Therapy for BIA (Business Impact Analysis ) Addicts v.2.0 | Rina Singh RESILIENCE POD
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
I think business impact analysis addicts need therapy. There, I said it!
I always knew this area was somewhat of a controversial task back when I first started out in the industry and wrote about this topic originally (Read it here) and I also spoke about it on a podcast. (Listen to it here) Fast forward to end of 2019, now having done hundreds of them, and it still resonates.
I think BIA addicts need therapy. There, I said it! Twice!
Often or not the most common scenarios I hear are:
· We don't want any BIA's, just write the plan;
· Someone did a BIA 3 years ago, but we don't really follow it; and, the BEST one I heard to date
· We do BIA's three times a quarter and have been for the past year!
THREE times a quarter? Yes, that is right folks. Three times a quarter. I thought it was a joke at first.
The BIA Addict
Let me introduce you to what I call a BIA addict. In this type of organisation, business plan owners are typically called BIA owners, and instead of going through the business continuity management lifecycle the company gets stuck. Stuck doing the same thing as a broken cassette player we used to listen to back in the eighties. It started off with best intentions to familiarise staff with the process; however, repeatedly reliving the same ground hog day without learning from it results in disengaged stakeholders.
Therapy starts here
Enter my pod , grab the empty chair and let's start the therapy... 👇🏽
The BIA Loop
It is essential that any business continuity professional starting off in this industry realises that to fully understand whether the business capability is effective we need to be aware of what we do, and then, how we can recover and prioritise that. Going around a BIA loop on what we do so many times doesn’t give us the latter. All this does is just updates parts of the information without adding any real tangible value.
What’s really happening is the distinction between BIA and business continuity planning is lost. It becomes a BIA plan rather than business continuity plan. Basically, the business continuity plan has the whole BIA in it, instead of the BIA being a part of business continuity planning.
A Better Solution Starts Here
So how do you get out of this loop? Here are some key points to follow:
The full business continuity management lifecycle needs to be conducted. Without going past the analysis stage, how can you know if what you are inputting is feasible?
Refinements should be a natural ongoing progress.
The BIA addicts in some may say that this is ridiculous, but BIA’s need not be perfect. Don’t hold off planning for a perfect BIA.
·Don’t repeat them so many times without planning and validating the analysis/assumptions.
After stopping BIA repetition and moving forward, it’s much easier to produce something more tangible and business continuity planning starts to make sense. Changes are now made from real tangible lessons from going through the business continuity lifecycle, creating plans, and exercising them. Also, throw in some real-life incidents to add to the excitement! It becomes just a natural part of the program, instead of a way of life.
When it’s time to update the BIA again, it will be a piece of cake.
Are you a BIA addict?
· Is all this completely out of your comfort zone and sounds utterly ridiculous?
· Do you want the perfect BIA?
· Do your stakeholders run/hide/avoid you every time you want a BIA meeting?
· Are you updating it more than three times a quarter?
· Have you done a BIA but no plan for the past year?
Then you my friend, may just be a BIA addict.