Using metrics to understand your Business Continuity programme

How can metrics be used to include and inform senior management as part of an effective Business Continuity Programme? What are the obstacles and how can they be overcome? We find out from the 4C BCM team.

Why are metrics so important for Business Continuity?

Basically, you need to know what does good look like for your business continuity programme in order to get an understanding of the gaps that exist, the improvements that have to be made, and the order in which it should be done. In our work with enterprises around the world, we have found that involving senior management is critical to a successful business continuity programme. One way to do this is to ensure senior management are fully briefed on the status of the programme and particularly the capability metrics across the different departments in the organisation. A powerful and user-friendly tool for visualising and comparing the metrics will simplify and streamline this process, allowing you to easily share them with senior management, auditors, risk and business continuity departments, and more.

What is the biggest obstacle currently facing most organisations with regards to Business Continuity?

There are of course many but one real obstacle for many organisations is understanding what stage they are at with their business continuity programme. In other words, knowing what is complete and what is not and importantly, what has been tested and what has not. This scenario tends to occur because data has not been collected or because the task of understanding capability – i.e., where different teams are up to and the monitoring of testing programmes in disparate organisations – can become too onerous. Issues are further compounded as the processes of manually collecting data becomes part of the role of the BCM teams, taking practitioners away from supporting those in the organisation. Essentially, we end up with two obstacles. The inability to actually gather the data in an automated and coherent way, and accordingly the inability to understand the metrics and data surrounding BC programmes, if it even exists.

How is 4C helping organisations with this?

We are working with leading organisation in the public and private sectors who are running their Business Continuity programmes with our Exonaut® software. They’ve chosen it to enable them to effectively map important business services (IBA) and their dependencies and tolerances and manage workflows, tasks, and signoffs, in an automated system that provides the key metrics at a holistic and fine-grained level.

Business Continuity metrics include:

  • How many critical activities are there in the organisation, which have a business impact analysis (BIA) and which must be completed?

  • What is the maximum tolerable period of disruptions (MTPDs) for each activity?

  • Which activities or processes have been signed off and by whom?

  • When was testing undertaken and when does it need doing in the future?

  • What is outstanding from the business continuity workflow / process for each dept / team?

  • What are the most critical dependencies, processes and key resources?

  • How much risk is being carried by different departments?

  • What gaps have been identified through testing and what is the status on the remediation of those gaps (tasks) – mapped to the key resources

  • What parts of the business continuity life cycle have been completed and in which department or business area?

  • Where are the business continuity gaps?

  • Which resources is the organization most dependent on?

  • How many people have attended Business Continuity Awareness training?

Digitalizing Business Continuity

By using a dedicated digital solution such as Exonaut to manage Business Continuity workflows, the tool acts as a giant database of all the information that is captured to answer the questions above. At this point it really comes into its own as it enables you to cut and slice the data in any way you wish. This provides unrivalled intelligence at your fingertips, no matter if it’s for briefing the Resilience or Risk Committees or working out what the scenario should be for your next exercise.

More about Exonaut

Using Exonaut will support and even automate your Business Continuity metrics. Features such as customisable dashboards, automated reporting, and real-time visualization support the needs of the different stakeholders involved in ensuring business continuity. For those organisations wanting to fully integrate their organisational resilience programme, Exonaut can be used to manage risk, business continuity and incident and crisis management processes and operations. You can read more about the platform here.

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