As more and more departments develop business continuity plans, the pressure increases on the Business Continuity Manager to conduct more exercises to meet the requirements laid out in the organisations business continuity policy. PlanB Consulting's Charlie Maclean-Bristol and Jennifer MacKenzie carried out a Webinar during Business Continuity Awareness Week 2015, where they discussed the importance of simulating both media and social media during an exercise.
In the fast-paced, volatile world of financial services, constantly maintaining normal business operations is crucial – even in the event of an unexpected disaster. Since we frequently work with our hedge fund and alternative investment clients on developing comprehensive business continuity plans (BCPs), we feel it is important to review and test our own BCP procedures on a regular basis to ensure they will meet our most current business needs in the event of a disaster. A BCP table top exercise is an informal brainstorming session used to encourage participation from business leaders and other key employees. Once the scenario has been established, the members of the management team will break down what steps need to be taken (and in what order) to ensure all employees are safe and accounted for, communications are made to all necessary parties and the business remains operational. These include an exercise instruction, a list of possible scenarios, a post exercise report template and a selection of feedback forms.

BCP table top exercises are conducted to provide an example of how the management team would work together to get the organization through a disaster. Participants will receive a scenario list and a number of templates which they can use to run their own exercises.
The training will be very interactive and those participating will have the opportunity to plan and take part in a number of exercises run by those on the course.
The organisations Business Continuity Coordinators are responsible for writing and updating their plans however they often do not possess the skills to develop and run an exercise and produce a post-exercise report. Even just a few moments of downtime could be extremely costly, so it is essential that firms implement sound business continuity procedures.
To this end, Lisa Smith - one of our certified business continuity professionals - and her team recently conducted a BCP table top exercise with our management team here at Eze Castle. Read our complete Manager's Guide to DR and BCP for a comprehensive overview on hedge fund business continuty best practices.

The aim of the training is to give Business Continuity Coordinators and other business continuity staff the skills, tools and confidence to plan, run and report their own exercises.
After this successful meeting, we thought it would be valuable to share some insights on the BCP table top exercise process with our readers to spotlight the importance of this activity. The group covers all of the actions necessary to ensure employees are safe and accounted for and the business can continue to operate.

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