Many do wonder what business continuity is all about; is it about the continuity of businesses literally? What has it to do with disaster management?
We all know we cannot compare our emergency response, resilience to what is obtainable in developed or even some developing countries. However, we like to copy what we see physically, but we fail to copy the reasons or the underneath strategies that have been employed to make for what we see physically in developed countries.
Our invited expatriates on Disaster Management are also ‘wise’ not to tell this secret. They only make recommendations on what we need to purchase. Some are so kind that they put it in our books and handed the book to us, knowing full well that we will not open the book. We are a nation that purchases things to showcase that we are working – the reasons behind our disaster management actions most do not border to know.
A case that baffles me is the NIGERIAN NATIONAL INFLUENZA PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PLAN with Business Continuity mentioned more than 42 times, or do we mention the Annual Conference on Disaster Management with over 60% agenda on subject related to Business Continuity. Kindly Google.
Nationally, and in all our governance structure we need to recognize the potent power of Business Continuity Planning as a tool of mitigating disasters in Nigeria.
This is the direct responsibility of the Federal Government of Nigeria as written in the Pandemic Preparedness And Response Plan which states that the FGN should ‘- Promote Business Continuity Planning’ (Page 84).
What then is Business Continuity Planning?
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a process designed to reduce the organization business risk arising from unexpected disruption of the critical functions / operations (manual or automated) necessary for the survival of the organization.
BCP includes human/materials resources supporting these critical functions / operations & assurance of the continuity of the minimum level of services necessary for critical operations.
BCP is a business survival strategy for an organization
Business Continuity Plan will allow organizations understand threats in their environment, how vulnerable they are, the control measures required, and understand processes that are time-sensitive ultimately progressing to a resilience environment.
Business Continuity consists of the following subjects:
- Project Initiation and Management
- Risk Evaluation and Control
- Business Impact Analysis
- Developing Business Continuity Strategies
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Developing and Implementing Business Continuity Plans
- Awareness and Training Programs
- Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit, and Maintenance
- Crisis Communications
- Coordination with External Agencies
Why is it important?
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is important practically as stated below:
- To safeguard human life
- To minimize confusion and enable effective decisions in a time of crisis
- To reduce dependency on specific personnel
- To minimize the loss of assets, revenue, and customers
- To ensure the survival of the organization
- To satisfy any legal or regulatory requirements
- To ensure that you are doing your due diligence
- To facilitate the timely recovery of critical business functions
- To maintain the public image and reputation of the organization
The first objective of business continuity is to safeguard human lives. All other benefits are dependent this.
We will progress from here to other BCM subjects.