At Benoit Racette Services-conseils inc. we’re often asked: are there ways of making resilience plans lighter and more operational? The answer is yes, and it’s true that these documents can sometimes be very cumbersome, containing a wide range of information.
If that’s what you need, this article is just the thing to answer your questions. We’ll give you a few tips on how to reduce the length of your resilience plans, specifically those for business continuity, crisis management and IT disaster recovery.
Create two separate documents
When these plans are drawn up, the first step is to draft a situation statement at the very beginning of the document. It sets the scene by explaining, for example, governance, roles and responsibilities, definitions, principles and so on.
Although this section of the plan is essential, it can be included in a separate document to reduce the length of the plan. This independent document then contains all the more generic information linked to it. This ensures that when measures need to be triggered in an emergency, employees have quick and efficient access to the procedures they need, right from the first pages of the plan. Alternatively, if you still want to keep all the information in a single file, you can move the generic directives to the appendix of the file, rather than to the very beginning.
Remember, it’s vital to be familiar with the generic directives before triggering a plan. To do this, you need to train everyone involved. A good way to keep your employees up to date on these procedures is to have them take a few online questionnaires on a regular basis.
Other solutions in a flurry
There are other ways to make your resilience plans more effective and accessible. Here are just a few:
- Don’t use paper, but rather a system specially designed for resilience plans, which are hosted cloud-based. In addition to being an environmentally-friendly solution, this makes it easier to access documents via various devices (computer, phone, tablet, etc.).
- Use collaborative platforms, such as Sharepoint or OneDrive, to which all stakeholders have access. However, this method requires more manual updates.
- Use visual approaches, such as flow charts.
Simplification does not mean merging by “obligation”.
If you’re thinking about simplifying your resilience plans, there’s one pitfall to avoid: don’t try absolutely hard to consolidate several pieces of information that come from different departments in your company, as this could cause important details to be lost or diluted. If certain teams have similar or highly complementary tasks and responsibilities, it may be possible to consolidate them in a single plan. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid this approach. It’s important to always group together departments with similar business functions (processes or activities).
By adopting the approaches described above, you can simplify and ensure that your business continuity, crisis management and IT disaster recovery plans are both more concise, more operational and ready to be put into action when needed.
If you need professional help to build the right resilience plans, or to optimize them, contact us today: [email protected].