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Bob Zettel is the Manager and a Senior Consultant with the Consulting Services Division of The Manuel Lujan Agencies. MLA’s Business Continuity Planning Process prepares you to reopen your doors quickly after a loss, no matter how large or small. Emergency Management – How are you going to keep your people safe, during and after an event?
Business Continuity Ever Try To Turn Your Business Continuity Management Program On Its Head? Time to evaluate your business continuity management program to be sure you’re ready for whatever comes your way. That may have been true in the days when the risks we contended with were statistically predictable, quantifiable, and insurable. I have news for you: if our risk landscape has changed, then our business continuity management approach had better change right along with it. Business continuity management historically has focused on protection: protect your people, protect your assets, protect your information, protect your revenue. But in today’s world, protecting what you have isn’t going to get you where you need to be. For IT and business continuity management, transformation in the 21st century means stepping outside of the traditional risk-averse mindset to take on a deeply proactive approach that extends across the entire business. Likewise, transformation does not mean firing your business continuity management team and hiring a new one.
The past decade has seen more changes to business and technology than can possibly be quantified. In every area of business, companies are being forced to proactively meet customer and business demands in new and innovative ways.

Such an approach recognizes that business resiliency – the ultimate goal – means much more than keeping the lights on or even keeping the data flowing. The demand for transformation does not mean that we throw out everything we have learned about business continuity management in previous decades. As you think about your business as a whole and engage with your consumers, ask yourself: what do we need to do to align our business continuity management methodology with our desired business outcomes?
Chances are, you are bringing new business processes and applications into the fold all the time. There is only so much that a static or traditionally-built business continuity plan can do for you, considering the ambiguous nature of today’s threats.
For intelligent planning to become a reality, collaboration and communication need to be vastly increased to provide situational awareness during an incident. In marketing, that has involved a shift from huge mass-market campaigns to micro-personalized outreach. To the new CIO in this changing and somewhat threatening world, resiliency seeks the enhancement and protection of human resources, current revenue streams, and future revenue growth potential by allowing business and operational decisions to be informed by advanced risk intelligence and proactive business continuity awareness. If you are in business continuity management today, you are part of the solution – not part of the problem. They talk to their team and they talk to their internal customers – the different lines of business, operations, vendors, etc.
Can you really afford to wait until your next annual BIA to study the risks associated with these new items and carefully work them into your business continuity plan?
What you really need is a foundation you can then build on during an actual event, because you can’t possibly predict all the details of a business interruption ahead of time.
As you challenge your business continuity management program and shake things up, you also need to drive the creation of a new resiliency roadmap: a roadmap that is aligned with your organization’s goals and objectives, and that has resiliency processes embedded into the culture and daily operations of the company.

The only way to keep business continuity management aligned with this new topsy-turvy world is to turn it on its head as well! In software development, it often requires leaving behind sequential waterfall design methodologies and embracing incremental agile approaches.
In fact, you are the leaders of the new solution, uniquely qualified by your years of experience and the depth of your knowledge. For example, if Procurement is looking at a new vendor, you need to be a part of that process for business continuity reasons, asking questions about the vendor’s resiliency strategy and disaster recovery tests.
But to truly leverage technology and business continuity to build a resilient business, we need to think about the business as a whole, and that means engaging with the consumer (thinking like the consumer, enhancing the consumer’s experience, anticipating the consumer’s next demand). You need a new way to safely onboard new processes, new products, and new applications – before these things even make their way into the production environment.
With Human Resources, you need to part of the onboarding of new employees, training them in company security policies and procedures. It means being able to align the business continuity program with the goals and objectives of the business.
Such communication is essential to support the decision making that needs to take place rapidly and accurately to address an incident.

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