Organisational Resilience Planning

Organisational Resilience (OR) is the new buzzword rapidly replacing Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and it’s predecessor Disaster Recovery (DR) on the lips of directors and senior executives worldwide.  Rightly so too!  As a senior accountable individual you should be regularly considering your plans and actions in order to ensure that your organisation is resilient to what this increasingly complex and fast-paced world can throw at it.  You owe it to yourself, your shareholders, your employees and your customers.

Our blog for project professionals, PM Advisor, has an excellent introduction to OR, which we summarise here:

Organisational Resilience
Organisational Resilience Management, ORM (or Business Continuity Management, BCM) is an incredibly critical, but often overlooked, activity for businesses large and small.

What is ORM?
Put simply it is a holistic management process that:

  • identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation,
  • provides a framework for building resilience, and
  • the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand, and value creating activities.

Often Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are confused as the same thing. Disaster Recovery (the recovery of critical business data and/or IT systems) is only, an albeit important, component of a more holistic approach to protecting the continuance of a business.
Increasingly organisations are rightly focusing their efforts on “Organisational Resilience“, a term which is interchangeable with business continuity management.

Why is ORM Often Overlooked ?
There are several levels of OR ‘maturity’ in organisations:

  • Some just don’t realise that they should consider the effects of failure.
  • Some realise that there is a risk but consider that the risk is not big enough to do anything about it.
  • Some will believe that insurances will help them balance the risks.
  • A growing number of businesses are starting to take a step towards managing continuity by putting in place disaster recovery systems to help them restore data and IT systems in the event of an incident.
  • Only a small (but slowly growing) proportion of businesses actively prepare themselves for the worst, whilst of course hoping that their preparations are never needed.

Where is your organisation on this scale?  Wherever you are, consider this question:

What could go wrong?
Any element or combination of fire, flood, theft, vandalism, service outage, equipment failure, loss of critical information, incapacitation of key resources and more could leave your business paralysed. For many businesses within a matter of hours this can lead to severe revenue impacts and very quickly leave their reputation irreparably damaged. Depending on the severity of an incident and the time it takes to recover service, a startling number of impacted businesses fail to recover and actually quickly go out of business.

What is an Organisational Resilience Plan (ORP)?
A fundamental part of ORM, an ORP considers risks and puts in place affordable mitigations to allow timely continuance of an organisations core functions in the event of that unwanted and unexpected disaster. Put simply, in preparing your ORP you will need to look at the main risks to your business, their likely impact, and then devise unique recovery strategies, and incident response plans.

Are there other benefits in having an ORP?

Yes. Apart from allowing company directors and officers to sleep more soundly, there are many significant benefits including:

  • access to more tender lists (having an ORP or BCP is increasingly seen as a basic competitive requirement)
  • reduced insurance premiums
  • customer satisfaction, client confidence & competitive advantage
  • employee confidence & retention

You may be wondering, why is Organisational Resilience Planning relevant to project management professionals?

ProjExc ORP Project Steps

An ORP is a plan for your organisation’s most important project, but one which you hope will never need to be implemented. Who better to prepare that plan than a project planning expert? A project management professional is essential for the planning, but it is noteworthy that many project managers don’t have sufficient specific knowledge or the full toolset needed to efficiently prepare an effective and reliable BCP. While many large organisations will have a program or project management office (PMO) suitably equipped for helping prepare a BCP, many others don’t have that luxury.

How can ProjExc help with your Organisational Resilience?
Whether you want to implement ORM in such a way as to fully comply with the standards within ISO 22301, or you just want to use a common sense approach based on recognised best practice, ProjExc can help. They have the expertise, tools, templates and experience to guide you or your project manager through every stage from policy creation to testing and acceptance of your solutions as well as the ongoing maintenance of your plans. What’s more they have a collaborative framework in place to help bring together the experts needed to ensure that your business has the needed protection, within the timescales you need and within a budget that you can afford.

Contact the team at ProjExc to find out how easy it will be to create real organisational resilience for your business, before it’s too late!

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