Let’s face it. It’s hard enough to define what corporate governance is in a general sense, let alone drilling down to explain it for business continuity. Apart from being something that organisations start pondering once they’ve tamed their marketing and business strategy, governance can also be defined in terms of its component parts: the “Reporting, Integration and Involvement” model makes getting a handle on BCM governance easier. But apart from not having to admit ignorance about the matter, what’s the big deal about knowing about BCM governance?
The big deal is in the way business continuity governance can multiply the positive impact of an organisation’s BC management program. Among other things, it can contribute to embedding BCM in the culture of the organisation. This comes from the role of governance, which is by definition to define expectations, empower and/or confirm performance. For these things to happen, BCM governance needs to be carried out by the right people in the organisation. Suitable participants are the overall owner of the BCM program, the BCM steering or supervisory committee, and the BCM manager who runs the BCM program day in and day out.
The bigger your organisation is, the more it needs a specific BCM governance function to be defined. Just as in the more general case of corporate governance, it’s what ensures that strategic goals are kept in mind and in sight. Its success is measured by the results it generates. Whether it uses a centralised approach (possibly sacrificing empowerment) or a decentralised one (with a high risk to overall effectiveness), what counts is the degree to which it helps the organisation achieve its BC objectives. This also means that the BCM governance function is then pragmatically located in a place in the organisation that allows it to operate optimally, rather than being systematically located in a given area.