Thursday, 31 October 2013

Identifying your organization's business continuity requirements

Kuniyuki Tashiro
InterRisk Research Institute and Consulting

When I started to learn about business continuity management 10 years ago when I worked for a manufacturing company, one of my biggest questions was how to perform a business impact analysis (BIA) in our company. I could not find enough information to improve my understanding of the methodology behind BIA at that time. Nowadays we can access a lot of information about BCM through many books, standards, guidelines, seminars, or websites. But despite the situation getting better, many people still say that BIA methodology is unclear.

I think that one of the biggest reasons is that there are various methods used for BIA at different levels or for different purposes. Furthermore, the methods should be customized for each organization and developed with an understanding of the organization's context.

However, the latest version of the Good Practice Guidelines (GPG) has great potential to help deepen our understanding of BIA because the explanation of what it involves has been substantially expanded. In the 'Analysis' section of the guidelines, the methodology for BIA is explained with four different stages - Initial BIA / Strategic BIA / Tactical BIA / Operational BIA. This does not mean you have to divide your BIA process into four stages, but that understanding the four stages of BIA with each outcome would be a strong starting point for planning BIA in your organization, and customizing/developing BIA methodology. The guidelines also provide a practical knowledge for risk assessment in BCM by discussing the benefit of a 'Threat Analysis' to identify unacceptable concentration of risk or single points of failure.

In my session - 'Analysis' on the first day of the conference - I will discuss how to apply the methodologies described in GPG to the organization by using case studies so that attendees can obtain a practical knowledge.

Kuniyuki will be discussing this within the 'BCM Lifecycle' stream at the BCM World Conference on Wednesday 6th November, starting at 15:20.

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