On the Road to the Right Target

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You’ve undoubtedly heard, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” I add, and without the right measurements, you’ll never know when you’re where you want to be. This is true of personal and business goals. And certainly, true of the goals set for your business continuity program. Hitting the right target is a product of first understanding and setting the right goals, and then establishing the right measurements to know when you’re on target.

It’s a lot like planning a trip. The more complicated the trip, the better the road map must be. Perhaps the destination is far away or a place you’ve never been. There are many people coming with you or meeting you there. Expectations are high and timeline is short. Setting the destination, seeking input from expert sources, and setting mile-markers that measure progress greatly increase your chances of arriving at the dream vacation spot on time and ready to relax.

Why do we measure?

The destination for any business continuity program is to ensure continued service to clients and stakeholders even when threatened by natural or man-made crisis situations. A simple goal. However, there are a lot of moving pieces that must work together to ensure success under stressful circumstances. Ultimately executives and leadership want to know, “Can my business survive a major disruption without harming my brand’s reputation?” And, can state categorically to clients, stockholders and regulators, “Yes, we can”.

What do we measure?

Mapping the right route to any destination requires mission-critical facts. The challenge is creating a comprehensive, meaningful picture across multiple initiatives in a relatable language business leaders embrace. Quantifiable data points such as number of plans and tests complete, plans reviewed and maintained, personnel participating in training and tests are all excellent and categorical ways to show progress toward crisis readiness. Additionally, the qualitative measurements must be included to help show progress against the roadmap. The completeness, availability and readiness of policy, context framework, teams and operational protocols add rich detail and meaning to the travelogue. Furthermore, regular benchmarking review against industry regulations, standards and best practices illuminate gaps and weaknesses that require attention before they catch you off guard and before you reach your destination.

How do we measure?

First, establish the context of your business continuity program by understanding the end goal. Build a framework and outline it in policy with clear roles and responsibilities. Then build a map that guides your program along a clear route. Know your starting point, distance, best and alternate routes and set meaningful progress measurements. Enlist expert resources that resonate with your industry, geography and company’s culture. Lastly ensure your measuring progress against eliminating the five common failures in a crisis: Failure to 1. control supply chain, 2. train employees, 3. identify and monitor threats, 4. update and test plans regularly and 5. have a crisis communication plan.

At Firestorm, we specialize in helping clients build strong business continuity programs with an emphasis on solving real-world problems seen in today’s headlines. Learn more about measuring for success by attending our next webinar, sponsored by Disaster Recovery Journal, “Before or After a Crisis? Benchmarking Preparedness – How do we know if we are ready?” and reading our infographic, Five Common Failures in a Crisis.

Also, please join us for our next Virtual Stress Test on Feb 2:  Learn More and register:

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