Implementing the plan: Part 1
The implementation of the business continuity plan is critical to the management’s success in weathering through the change. Having a plan is important, but without implementing it, it is as if there is no plan! Implementation can be divided into five general steps and needs to be done quickly. When working under a business continuity plan there is little time for wider consultation.
Identify the changes – What changes have the business continuity plan made?
Contact and inform stakeholders – Who is affected by the change?
Document and guide – How will stakeholders understand what has changed and what they need to do?
Monitor compliance – Is everyone complying with the changes? These include members of staff or external stakeholders (customers and vendors). What will the impact be on these relationships if someone does not comply?
Remediation – If there are problems with the implementation, how will the company fix the problem?
This part explains Identifying Changes and Contacting and Informing Stakeholders. The next part will explain documentation and guidance, compliance, and remediation.
Identify the changes
The plan will only be implemented after the governance model changes. What are the changes needed? A least one component of the governance structure will need to be updated; however, that further changes in other components may be required. Some examples include:
All contracts must be approved by the Executive Board; therefore, e-signature authority must be revoked.
The policy will be not to make refunds and instead offer a store credit; therefore, authority to issue refunds is revoked and authority to give credits is delegated to everyone.
Customer services cannot be given over the phone; therefore, the policy to request a refund is extended.
Identifying the full effects of the change ensure that the rest of the process is efficient. Before making changes, management must confirm they have reviewed how resources are reallocated. If there is not enough resource, they must consider if this change is necessary.
Contact and inform stakeholders
Each change will need to be communicated so that all stakeholders understand what the changes are and how they are affected. Each change will have at least three roles which will need to be informed:
The person whose role has been changed needs to be made aware that their responsibilities are different. This person may no longer approve certain transactions or may be required to grant approvals they did not before.
The person who is using the changed process need to know what they need to do differently.
The person who is monitoring the change needs to know what the change is and how they should ensure it has been complied with.
An example of this is a change to the cancellation policy. Management may discover that employees cannot reach the office and answer the phones; therefore, it may take longer for someone to log a cancellation request. They change the process to account for the business continuity plan and the policy to give staff time to process cancellations. Both the customer services team and the customers need to understand this change, but without informing the compliance team, these changes will show poor performance which would not help management confirm compliance.