit Gloucestershire – and my home town of Cheltenham – in July 2007. It may not have had a backdrop of skyscrapers in Times Square, but it was certainly dramatic, and its impact was felt for months afterwards: homes and businesses were severely damaged, and large areas were left without a water supply for two weeks.

Steelhenge interviewed Chelsea Building Society about how they responded as roads closed, flood defences failed, 1000s were stranded and water supplies cut off, and what lessons they learnt from the experience.

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