Business Continuity Planning

 

Business Continuity Planning

Changing Course in a COVID-19 Affected World

How ready are you to change your business practises for successful adaptation and business continuity?

Changing Course in a COVID-19 Affected World

Effective Business Continuity Planning (BCP) allows you to understand how your business and management practises need to change under new pressures stemming from environmental impacts, namely, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without a holistic understanding of what your current situation is (push factors) and what changes need to be implemented strategically (pull factors) for successful continuation of your business operations under these new circumstances, your business needs to change and adapt accordingly. Ad hoc contingency plans will fail. Any downtime in operations and service delivery means the business loses productivity and ultimately, revenue.

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Business Continuity & Recovery Planning Webinar

Transition to the New Norm of Operations

Business Continuity Planning Considerations

NEC Australia has created a package of templates and information checklists that can help you work through your Business Continuity Plan in a holistic and systematic process. These templates are full of considerations to help you understand what your current business needs and gaps are, in order to transform your business into a more agile and mobile organisation and therefore, changing business practises for successful adaptation and continuation. Importantly, your staff and clients need to be supported (from social to technical impacts) as we embrace a new market landscape. NEC Australia is dedicated to help you work through this challenging new frontier, so your organisation can not only survive, but thrive.

The more complex questionnaire assessments detailed below can be completed with the help of NEC’s Business Technology Advisory group. We are committed to helping you tackle the new and real challenges facing your business, today and in the future.

Before a business can resume business as usual practises, transition considerations need to be considered in the following categories: 

Executive Oversight


BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING


Operational Impacts


DIGITAL GOVERNANCE


MOBILITY SECURITY


SERVICES & ACTIVITIES IMPACTS


Staff Impacts


KEY CONTACT LISTS


OPERATING MODEL


HR POLICIES


STAFF AVAILABILITY


WORK FROM HOME CHECKLIST


Executive Oversight

Executive leaders and management need to establish a BCP committee, responsible for creating a Continuity Operations Plan that represents all relevant business stakeholders. This is to confirm that continuity objectives are met in emergency operating scenarios (under global pandemic conditions such as within COVID-19 affected economies). NEC Australia can help you deliver a Business Operating Model Impact Assessment as part of your business continuity recovery plan.

Executives and management must identify critical business functions that need to be delivered in changed conditions of operation, including who is responsible for achieving business continuity in each segment of the business.

Operating conditions will naturally change as government restrictions and economic forecasts shift in times of a pandemic. Making sure the right resources are in place should staff become ill or unavailable needs to be considered. The impacts of absent staff and resource shortages needs to be addressed and mitigated.

Customers’ needs and demands may also change the way services are delivered operationally, potentially changing resource structuring. Having a plan in place to consider the way an organisation will meet these new challenges, as well as help staff deliver the organisations services, is critically important to adapting well in new conditions.

Every business is different and unique. Therefore, a Business Continuity Operations Checklist is the natural first next step in your business continuity planning. The checklist is a short series of questions that covers the basic needs of a BCP scenario. It is designed to make you think about the areas needing consideration from a business context. The Digital Governance Maturity Assessment will determine how ready and robust your organisation is in its current state to tackle the new pandemic conditions and where gaps lie in your operations and responsibility structures. These types of assessments are complex due to the unique structure of every business. Contact us for help in understanding and completing a Governance Maturity Assessment.

Quick checklist

  • Form a BCP Coordinating Committee that represents all stakeholders
  • A Business Context Assessment to cover the basic needs of a BCP scenario
  • Conduct a Business Operating Model Impact Assessment to understand the new operating scenario your organisation finds itself within
  • Have policies that are aligned with remote working
  • Develop a Continuity of Operations Plan, which identifies critical business functions that need to be delivered
  • Understand the maturity level of your digital governance structures
  • Consideration of a Recovery Plan is needed

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Operational Impacts

Digital governance is a framework for establishing accountability, roles and decision-making authority for an organisation’s digital presence and development (including but not limited to; websites, mobile sites, social platforms, web-enabled products and services etc.). Digital governance naturally links into the maturity levels of your overall organisation’s governance structures but requires critical focus in the changing operational and working environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobility security of your workforce and delivery of services, sees your ‘digital governance’ structure come into action.

Mobility Security Considerations; have you evaluated the security surrounding your newly dispersed workforce? Staff will need to become accustomed to self-governance and other services, such as those relating to mobility security and data security.

The Staff Availability Register allows you to assess the potential disruption to services based on changing resource availability. This register is critical for planning ahead in conditions where the health of your staff may change at short notice. Operations can be prioritised based on resource demands and shortages.

The Services and Activities Impact template defines how you will continue to deliver services to your customers, providing your new operating scenario with clarity.

Quick checklist

  • Complete a Mobility Security questionnaire
  • Give your remote workers the information to be able to govern their data, access to and ability to share information securely
  • Operational impacts of sick or absent employees needs to be considered
  • Complete a Services and Activities template for service device clarity

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Staff Impacts

With changing working environments and remote working becoming the new norm, it is important to update Contact Lists for staff across the organisation and distribute these accordingly.

Staff will also need new and innovative ways to collaborate with their peers and share information. Multi-function channels may need to be established for secure information transmission. With the mobility security checklist already completed by this stage, appropriate information sharing avenues become clear. Remember that information and staff communication channels allow you to gather both formal and informal information on the health of your operations ecosystem. The willingness of your staff to collaborate and communicate with each other and Management will inform you on how well they are adapting to new working scenarios and environments.

Communications and information sent to staff from Executive Management should be consistent, thoughtful and informative. Key updates about service delivery and operational model changes should be consistently distributed. This will mobilise and engage staff with governance structures and policies.

Working from Home Checklists should be maintained so that staff get the resources and support required to fulfil their roles and operations. HR policies should help and support staff with all of these needs. Existing HR policies on workplace behaviour, standards and well-being checks should be modified for working from home and remote working scenarios. HR policies may need to be created and modified as the pandemic situation changes.

Quick checklist

  • Compile and update contact lists (staff, key partners and suppliers), distributing them to staff regularly
  • Operational models availability
  • Key business delivery services identified and highlighted
  • Working from home checklists completed
  • Working from home / remotely suite of policies created, reviewed, updated regularly and distributed

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