By Kathleen Lucey:
There is a lot of talk about BIAs and BIA methodologies these days, and some of these are being pitched at high volumes. Seeing these, I thought about the methodology I had developed in the mid-90s when I was faced with a difficult problem for a potential client.
The client, a global pharmaceutical company, had just been handed the results of a company-wide BIA that had cost approximately $400,000 produce. Unfortunately, they did not know what to do with the results. I quickly found out why: the information needed to develop plans was not included! And the information I did find needed review to ensure that it had not changed over the two-year development period. I had no other choice but to conduct a second BIA.
I changed the name and combined it with the information I knew I would need to develop a plan. I had done a few of these studies before and my prototypes seemed to work. And so, my team and I went forward, department by department, collecting this information (quite different than what had been done before) and, based on this collected information, began the task of developing recovery plans for which I developed another proprietary model. These were much shorter than most recovery plans at this time and did not require multiple appendices. Not surprisingly, the client loved them because they gave the information that was needed in the order it was needed. No flipping back and forth between plan text and appendices in a 3-ring binder.
When the ISO standards were developed for Business Continuity and more products for developing plans emerged, with or without BIAs, I did not find them as helpful as the tools I had already developed. So, I continued to help firms in many different sectors conduct their BIAs and develop their BC plans using the technology I had developed earlier, with periodic updates. And this approach still works well today because these shorter and more direct recovery plans can now be loaded to hand-held devices.
If you want to learn more about this system, as well as the skills you need to use it successfully, and to obtain a copy of the methodology, be sure to come to the 2018 Continuity Insights New York Conference on October 22 at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel. I hope to see you there!
About the Author: Since 2000, Kathleen Lucey has been a Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute (FBCI). She became Director of Risk Assessment and Incident Management at McGraw-Hill Financial Inc. in 2015. Previously she managed Montague Risk Management, a specialized consulting firm she founded in 1994. She is currently a member of the BCI Global Membership Council and writes and speaks widely on many different resilience/recovery topics at professional conferences and journals.