Four Key Dimensions of a BCM Program – #1 Program Administration

Michael Herrera

A successful BCM Program Administration dimension ensures the success of Crisis Management, Business Recovery and IT Disaster Recovery.

At MHA we divide up the Business Continuity Management (BCM) program into four (4) key dimensions that includes Program Administration, Crisis Management, Business Recovery and IT Disaster Recovery.  We believe that when these 4 dimensions are operating optimally  individually and an in an integrated fashion, the BCM program will have a high level of sophistication, maturity and capability.

Each of these dimensions have components that must be implemented successfully to ensure success of the dimension itself as well as the other three (3) dimensions.

This week, we will discuss BCM Program Administration.  Program Administration is defined as the management of the underpinnings of the program to ensure success across the other dimensions. The components of the Program Administration dimension are:

  1. Management Oversight – Does the program have committed support and guidance on an ongoing basis?
  2. Budget – Does the program have adequate funding on a multi-year basis?
  3. Policy – Does my documented policy direct enterprise BCM efforts?
  4. Business Impact Analysis – Do we know what business processes and systems/applications are critical?
  5. Business and IT Alignment – Are our business technology requirements aligned with the current IT recovery capabilities?
  6. Threat and Risk Assessment – Have our relevant threats and risks been identified?
  7. Plan Development Standards – What standards have been set for developing comprehensive plans to recover?
  8. Recovery Strategy Standards – Are we setting best practices for identifying relevant strategies for recovery?
  9. Recovery Exercise Standards – Do we set increasingly complex testing requirements based on criticality?
  10. Maintenance Standards – Are we mandating updates of our program in a timely manner?
  11. Pandemic Planning – Do we have documented strategies to deal with a pandemic?
  12. Training and Awareness Program – Are all levels of our organization trained in the BCM program?
  13. Metrics – Do we have a tool to measure current state of our maturity and capability?
  14. Document Repository – Do we have a secure, organized, highly-available site to store our critical documents and plans?

The successful implementation and ongoing administration of the BCM Program Administration dimension and its key components ensures the success of its three dependent dimensions (Crisis Management, Business Recovery and IT Disaster Recovery).

Should I work equally as hard on all of the components or are some more important than others?  What we believe as priority of implementation based on our experience is as follows:

High Priority – Critical to Success and Recovery

    • Management Oversight
    • Budget
    • Business Impact Analysis
    • Business & IT Alignment
    • Threat & Risk Assessment
    • Pandemic Planning
    • Training and Awareness

Medium Priority – Essential to Success and Recovery

    • Plan Development Standards
    • Recovery Exercise Standards
    • Recovery Strategy Standards
    • Maintenance Standards
    • Document Repository

Low Priority – Needed but not Critical or Essential to Recovery

    • Policy
    • Metrics

By implementing and maintaining these components in a systematic fashion, you will have set the critical foundation and infrastructure in place for success of your enterprise BCM program.

Next week – The Crisis Management Dimension