Category Business Continuity Articles - Crisis Management and BCM Tall Stories from Peter Power The perils of Celebration
In this rather seasonal installment of Peter Powers' Tall Stories he turns his eye to Christmas and the perils of Retail Therapy. We should be so lucky, ... lucky,lucky, lucky (sorry Kylie) It is the season of goodwill and already shop assistants are queuing up to ring the Samaritans. Just think for a minute what they have to endure. Non stop Noddy Holder telling the world "it's ChhhhhristmasÃ¢â‚¬Â¦". (Ed Note: For those blessed with ignorance, Noddy is the lead singer of the Band, Slade, unfortunately for us.) Unlike us they have no chance to run out of the store when they reach saturation point. On an average day these staunch soldiers of high street retailing will have to listen to the same track at least 160 times. So when you next confront a pale, dribbling, incoherent shop assistant enduring a perpetual near death experience, remember to give generously. They need our help at Christmas. Which reminds me of a story the other day about some people who certainly did not appreciate the help they were getting. In central Serbia it is the custom at most outdoor weddings to fire guns into the air when the bride and groom emerge as man and wife. I am grateful to the BBC for publishing this true account - when all did not go according to plan: "Guests at a wedding in central Serbia have apparently shot down a small aircraft by mistake. They were celebrating in the traditional way - firing off shot after shot into the air above the wedding party. Unfortunately, there was a two-seater aircraft flying overhead. One eye-witness told reporters the plane was shot in the left wing. He saw flames coming from the aircraft which a few moments later flew into overhead power-cables. Two men on board are reported to have been seriously injured. Firing weapons is a common way of celebrating here. The Serbian Government has run public health campaigns warning of the obvious dangers." This takes Business Continuity into new areas perhaps? Having to arrange contingency arrangements alongside the best man, bridesmaids and ushers just in case the odd aircraft is brought down by gunfire from excited guests? However, such bizarre stories do not end there. I have also been passed an even more curious (and I think suspiciousÃ¢â‚¬Â¦) story about an incident in the US quoted by CNN just a few days ago: "Johnson City, Tennessee. A bullet fired in the air during a Ku Klux Klan initiation ceremony came down and struck a participant in the head, critically injuring him, authorities said. Gregory Allen Freeman, 45, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in the Saturday night incident that wounded Jeffery S. Murr, 24. About 10 people, including two children, had gathered for the ceremony. The man who was being initiated was blindfolded, tied with a noose to a tree and shot with paintball guns as Freeman fired a pistol in the air to provide the sound of real gunfire, Sheriff Fred Phillips said. A bullet struck Murr on the top of the head and exited at the bottom of his skull, authorities said. Freeman fled the ceremonyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦" Tied to a tree, blindfolded and shot at with paintball guns and then getting a bullet to drop on your head from probably a mile above you? I really would like to know (a) how can anyone tie a rope or shoot anything when looking through a couple of small eye holes cut through a white sheet and (b) apart from this, did Mr Murr otherwise enjoy his initiation? As for me, I think I'll stick to Morris Dancing which as most of us know, is the traditional weekend pastime for all BC managers in the UK (Ed note: OH NO it isn't!), especially at the end of a frustrating week. Perhaps shop assistants can also join in from now on as nothing relives stress like bashing each other with small sticks, waving hankerchives in the air, attaching tiny bells to your knees, tucking your socks into your trousers and doing all this whilst spinning around in front of the nearest pub door . Something no doubt intended to bewilder anyone intending to migrate to this country and certainly confuse and amuse our much cousins in the US. (Ed note: this is only normal the way OUT of the establishment Peter) The US has been in the news in the last few days for other reasons, not least when President Bush dropped in on his soldiers in Iraq for that altogether more sensible occasion of Thanksgiving. Now this does sound the perfect antidote to Christmas for it delays the onset of Christmas shopping / Noddy Holder / retail suicide rates for a brief period. Even turkeys vote for it as nobody in the US can stand eating them all over again at Christmas. But did you see that picture of the President holding a giant bird for his troops to eat? The homely photo of a smiling Mr Bush apparently proffering a platter with a huge succulent Turkey was intended to be a key image of his presidency. However, now we know a slightly different story. The Turkey was in fact a model / fake that 'just happened' to be on hand for a photo opportunity, presumably arranged by his spin doctors, but someone somewhere must have said something out of turn and now the true story has been told. All this reminds me of one more story about a small child sitting at his father's knee saying his prayers was lately heard to say "Ã¢â‚¬Â¦and forgive us our Christmasses as we forgive them that Christmas against usÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.." Happy Christmas everyone!
Peter is MD of Visor Consultants Limited. He is well known as an authoritative and entertaining presenter, especially on the subject of Crisis Management where he has gained a lot of personal experience, often at the front end of events. Peter wrote the current issued guidebooks on BC and/or Crisis Management, for the DTI, British Institute of Facilities Management and the British Bankers Association. He occasionally speaks on TV and radio and is a founder member of the UK judging panel for BC Awards, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute, Member of the Institute of Risk Management and a member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London If you have any Tall Stories that you would like to feature on the Forum Website, please email Russell.firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 00 44 (0) 208 993 1599.
Business Continuity Management Briefing BCM - BCM & Crisis Management
Crisis Management Advice
"Of course a crisis will never happen to your organisation. It's always going to hit someone else and in any case the emergency services will tell you what to do and besides, we have insurance to cover us."
Well, not exactly. Perhaps not at all. According to previous research in the UK, should disaster strike an organisation that is unfamiliar with Crisis Management and some form of tested Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to fall back on, 12% will probably fail after 5 years, 40% will fail after 18 months, 40% will almost certainly collapse outright and only 8% survive in the long term.
In this latest installment of Peter Powers' Tall Stories he looks at people, perceptions and the effects these can have on the views and judgement of others.
I was just playing my whistle when I heard a man say “that'll keep you going for a few days". So said Tim Pockettt the other week having sat on the street begging for money, playing his tin whistle. He looked into his collection pot and there gleaming amongst the odd coins was a diamond ring. A very lucky day for Mr Pockett, a self confessed vagrant, who probably had a lot less luck subsequently trying to convince a jeweller or pawnbroker that he had acquired his bling legally.
Business today faces many new threats, and the management of these threats is rapidly becoming a major factor in business planning.
Is Terrorism just one more threat, or are there specific risks, separate from other business issues, that need to be considered?
Government guidelines are available to all, but how can you be sure that you have understood and adapted the guidelines to suit your own specific requirements?
Can you be sure that you have done everything necessary, by law and by logic, to protect your business and your people?
This workshop allows you to discuss and analyse current guidelines, with peers and experts from a range of specialist organisations, and will give you the opportunity to gain a clear insight into your responsibilities and capabilities, in a no-nonsense format.
The current risks facing business today
Government Guidelines - how to understand and apply them
Coordinating business continuity and emergency planning
How to communicate your plans with your people
09:00 - 09:30 Registration, networking and coffee
09:30 - 09:45 Introduction by the Continuity Forum
09:45 - 10:00 Workshop briefing
10:00 - 10:50 Round table & facilitated group discussions
10:50 - 11.00 Coffee and networking break
11.00 - 11.50 Round table -facilitated group discussions
Business Continuity Management BCM - EVENT - Regulation - Advice
Regulation - Basle II, Sarbanes Oxley, Companies Act and BS25999
The Continuity Forum is pleased to announce an event focused on Regulation and its impact on BCM. This event provides access to advice from leading experts in their fields, as well as valuable support and insight on the issues affecting your organisation.
This event will be NON-commercial in nature, focussing on issues relevant to the new British Standard - BS25999, and will be run under Chatham House Rules. We'll be providing information covering the latest developments in the area of standards and including a detailed overview of the new British Standard for Business Continuity from the other standards that impact on the topic.
The Session will aim to develop thinking and deliver support in two primary areas. Firstly, we will look at the importance and evolution of standards within our industry. Secondly, we will look at how BS25999 can be implemented in organisations. Included in the day will be:
A session of expert speakers on the topics
A fully interactive Q&A session, allowing our audience to quiz our panel for their views, opinions and perceptions.
Our Panel Group will remain throughout the session to answer any questions that you might have during both the Event and the Networking Sessions.
An advice pack will also be available for delegates, and a dedicated area on our Website providing additional support and assistance. Our site will also host a discussion area on the topics raised to ensure progression of the issues identified and which we hope will extend the reach of the event.
All materials used will be available to delegates and members for download from the Continuity Forum Website
09:30 Registration, Networking and Refreshments
10:00 Welcome from the Continuity Forum A welcome to the day and general introduction to the Continuity Forum, our host & the days format Housekeeping will be covered in this section Sara McKenna
10:05 Introducing the Standards Forum and our Keynote Speaker
10.10 Setting the Scene - The Importance & Evolution of Standards This section will cover the issues facing the Industries at this time with particular regard to businesses preparations for major events. This presentation will include information on a broad range of international standards issues covering the US, UK and other major areas. In addition, we'll be exploring what needs to be done by organisations and how to achieve the most effective compliance. The session will also provide an update featuring the latest research carried out on the topic.
10:40 Standards in Business Continuity A presentation covering why the BSI has decided to introduce a specific BCM standard and how this benefits organisations of all types. In addition, we'llwill be providing an update on the new standard including the latest relevant news and a summary of the latest developments as they affect BCM within organisations.
11:10 Implementing BS25999 In this session we review and illustrate the new standard and cover how it can be applied to organisations to improve the BCM programme and meet the growing range of legislative, regulatory and organisational requirements.
This is intended to be a broad illustration of the type of planning needed and some examples of effects of failing to plan for events, as well as the importance of working with the diverse local interests This session will look at organisational issues of implementing the BS 25999 and how it can be used to address both commercial and operational issues.
We'll also be covering how to ensure that the right resources are targeted in the right way and maximising the commercial value from the Standard.
12:40 Closing the Gaps & Broadening the thinking This session rounds up the mornings topics including a Q&A prior to light lunch & networking
13:00 Light Lunch & Networking
If you would like to know more about how your organisation can get involved and benefit from working with the Continuity Forum, please email us HERE! or call on + 44 (0) 208 993 1599.
Effective planning in the Continuity area is recognised as a given; effective promotion of the topic, to encourage buy in both up and down the management chain is a different subject. Finding the methodology that works, that makes personnel at all levels want to be involved is a difficult subject, and many companies cite this as the most problematic area of the entire process. In particular, gaining the essential buy-in of Director level management is a difficult process, but without this endorsement, the further promotion of the ideals to the rest of the company can be almost impossible.
This event is aimed at all organisations within all industries. Individuals from within the planning and management of Emergency Planning , Business Continuity, Facilities, Operations, Insurance and Compliance Management matters should be invited to attend.
This event will be free for members to attend, and charged at £50 per delegate for non-members. This session will provide a session of expert speakers on the promotion of Continuity, who will use their own experiences to demonstrate their success, and how they achieved it.
We will also be including an interactive panel session, allowing our audience to quiz our panel for their views, opinions and perceptions. The responsibility for effective, measurable BCM management within organisations of all types will be stressed throughout the day, with special focus on how your promotion activities will ensure that the planning undertaken is understood and accepted by the business as a whole, helping you to facilitate and ease the process of developing organisational BCM.
10:00 Welcome from the Continuity Forum - Sara McKenna
10:05 Introducing the Event Brief introduction and welcome by Russell Price of the Continuity Forum followed by Keynote address.
10.10 Getting accustomed to protecting the organisation Through this session we look at why BCM is now so important for organisations. By showing the evolution and devlopment of the discipline we provide much of the resoning and logic needed to illustrate the benefits and show the value of the BCM process internally.
10:40 Promoting BC throughout the Business Through this session we look at how you can deal with lack of concern about continuity management among staff. We illustrate a variety of novel methods, developed both help implement effective plans and gain the support of the organisations personnel. Through this session we'll be sharing experience, illustrating the methods used, from start up all the way through to the ongoing process of managing and developing the BCM process, to encourage and motivate personnel.
11:10 Coffee Break and networking
11:40 Panel Session - What worked for us and why An open and interactive panel session, encouraging questions from the floor on the various approaches, ideas that worked, as well as those that did not. We also encourage our delegates to share their experiences and ideas.
12:10 Achieving Board Level Buy In This is intended to be a broad illustration of the type of promotion needed and some examples of effects of failing to be inclusive giving an overview of a group wide approach to achieving Board Level Buy In.
12:40 Involving & Informing your Stakeholders Actively promoting your business continuity plan can have surprisingly far reaching effects. Many larger organisations will not work with a supplier unless they can prove their plans. Promoting your efforts in advance can ease the supply chain issues, and can reassure your customers
13:10 Summary and Final Questions This session provides a summary of the key messages of the day and provides a final Q&A session on the days topics.
This event is free of charge for Continuity Forum members to attend, and charged at £50 per delegate for non-members.
This event will be NON-commercial in nature, focussing on issues relevant to the topic, and will be run under Chatham House Rules. The Session will aim to help you gain insight and constructive, tested and successful ideas showing how you can effectively improve the support and development of your organisations Business Continuity Management process.
A fully interactive Q&A session, allowing our audience to quiz our panel for their views, opinions and perceptions. Our facilitators will remain throughout the session to answer any questions that you might have during both the Event and the Networking Sessions. In addition, our members and delegates will have a dedicated Promotion section on our Website providing additional support including a private discussion area to ensure further followup on topics of interest or on specific issues identified. All materials used will be available to delegates and members for download from the Continuity Forum Website
For more details on our events, workshops and industry development work, as well as the general activities of the Continuity Forum please contact us directly on +44 208 993 1599 or mail us HERE!
Business Continuity Management - EVENT - Exercising and rehearsal - Advice
Exercising the BCM Plan
Special Facilitated Workshop Session
Exercising your plan is the most vital aspect of the planning process and one which is the topic of extensive discussion.
Through this facilitated WORKSHOP we provide practitioners with both direct support and materials, which will enable most to directly improve the viability and effectiveness of their Business Continuity Management process.
We are continuing this very popular and successful Event series with regular half day sessions that discuss vital Crisis Management topics covering Managing your People, working with stake-holders and Crisis Communications.
We also feature a significant Case Study on a leading British organisation, illustrating their approach to Crisis Management, including lessons learned from various crises. We also discuss the latest developments in business continuity, risk management and include recently updated information on market developments .
Category Business Continuity Management BCM - EVENT - Support - Advice
A Continuity Forum Event - Post Event Recovery
This half day event will provide high-level information on the types of events you face, and the risks your business could face. Looking at the likely impacts of an event, we focus on the key issues that private and public organisations now face, and explain how effective business continuity, crisis and risk management can help your organisation to survive, post-event.
Category Business Continuity Management Briefing BCM - BS25999 - BCM Standard
New British Standard for Business Continuity
Increasing numbers of organisations in the UK recognise the need for BCM. Their cognisance may be driven by customers, regulators, statutory requirements or even a desire to improve organisational governance. Whatever the driver it is acknowledged there is a need for guidance of how BCM should be implemented.
No commercial, public or voluntary organisation operates as an island; they are all dependent upon others to achieve successful delivery of products and services to their clients and customers. Those of us who have been working in the BCM arena for many years appreciate that a uniform approach to BCM, particularly across the supply network is essential. When quality management was first introduced the major commercial companies imposed their own quality standards on their suppliers. Any supplier serving a group of major customers was obliged to introduce a range of quality management methodologies to meet the customers demands.
If the same approach is taken with business continuity there would be serious issues. Whilst customers can assess the quality of goods and services delivered at anytime, the effectiveness of BCM is, in reality, only fully tested if and when an organisation is disrupted for whatever reason. It is therefore essential that there should be a way of assessing a BC programme in a non-disruptive situation.
For this to happen there needs to be a benchmark against which measurement can take place. A recognised BCM standard would provide such a baseline. In 1999, various government and industry partners created a set of measures for business continuity which could be used to assess Y2K BC plans.
In 2000 in conjunction with the Institute of Directors, the Continuity Forum published the first guide to Business Continuity for Director and Managers.
Following discussions with the UK Financial Services Authority the BCI created a set of guidelines for BCM, building on the Y2K work and the expertise of BC practitioners in the finance sector.
This comprehensive document, published in 2002 and in the autumn of 2002 an opportunity arose to create a British Standards Public Available Specification for BCM. A representative group of practitioners, drawn from public and private sectors, came together under the chairmanship of John Sharp, to develop PAS 56. This was subsequently published in March 2003.
To date this publication has sold over 6000 copies worldwide and forms the basis of BCM for many organisations. Following the UK Government experience with major incidents, including the fuel strike, floods and foot & mouth, it was felt that the existing legislation to deal with such widespread incidents was out of date.
In 2005 the Civil Contingencies Bill was introduced which was designed to improve UK resilience to disruptive events. For the first time BCM was included, placing an obligation on public bodies to put in place effective BCM to protect their capabilities at the time of an emergency.
Local authorities were also required to promote BCM to the wider community. The bill, which was subsequently enacted, was supported by guidelines designed to establish some uniformity in delivery across England & Wales. Practitioners, including John Sharp, assisted in the creation of these guidelines and it was insisted by those involved that the sections covering BCM should follow accepted practices and PAS 56 was used as a foundation. Whilst not being perfect, PAS 56 was seen by many as a defacto standard for BCM. Because of the level of interest in the PAS, opinion was canvassed by the Continuity Forum and the BCI as to the need for a full BSI standard for BCM. This led in July 2005 to formation a Technical Committee to start work on a full standard.
The Technical Committee consisted of approximately 36 members drawn from Government agencies, representative organisations and industry sectors. In order to accelerate the development of the standard, workgroups have undertaken the creation of the stages of the standard based upon the now accepted BCM wheel.
Basic elements will be incorporated into the standard, these are: Identification of critical activities which, if disrupted, have the greatest impact on the organisation, Identification of the resources that are used to support the critical activities, Development of appropriate BC plans to minimise the disruption to the critical activities Exercising of the plans, and The lessons learnt from the exercises that are then incorporated into modified plans.
The initial draft of the new BCM standard will be available for public consultation in June/July of this year. The first section to be published will be BS25999-1, a Code of Practice for BCM. This will be followed shortly afterwards by BS25999-2, a Specification for BCM against which, it is hoped, organisations will be able to seek certification. Following a period of consultation the Technical Committee will review comments received with a view to formally publishing the two parts in Sept/Oct 2006.
During 2007 the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) will be developing a scheme of accreditation for BCM auditing companies. Those who achieve accreditation by UKAS will be able to carry out assessment of organisations BCM programmes against BS25999-2 with a view to certifying them as compliant. Prior to this process being in place organisations will be able to carry out a self-assessment against BS25999-2. In addition it is expected that "business to business" (B2B) assessment will take place. By the end of 2007 the UK will have in place a BCM standard together with an accredited auditing regime.
The standard will have been built upon the best practices of UK BCM practitioners and the methodologies used by private, public and voluntary sectors. Certification against the standard will give assurance to regulators, insurers, investors and customers that those on whom they rely are better able to minimise the effects of disruptive events and will in turn lead to a more resilient UK.
The Continuity Forum will be hosting a number of special events and workshops to introduce the new standard and help organisations achieve the accreditation. For more details on these activities and the general activities of the Continuity Forum please contact us directly on +44 208 993 1599 or visit or website at www.continuityforum.org.
The Continuity Forum has announced the launch of our new Online BCM Benchmarking service, which is based on the current PAS 56 standard and includes elements anticipated within the forthcoming British Standard for BC.
Following a period of extensive consultation with industry professionals, this confidential Benchmarking tool comprises around a 100 questions covering all aspects of the BCM programme and enables a confidential comparison between your organisation's current level of planning and preparedness against Industry Best Practice.
The Continuity Forums Benchmarking Service is accessible directly through the Website (www.continuityforum.org) and is structured to enable the tracking of the development of an organisation's programme, facilitating cost effective use of resources, highlighting areas for further work and it'll even provide direct comparison data between key sectors and countries.
John Sharp, Policy and Development Director of the Continuity Forum, commenting on this announcement said Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ it is vital that organisations today assess the level of planning in place on a regular basis and to date that has proven to be very difficult. Our new Benchmarking Service will allow organisations to see how their BCM programmes compare against industry standards and in their own sectors quickly, easily and importantly, confidentially. We realised through dialogue with members, partners and the sector generally some time ago that there was a growing need for Independent Benchmarking for BCM and that the Forum was ideally placed to help organisations with this by providing a completely independent and confidential Benchmarking Tool.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a very natural extension of our work for the BC sectorÃ¢â‚¬Â says Russell Price CEO of the Continuity Forum Ã¢â‚¬Å“Over the years our Research programmes have been the main source of reliable data on BC issues internationally and by providing the Online Benchmarking Service I feel we are responding proactively to the developing maturity of the sector. We have received a lot of support for this initiative and I am confident that organisations of all types will find this service an invaluable tool assisting them to develop still further the effectiveness of BCM, as well as facilitating a greater management understanding of the issues and opportunitiesÃ¢â‚¬Â
To access the Online BCM Benchmarking click HERE! or for more information on our Benchmarking programme call us directly on +44 (0) 208 993 1599.
Events of the last few years convinced many corporate executives of the need for business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Someone would have to live in a bubble not to acknowledge the potential havoc that events like 9/11, the SARS pandemic and Hurricane Katrina can inflict on a business. But, even more mundane events can hurt a business and continuity plans can make the difference between surviving and failing in the aftermath.
With all the attention on natural disasters and terrorism, as well as complying with new regulations and legislation, it makes sense that many businesses have developed recovery plans and systems.