Business continuity test scenarios – what do you know?

Seriously, what do you know about business continuity? Or rather, what does your organisation as a whole know about it? Among the different business continuity test scenarios possible, testing how aware people are and how much their reflexes and behaviour are in tune with BCP occupies an important place. After all, business continuity applies to an organisation as a whole and logically everyone in that organisation needs to have a minimum of knowledge on what it is about, why it is important and how it should be done – at least for the areas that directly affect them. But how do you find that out?

The answer, naturally enough, is to ask them. The next question is about how you ask them. With the exception of those who are directly responsible for ensuring good BCP, such business continuity test scenarios are concerned with overall company performance, rather than individual employee ratings. So a little like making a consumer survey, but with rather more at stake, correctly designed questionnaires are one tool. Remember that you are looking for general statistical measures (e.g. what per cent of employees know where to find the current plan in an emergency), so if you ask for names, you may want to indicate that is simply to ensure you are getting good survey coverage.

Multiple choice questions to find out how many people recognise the correct answer or level relating to business continuity issues can also work well. They may require some time for you to prepare correctly so that you know you will get a relevant and realistic reading from the results; on the other hand, they should also only require a minimum of time and effort for employees to understand what is being asked and to supply their answers. Armed with your survey results you can then take steps to adjust awareness and business continuity test scenarios appropriately.