A Culture of [Business] Continuity | Part Two

This two-part series from Avalution Consulting focuses on defining and embedding a “culture of continuity” within organizations.

PART II: IMPLEMENTING A CULTURE OF CONTINUITY

In part one of this series we defined a culture of continuity as “an organizational state of being in which all personnel inherently work to minimize the likelihood of downtime and improve responsiveness and recoverability as they perform day-to-day activities”.  That’s a pretty high bar for most organizations to meet!

As such, it’s important to take a moment to truly assess the need for such an undertaking and the true value that it will add to your organization.  Much like any other initiative throughout an organization, it’s important for business continuity efforts to directly align to key organizational objectives, goals and priorities.  In doing so, you’ll be better prepared to gain buy-in and commitment from senior leadership as you will be working to add value to the entire organization, not just push a business continuity “agenda”. Continue reading

A Culture of [Business] Continuity | Part One

This two-part series from Avalution Consulting focuses on defining and embedding a “culture of continuity” within organizations.

PART I: DEFINING A CULTURE OF CONTINUITY

“Culture of continuity”…it sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?  It flows off the tongue so naturally as we describe the quintessential business continuity program – a program embedded into an organization so well that personnel fully commit to business continuity and consider it in every decision they make.  An environment where executive management considers the organization’s ability to recover from disruption during strategic planning discussions, and thinks about minimizing downtime and maximizing recovery during project development (as opposed to after-the-fact implementations).  But, what does that phrase really mean?  In part one of this series, we’ll define “culture of continuity” and dive into its importance and fit into every organization. Continue reading

Service Spotlight: Benchmarking to Support Informed Decision-Making

BC MGMT Service SpotlightA number of organizations have halted or significantly curtailed their investments in preparedness measures over the past two years, which includes staffing and solutions investments.  As the economy recovers and organizations rediscover their obligations specific to business continuity, how can those personnel with responsibility for business continuity build a business case for investment or reinvestment – time and funding? Continue reading

Business Continuity Myths & Facts

fact or myth perspective (1)As we talk to our clients, prospective clients and others involved in the business continuity industry some consistent themes, questions, misconceptions and general commentary have emerged.  In order to encourage discussion and continual improvement in the Business Continuity Management industry, Avalution has started a semi-regular column to answer – or at least spur further discussion on – key topics.  Below are ten items, divided into five “myths” and five “facts” that seem to be appearing on a regular basis along with answers and explanations that hopefully provide some clarification. Continue reading

BC Standards and Regulatory Requirements – What Are YOUR Thoughts?

microphoneAvalution Consulting developed a growing, yet comprehensive list of business continuity standards and regulatory requirements influencing the design, operation and continuous improvement of business continuity programs.  You’re encouraged to review this list, and provide input on any standard or regulatory requirement that might be missing.  If you see something that may be incorrect, or a description that requires additional information, let us know as well via email at [email protected]. Continue reading

FFIEC Updates the Business Continuity Standard for Banks

ffiec newIntroducing the New FFIEC Business Continuity Planning Booklet
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) is responsible for establishing the standards to which financial institutions are held.  This interagency group publishes individual booklets specific to various risk management disciplines.  In 2003, the FFIEC updated Chapter 10, Corporate Contingency Planning, based on the 1996 FFIEC Information Systems Examination Handbook, to reflect new technologies, business practices and the threat of terrorism impacting the availability of critical banking processes and technologies.  The 2003 version, or “Gold Standard” as many business continuity professionals refer to it, emphasized the importance of business process response and recovery, as opposed to a program focused almost exclusively on technology availability.  This marked a key evolutionary point in financial services business continuity planning. Continue reading

Introducing Title IX: Voluntary Certification

whitt pic NEWThe “buzz” in the business continuity industry is the enactment of “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007”.  Also known as H.R. 1 and Public Law 110-53, this legislation includes a key section on Private Sector Preparedness (Title IX) addressing the development and implementation of a “Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program”.

Title IX will most likely integrate the best practices and guidelines of one or more current industry-independent standard.  While the law mentions NFPA 1600 as an example of such a standard, the table below summarizes this and other applicable standards available today that may be considered as “inputs” into the Title IX standard. Continue reading

Using Our Time Wisely

Flock of Geese SmallThough bird flu has been discussed in the media for over a decade now, few citizens have actually considered what a pandemic would mean in respect to their daily lives.  PandemicFlu.gov recently posted a fantastic article that discusses how a pandemic would impact every American family and business, along with steps everyone can take to mitigate the impacts.  Avalution has reposted the article in its entirety.  A link to the original article can be found at the bottom of the posting.

Just last week, Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, called bird flu the greatest global health threat of the 21st century. Continue reading

Testing Strategies that Demonstrate Recoverability

Excellent Rating Small2You can obtain assurance that your business continuity strategies will work in one of two ways – a test (a.k.a. an exercise) or a real-world event. Without either, no one can state that a business continuity strategy will work as designed. Since no one really wants to test their plan for the first time with a real-world event, let’s look at some testing strategies that work and demonstrate recoverability. Continue reading