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Business continuity management

Business, governments, institutions and organizations in any part of the world have major emergencies, fears and risks that thwart their existence, survival and continuation of their outlined activities laid out by the set goals. The concern of this paper however will confine itself to business. A business is set up to make profits through providing services or by trading in goods.

For any such a business then, to be successful there are the laid out procedures and the means that are to be followed from the initial phase to the final phase to realize these goals. These means and procedures in any business if altered or terminated, then the whole philosophy becomes an illusion[1].What are of most important are the personnel in a business and their delivering formula.

However, the personnel alone cannot hit the set target; therefore other elements like technology, machinery, furniture, computer and telecommunication, and customers must be incorporated to guarantee maximum efficiency, top scale effectiveness and high standards achievement.

In this connection therefore, every business management needs to come up with ideas and plans that are meant to prepare for any threat that can lead to interruption. In this sense, the business strategy is to develop a process of accurately and effectively coming up with a full package for readiness. Incase a contingency strikes, an outline on what to do when it strikes or a recovery from one that has already stricken is very important. The package analyses the potential effects posed and the risks involved.

The continuation of a business is very important to ensure that there are no losses incurred either in market share, loss of customers or business fraud and/or complete collapse of the business. The business fraternity thus embraces continuity management plans whose main missions are to assemble and organize all business departments, assess the fears and risks that can occur on a frequent basis, outline the procedures and plan to be taken to prepare, mitigate and walk out of an eventuality, and to ensure that any alteration in the business environment and processing are reflected in the overall business continuity planning.

In other words continuity management is a business issue that deals with the combination of main and subordinate departments in a business to ensure power of endurance of the business[2].

The concept of business continuity management therefore is an inclusive strategy that is incorporated of business recovery, planning, contingency planning, risk management, crisis management and resumption of business. Business continuity management in this case means providing the business with the advantage of competitive continuity without interruption of the activities, operations and daily projected services.

A business that embraces continuity management has aggressive advantage over others that do not recognize this concept. Business continuity management is composed of a number of key presentations. First is to understand the position of the business and identifying the resources. This involves evaluating the activities of the business and what would be the consequences resulting to occurrence of any disaster or interruption.

It deals with posing questions of who are the most critical personnel in the business, what amount of dependency does the business has, and how long can it run without an essential part working. Secondly is to lay down the business continuity strategy which involves determining how the risks will be managed. Third, involves developing implementation and response plans that allow preparation of a detailed arrangement explaining on how to recover from a situation.

It is at this stage that business continuity plan is developed. Business continuity plan is a business document that outlines the business activities, resources, risks and personnel involved and it clearly develops the purpose of  its existence its assumptions ,its development, maintenance and its testing on designated number of  times to ensure that a comprehensive strategy against interruption is maintained[3]. Business continuity planning is a process.

It is also at this phase that crisis management plan document is developed. It involves detailing methods of identifying, preparing and planning against crises occurrence with the most cost effective procedures.[4] Therefore, crises management document, lists the probable crises likely to occur to a business, the management team responsible, the assumptions, its development, maintenance, testing and the hot sites incase of a crises.

This means that business continuity planning and crises management are different from business continuity management in that the former two are contained in the latter. Business continuity management other presentations are change of culture, maintenance, and business continuity programme development.

Disaster recovery is contained in the disaster recovery and response plan. It forms one of the five phases of this document. Disaster recovery means when the disaster has finally stricken the details, explanations and rules in this document are used at this stage. Disaster recovery outlines these procedures that help the business to establish to a stable position that is safe both to the personnel and to the business.

Disaster planning is a process that involves preparation of a plan that helps in restoration of the organization back to its position after a disaster strikes. It outlines the steps to be taken immediately the contingency happens and after stabilization of the situation in a document referred to as disaster recovery plan. This document analyses all possible risks according to historical, geographical or human error and makes sure that every personnel is trained and has a copy of it[5].

A risk is the likelihood of a business, an organization, a government or an institution loosing the expected rate of return of a particular interest in its undertakings. In conclusion of this essay paper then it is crucial that businesses embrace a culture of continuity management to insulate their assets against big losses and save lives at times.

Bibliography:

Elliott Dominic, Swartz Ethné and Herbane Brahim, Business continuity management: a crisis management approach. ISBN 0415204917, 9780415204910, Routledge, 2002

Luecke R. Harvard Business School, Barton L.  And Barton L. Crisis Management: Master the Skills to Prevent Disasters, Harvard Business Press, ISBN 1591394376, 9781591394372, 2004.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Business Continuity Plan, 1995. Retrieved 8th April 2009 <http://web.mit.edu/security/www/pubplan.htm>

Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. Nonprofit, Coordinating Committee of New York, Disaster Planning. Retrieved 9th April 2009 < www.npccny.org/info/Disaster_Planning.doc>

The Business Continuity Directory, 2004. Retrieved 9th April 2009 <http://www.business-continuity-and-disaster-recovery-world.co.uk/>

[1] Dominic Elliott, Ethné Swartz and Brahim Herbane, Business continuity management: a crisis management approach. ISBN 0415204917, 9780415204910, Routledge, 2002, pp. 2

[2] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Business Continuity Plan, 1995. Retrieved 8 April 2009 <http://web.mit.edu/security/www/pubplan.htm>

[3] The Business Continuity Directory, 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2009 <http://www.business-continuity-and-disaster-recovery-world.co.uk/>

[4] R. Luecke, Harvard Business School, L. Barton and L. Barton, Crisis Management: Master The Skills To Prevent Disasters, Harvard Business Press, ISBN 1591394376, 9781591394372, 2004, p.37-45.

[5] Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. , Nonprofit, Coordinating Committee of New York, Disaster Planning

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, retrieved 9 April 2009 <www.npccny.org/info/disaster_plan.htm>

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