Is Your BCM Office an Epic Fail?

Top 15 Reasons BCM Offices Fail Miserably

Michael Herrera, CEO, MHA Consulting

As a global BCM firm, we work across all sizes and shapes of organizations. We work across a multitude of industries, with teams with lots of talent and not so much talent, management that cares and management that doesn’t have a clue about BCM.

So, what causes epic failures in BCM Offices? Here are our Top 15 reasons:

  1. BCM Managers lack the basic skills to manage themselves productively, let alone to manage cross-functional teams in large organizations.
  2. Managers believe BCM certifications are the BE ALL and END ALL to ensuring success, and they only hire people with them versus people who can EXECUTE.
  3. Team members have no clue about where the enterprise program stands when it comes to compliance and residual risk.
  4. There is no one single set of goals for the team to follow and accomplish.

  5. NO time is made for regular status meetings, strategic planning or there is NO use of a roadmap that outlines key initiatives for the program.
  6. Trying to “boil the ocean” by working on the entire organization versus only on high priority/high risk areas that will heighten compliance the most and reduce the most risk.
  7. Attempting too many BCM initiatives that can never be finished, that bring no value to the program, or that should be outsourced to make better use of staff time.
  8. Hiring too many BCM specialists who often end up with nothing to do, or who can’t help out across other parts of the program.
  9. Believing a new tool of some sort will save the day, but ending up with another function to administer or with failure of the tool due to lack of proper setup.
  10. Constantly making changes to their BCM methodology, causing rewrites that do nothing but confuse the stakeholders or waste their time.
  11. Micromanaging team members; not letting team members make their own mistakes and grow as planners.
  12. No cross training of team members to build succession into the organization.
  13. They don’t measure the skills of each team member to better understand baseline skill levels and how each team member can be used effectively.
  14. They try to do everything themselves and fail versus using a knowledgeable consultant to educate them and get things done in a timely manner.
  15. They hide from senior management because they don’t want them to know how bad the situation is across the organization.

So, who is at fault? All too often, the responsibility for failure of the BCM team falls on one person – the BCM Manager. He/she never takes a step back to look at the big picture and see what is happening across the organization.

If you CAN’T manage yourself well, there is a low probability that you will be successful in managing a cross-functional team for any size organization.

As the CEO of MHA, I must constantly step back and see how we are executing across our many clients, and how this fits into out strategic roadmap for the year. We have different skill sets that must be married to work across many different organizations and cultures. Our people know what our annual goals are, and where they fit in to make themselves and MHA successful. It took time and mentoring to heighten my ability to run an organization working across the globe. It didn’t happen overnight and I made a lot of mistakes.

But, as Jim Rohn, one of our greatest motivational speakers, said, the more you work on yourself, the more success you will attract. In other words, work on yourself, not on your job.

So, what do we see as characteristics of successful BCM Offices?

  1. Team manager manages himself/herself and daily operations in a highly organized and productive manner.
  2. Team manager clearly understands where the enterprise program stands by assessing compliance and residual risks on a regular basis.
  3. Team manager has a strategic plan and roadmap that is based on the state of compliance and residual risk.
  4. Team manager identifies a small number of key initiatives (3 to 5) that can be accomplished by the team to bring the greatest improvement in compliance and reduction in risk.
  5. Team meets on a regular basis to hold productive team reviews of where things stand, action items to resolve, and congratulate successes.
  6. Team manager hires multi-talented people who can execute to the roadmap and aren’t afraid to work in the trenches.
  7. Team manager focuses on simplicity in their BCM methodology and approach to maximize execution.
  8. Team manager makes it a priority to delegate tasks to team members to make them productive and let team members grow and make fewer mistakes over time.
  9. Team manager cross trains across areas of specialty to build succession into the team.
  10. Team manager continually assesses compliance, risk and team performance to update and execute roadmaps.

Richard Long is one of MHA’s practice team leaders for Technology and Disaster Recovery related engagements. He has been responsible for the successful execution of MHA business continuity and disaster recovery engagements in industries such as Energy & Utilities, Government Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Risk Management, Travel & Entertainment, Consumer Products, and Education. Prior to joining MHA, Richard held Senior IT Director positions at PetSmart (NASDAQ: PETM) and Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT) and has been a senior leader across all disciplines of IT. He has successfully led international and domestic disaster recovery, technology assessment, crisis management and risk mitigation engagements.

Business continuity consulting for today’s leading companies.

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