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By Jim Satterfield, President and COO of Firestorm

This article originally appeared on the Firestorm website and is reprinted here by permission of the author

A business continuity self-assessment is designed to provide a HIGH LEVEL assessment of an organization’s Preparedness. A business continuity self-assessment provides a diagnostic tool to prioritize decisions from a return on investment perspective.

Most corporate disasters and crises can be predicted. Acknowledging these signals and developing plans and infrastructure to manage the events which follow dramatically improves the outcome for all stakeholders. Every organization needs to identify its vulnerabilities - existing and potential - and institute procedures to monitor, plan, mitigate and train for impacts in the event of a crisis. Active participation among all levels and divisions within an organization accomplishes buy-in and support of the overall planning process and facilitates coordination in a crisis.
5 Common Failures

In the majority of organizations analyzed, Firestorm has found five common failures in a disaster or crisis.
The failure to:
  • Control Critical Supply Chains
  • Train Employees for Work and Home
  • Identify and Monitor all Threats and Risks
  • Conduct Exercises and Update Plans
  • Develop a Crisis Communications Plan
Business continuity planning identifies mission-critical business functions and enacts policies, processes and procedures to ensure the continuation of these functions during and after unforeseen incidents. Proper planning can keep a disruption from becoming a disaster. After all, the value of your company lies in its ability to continue to deliver critical products and services, and produce revenue.

If you don’t measure your readiness… how will you be able to manage it?

A continuity self-assessment may provide value to your organization in numerous ways. A self-assessment will:
  1. Allow your organization to adopt a business continuity program specific to its needs -- quickly, cost-effectively and in alignment with best practices and industry standards. It introduces discipline, holding the organization accountable to focus and participate in a business continuity life cycle planning effort.
  2. Discover the gaps in your continuity plan before the damage is done. Program weaknesses and gaps will be highlighted during initial assessments, which can then be built upon to show progress. Every organization needs to identify its vulnerabilities - existing and potential - and institute procedures to monitor, plan, mitigate and train for impacts in the event of a crisis.
  3. Diagnose strengths and weaknesses in your plan, and ensure your company has a sound ‘Culture of Preparedness’.
  4. Align your program for certification and meet your company’s unique needs. Aligning your program to industry standards and best practices will ensure your company’s ability to respond and recover form disasters and will be a key differentiator among competitors.
  5. Establish a consistent basis of evaluation and comparison of your business continuity program to the accepted best practices for business continuity. By measuring to a consistent set of criteria you will be able to chart progress and build a road map for the advancement of your program.
  6. Assess the business continuity readiness of your critical vendors across a common set of criteria. This will allow you to quickly identify those vendors that present risk to your company’s business, due to the vendor’s lack of adaptation of a sound ‘Culture of Preparedness’.
  7. Evaluate your organization’s progress toward preparedness and benchmark your program against the DHS initiative for PS Prep certification. Through a quantitative assessment process, deficiencies can be measured and improvements tracked, providing an objective view of your current level of preparedness, based on PS Prep recognized standards and industry best practices
  8. Quantify for senior management the urgency of action and pinpoints areas of need. The self-assessment is meant to provide the program “owner” with the ability to easily and confidently answer management questions regarding the state of the program.
  9. Demonstrate the return on investment of planning. By measuring program advancement you will be able to quantify progress and growth in your program thus justifying the investment of resources.

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What Tools Can Help you Self Assess?
  • Get Ready
  • Understand where your program is today in relevance to PS-Prep
  • Develop a roadmap
  • Advance your program
  • Educate executives
  • Start with self-declaration
  • Get involved! 

    To help you in your goal of program readiness, we provide a comprehensive self-assessment: Firestorm’s Business Continuity Self-Assessment process specifically addresses a high-level review of business continuity program alignment to industry standards and best practices. The self-assessment is conducted through a single sixty minute interview conference call. The results of the assessment will be a report, produced by Firestorm, which will measure the preparedness level of your company’s overall program, based on industry standards and best practices. This no-fee assessment is a $2500 value.  To start yours today CONTACT US HERE.
Learn More by Reading this Paper

 

    Ted Lamb

    The breadth and depth of the organization begins with its President, Ted Lamb.  Thirty-five years of senior and executive level experience has provided Ted Lamb an in-depth understanding and appreciation for the pressing decisions facing today's financial executives.  Lamb's leadership includes the Presidency of a banking organization and senior level leadership in the creation of a new technology application group for one of today's largest global computer organizations.  His hands-on experience in addressing C-and Board level pressing issues is reflected in his ability to successfully address financial and operational issues negatively influencing an organization's bottom-line. 

    Previous experience includes service as an elected official and most recently selected to service on the Expert Council of the prestigious Firestorm organization.

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