In this article I am going to concentrate purely on the importance of completing a proper, structured Business Impact Analysis as part of your Business Continuity Planning.

For the sake of clarity, the Business Impact Analysis is the methodology or process through which an organisation can assess the potential impact of a disruption on services, products or processes. The results of the analysis quantify the damage or loss the organisation will face if it cannot operate normally.

Business Impact Analysis is so fundamental to the whole Business Continuity Planning process that it is worth spending some time on it to get it right, complete it properly and to use the results. These are the very reasons I launched my Simple and Effective Business Impact Analysis Product which you can buy directly from my website.

A good, solid and organised approach is required and when conducted properly the results will form the basis of much of the rest of your Business Continuity work.

For a start you will understand the priorities of the organisation and it’s stakeholders. You will also be able to decide appropriate Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives thus allowing you to organise your continuity strategy. The analysis will also identify the critical dependencies on which your continuity strategy relies.

I always find the results of the Business Impact Analysis interesting. Using a structured, logical and consistent approach avoids mistakes in your Business Continuity Planning caused by the department heads who believe the world will stop turning if his team cannot operate for 10 minutes or indeed the opposite extreme where departments deem themselves not critical and yet provide a small but crucial part of a critical process or service. The Business Impact Analysis results are based on logic and rational thinking rather than subjectivity or self promotion.

I want to return to the point above about dependencies. This is an area of the analysis that always requires additional investigation and focus. In order to undertake a process, deliver a service or make a product you will need certain things in the form of inputs or support. It therefore follows that if the Business Impact Analysis has helped you identify the Recovery Time Objective for a process, service or product – everything associated with it or on which it depends must be subject to the same standard or objective. A simple example would be a process with a Recovery Time Objective of 2 hours that relies on up to date data sourced from your data centre. If your data centre cannot be recovered within the 2 hour Recovery Time Objective following a disruption then it clearly causes a knock on effect. Work will be required to ensure the datacentre recovery arrangements are aligned to the requirements of your organisation.

I guarantee you will find the completion of a Business Impact Analysis to be an important and relevant part of your Business Continuity Planning. You will need a structured approach and some commitment in terms of time and effort but it’s such an important element it really is worth getting it right.

If you need help in this area I will be happy to assist you or alternatively why not try my Simple and Effective Business Impact Analysis product? Don’t forget it even comes with a money back guarantee!

September 16, 2013 at 10:18 am
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Category: Business Impact Analysis
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