Four Key Dimensions of a BCM Program – #2 Crisis Management

Michael Herrera

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 as well as the other three (3) dimensions.

This week, we will discuss Crisis Management.  Crisis Management is defined as the advanced preparedness of  the senior management of an organization to effectively respond and recover from a critical disruption to the business.   The components of the Crisis Management dimension are as follows:

  1. Team – Are primary and alternate team members identified for each key role?  Are team members capable of managing their role on the team?
  2. Crisis Management Team Plan – Does a comprehensive plan, consistent with industry best practices, direct the team and its response?
  3. Crisis Communications Plan – Does a documented plan outline the guidelines and steps to effectively communicate during a crisis?
  4. Command Centers – Do we have physical and virtual command centers in place for team members to assemble at during a declared event?
  5. Pandemic Planning – Does the Crisis Management plan reference pandemic planning guidelines and standards?
  6. Exercises –  Are regular mock disaster exercises held to heighten team sophistication and maturity?
  7. Training & Awareness – Is the team regularly trained on the process and how to effectively respond?
  8. Maintenance –  Is the Crisis Management process and associated documents regularly updated and maintained?

The successful implementation and ongoing administration of the Crisis Management dimension and its key components ensures the success of its dependent dimensions (Business Recovery and IT Disaster Recovery) in a declared event.

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

    • Team
    • Crisis Management Team Plan
    • Crisis Communications Plan
    • Exercises

Medium Priority – Essential  to Success and Recovery

    • Command Centers
    • Pandemic Planning
    • Training and Awareness
    • Maintenance

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 Crisis Management program.

Next week – The Business Recovery Dimension

emergency response planning