We continue to urge all businesses and organizations to have a risk management plan. Further, what is termed a business continuity plan is also essential. However, many people confuse the two. True, they are related and typically work together to help keep organizations safe and, should an unfortunate incident occur, allows them to reopen and begin operating as quickly as possible. However, the two are not the same.
To explain the differences, we turn to Kim Nguyen, CEO of Prestige Analytics, Inc. Kim has comprehensive experience with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), training methodology and disaster response. Here, he helps us better understand the differences between a Risk Management Plan and a Business Continuity Plan:
- A Risk Management Plan is about processes that are enacted before a disaster occurs. This means that a risk management plan is primarily concerned with protecting a business from risk by identifying potential vulnerabilities and defining a way to minimize their probability.
- On the other hand, a Business Continuity Plan is about processes that are designed to be enacted after a disaster has occurred. The goal of a business continuity plan is to maintain business operations after an actual disaster.
- Risk Management is primarily a strategic undertaking. It is focused on understanding and planning for a variety of hypothetical situations that could harm people, facilities, or data.
- A Business Continuity plan is tactical thinking. A business continuity plan focuses on the actual steps an organization can take after a business disruption occurs to get its operations up and running as quickly as possible.
Further, Nguyen offers the following advice to all those considering establishing or updating a current Risk Management or Business Continuity Plan:
- Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.
- Identify, document, and implement ways to recover critical business functions and processes.
- Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
- Conduct training for the business continuity team along with testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.
“Finally, follow the guidelines put forth by ready.gov. This website offers solid, practical advice that every organization should follow, especially in today’s uncertain world.”
As you can see, there is quite a bit involved. Dealing with potential and unforeseeable risks and keeping a business operating should one occur is crucial for every organization. Many organizations attempt to put together a risk management and business continuity plan in-house. While these can be effective, this can be an extensive undertaking and not every organization has the resources to handle such a comprehensive task.
Furthermore, even when they do, they often need a fresh set of eyes to evaluate their situation. In today’s world, bringing in a fresh set of eyes such as Team-TAL Global or those at Prestige Analytics, Inc. can be one of the most effective and cost-saving steps any organization can take.
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