Software is a means to an end. It is an enabler which supports the intellectual capability of BCM practitioners and experts in organisations. It removes manual intervention, it streamlines processes and it provides powerful reporting outputs.
But, ultimately, all processes rely on individual user input and the human factor can sometimes be an uncertainty. ClearView has been developed with this in mind, to help mitigate this risk by providing a clear, easy to use, intuitive interface that engages and supports users. Furthermore, our team of BCM specialists provide additional services to ensure that software meets the needs of the many individuals around an organisation involved in the BCM process.
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Although corporate templates, methodologies and review processes form a core part of ClearView, some clients require an external check to ensure that compliance is being maintained by users of all types in the organisation - plan owners, maintainers, approvers, indeed anyone involved in the BCM process.
This involves a scripted assessment of a sample of key entities (Plans, BIAs, Risk Assessments, Exercises etc) to ensure that users understand and are following correct processes. The precise format is agreed with clients in line with the maturity of their individual BCM programmes, but an example of just the BIA assessment element is as follows:
- Do the BIAs conform to the requirements outlined in the policy?
- Are the BIAs consistently completed?
- Are processes defined at a consistent level across all BIAs?
- Is there consistency in the way that peaks and deadlines have been defined?
- Do the RTOs look correct and commensurate with the sort of activity undertaken?
- Are the recovery solutions identified practical and viable?
- Can the resources that the critical processes rely upon be delivered within the required RTO?
- Will supporting processes be available within the required RTOs?
- Is there any supply chain risks that could affect the recovery of critical processes?
This can be supported by a more in-depth assessment of each BIA or Plan etc as required.
The outputs provide Heads of BC with the confidence that not only are processes being followed, guided and monitored by software but that users understand the requirements of BC in a consistent way across the entire organisation. It can also highlight any generic failings in the BCM structure which can then be addressed by training, users support or other means.
If a more extensive health check is required, we can provide a full assessment of all entities (Plans, BIAs, Risk Assessments etc) maintained. This will follow the same process as in the health-check but is a more detailed examination.
The end result is a detailed analysis and output of all activities showing any variances from standard. This allows assessment of any weaknesses in a particular area, user or process. It will provide added certainty that compliance with policy and framework is being followed by all individuals.
Importantly, it also supports any standards assessment by ensuring that not only are workflow and template processes being followed, but that users engage in the process, providing robust outcomes.
The outcomes include recommendations for any remedial actions to be taken with supporting evidence both from the assessment itself and with reporting outputs from the ClearView software.
A plan that has not been tested contains very real risks when invoked. Will it work?
Most organisations see this important aspect as much wider than simple exercising and look to improve capabilities and robustness of response by creating an increasingly diverse set of scenarios that stretch and challenge managers.
However, this activity all takes time, resource and a depth of skills and capabilities that may not be readily available. Consequently, many of our clients ask us to provide support with exercises, and we have facilitated many such sessions bringing a truly external view of the response and continuity capability of their management teams. This external input also enables a fresh perspective to be brought to the process, raising issues and events that may not always be considered when taking a purely internal view.
Exercises can range from a simple walkthrough to a complex simulation and can draw upon additional expertise, including mock news reports, active journalist participation and external role play. These can bring a level of realism that takes exercising to another level and gives management ultimate confidence in the capability to respond.
For many clients, implementing BCM software is one element in a wider programme of building BCM structure in the organisation. And in large, international businesses, the challenge can be complex and time-consuming.
Our BCM specialists have extensive experience in managing significant projects and can demonstrate successful track records in managing programmes for clients ranging from some of the largest businesses globally to more modest-sized organsiations. Typically this will cover distinct phases of discovery, implementation and on-boarding through to business as usual.
Finding out more?
If you would like to know more about our services in these areas, please either speak to your ClearView BC specialist or Contact us. We will be delighted to tell you more.