In business continuity planning, business impact analysis or BIA is possibly the most critical part.
BIA conditions the quality of your plan afterwards. Bad analysis? Bad plan! Take two minutes to do a little soul-searching by reading the four errors listed below, to see if any have crept into your process.
- Confusing impact and risk. Risk is about the probability of events happening. Impact is about how much pain they then cause.
The impact may be in terms of financial loss, reputational damage, infringement of regulations or some other important criterion.
Correct impact analysis will then point to the activities to be made resilient as a priority, and how fast recovery or restart must be done in case of interruption.
- Not involving the right people. Your beautiful business impact analysis leading to your magnificent business continuity plan may fall flat on its face, if you do not involve the different stakeholders. That includes operational staff, as well as senior management.
- Only performing bottom-up reasoning. Bottom-up analysis, starting with individual low-level processes, leads to complicated plans and redundant business continuity measures, not to mention exorbitant costs.
Top-down planning “cuts to the chase” much faster, showing you what’s critical and what’s not.
- Getting stuck on a model and ignoring reality. Models, by definition, are wrong. That does not prevent them from being very useful as a way to understand and then deal with reality.
However, if your BIA does not take that step into the real world, at best you will be a little wrong and at worst you will be completely off the mark.
Finally, the good news is that each error, although serious, is simple enough to reverse and turn into a positive, instead of a negative.
Try this check list on your business and business continuity today so see what you might start doing better.