Planning Issues



An effective BCP should provide a number of benefits...

A timely response and recovery process
Reduced severity of potential disruptions
Improved insurance underwriting positions
A stronger, more resilient reputation and competitive advantage

Support for senior management's due-diligence responsibilities









Here are five potential problem areas to consider in creating or revising a BCP:


1.  Traditional planning methodologies tend to be tactical rather than

     strategic in nature.

Many traditional plans start life by addressing tactical asset-related issues rather than by focusing on a strategic recovery process. The strategy should come first, followed by a planning process that seeks to effectively implement the strategy. High-performance BCPs are built around tailored, high-level objectives aimed at keeping customers whole and the organization's long-term financials intact.


2.  Fill-in-the-blank methodologies often result in unsuccessful plans.

Many existing plans are overloaded with unnecessary detail. Few management teams are comfortable using a document the size of the New York City yellow pages, whether in a hard-copy or electronic  format. Methodologies used for these plans evolved from “fill-in–the-blank” approaches developed for computer system recovery and, as a result, have a difficult time adjusting to manufacturing or R&D or supply chain environments. Filling-in-the-blanks has a tendency to discourage creative thought.


3.  Many existing plans do not have a sharp, clear focus on restoring lost

     functionality to meet customer timelines for delivery of product and


While rebuilding a facility or restoring lost operational assets are both important, the heart and soul of a successful plan is knowing that the organization has solid, verifiable, alternate resources for quickly replacing revenue-generating functionality, whether for manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, R&D, service centers, or offices.


4.  Many planning initiatives are started without senior-level support and 


A BCP created without senior leadership participation cannot adequately address a company's long-term goals. Business continuity addresses lifeblood issues of an organization and, accordingly, has caught the attention of many board rooms. Executive management has a vested interest in the successful performance of a BCP and should be aware of, involved in, and responsible for, the development and maintenance of these plans.


5.  More than a few BCPs have been created and maintained without the 

     benefit of rigorous table-top simulations. 

A well run table-top simulation serves two primary purposes: validating the content of a new or updated plan, and acting as an ad-hoc team-building exercise for participants. Members of the business continuity management team/crisis management team should all come together as a unit, with each member interacting and supporting other members so "one plus one" can actually equally three. Reverting back to a pervasive silo mentality can be a death knell for plan effectiveness and robustness.


Coletta & Wight keeps these issues in mind when working with both prospective and current clients.



Does your BCP measure up? Take a good look at your current plan – contact us and let’s review it together. Or, if you don’t have a plan, let us help you develop one.