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Business Continuity Planning and Implementation

7 Minute Read

DRI International (DRII) has developed an overview of professional practices designed to “assist the entity in the development and implementation of a BCM program.” In addition to being sound resiliency methods, these practices serve as a foundation for various DRII business continuity professional certifications.

With this resource as a guide, we at Send Word Now are briefly examining each professional practice, tying in relevant concepts surrounding emergency communications. Our sixth article in a series highlights DRII’s Professional Practice Six: Business Continuity Plan Development and Implementation.

Up to this point in the business continuity management process we’ve reviewed, much analytical and conceptual work has been completed with regards to preparing the organization for unexpected events. In this sixth phase, previous efforts are fully approved, then documented in a formalized business continuity plan.

According to DRII, “relevant teams design, develop and implement the continuity strategies approved by the entity, and document the recovery plans to be used in response to an incident.” The resiliency professional’s roles in this involve:
• Designing, developing and implementing agreed upon recovery strategies
• Defining framework and documenting structure for the plan documentation
• Coordinating the effort to document plans and the technology that supports them
• Publishing the plan document

Plan Development/Implementation and Emergency Communications
As with other phases, considerations for notification practices and technology come into play. For starters:

Make sure notification is viewed as a strategic resource. As recovery strategies may have been formulated with a diversity of inputs across a variety of departments and teams, it is possible certain “big picture” perspectives may be missing—including the overall use of notification technology. Ensure resiliency plans are supported by strong communication practices and technologies in a unified, cohesive and strategic way.

Ensure recovery strategies leverage the full capabilities of notification. Recovery strategies should also utilize the full spectrum of capabilities the technology offers. Whether using alerts to muster the crisis response team on a conference call, utilizing features such as Send Word Now’s Get Word Back for two-way communication, or initiating geographically targeted alerts, today’s notification services often feature a myriad of options for getting information to the right people. Make sure you are benefitting from the flexibility and power of the technology.

Identify areas where integrating notification with other solutions would be beneficial. Send Word Now offers a documented Application Programming Interface (API) and other tools for connecting its notification service with other third-party solutions and databases (such as HR, BCP, etc.). This can save significant time and effort from an administrative standpoint, while helping ensure contact data and other details are up to date.

Ensure your notification service is secure. First, make sure your vendor passes rigid security standards and certifications so you can feel confident your data and service are protected. You might also consider implementing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication or Single Sign-On.

Set notification expectations when implementing the plan. As the business continuity plan is rolled out to the organization, it’s a great time to communicate expectations regarding how a notification service will be used and the role employees/stakeholders will play in resiliency.

Developing and implementing the business continuity plan is the culmination of much hard work. While the job isn’t finished at this point, a roadmap for resiliency has nevertheless been established and implemented which will serve the organization during challenging times.

If you’re interested in learning more about DRI International’s BCM certifications, you can find additional information here. Watch for future installments in this series.

It should be noted DRI International is not listing these professional practices in order of importance, and suggests some of these may be undertaken in parallel with one another._