Making BCP personal

I am just wondering if anyone has any tips on making BCP more personal when the plan owner is in denial that no incident will ever affect them and their team?

It is proving to be quite challenging trying to make scenarios applicable to various heads of department when it is rejected with 'that will never happen anyway' kind of response. 

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  • Rina,

    Did you ever consider working with HR and the CRO to ensure that Risk Management activities are incorporated into work objectives and tied into bonuses and interim and annual reviews? You could get them(HR and CRO) to sign if off and you could send out a communication to all internal stakeholders that this will be adopted as part of the risk culture.

    If this risk objective is in place, you can just document your discussions that the Head of Departments didn't engage. If the culture is strong, this will feed back into their work performance reviews and ultimately impact their bonus/share options etc.

    It is never too late to change direction even if the culture there is 'well this is how we have always done it and there is no risk to x, y or z occurring'. Nobody has a crystal ball to determine the future.

    Good luck with it, John

  • Hi Rina,


    Top management’s strong buy-in and support is definitely a pre-requisite for any successful BCP initiative, particularly when there are HoDs who aren't fully on-board in appreciating the importance and benefits of having a BCP.

    As a practitioner, I would run through the BCP plans (including the scenarios) with top management to get their endorsement. Once this is obtained, it would be easier to push ahead with the BCP proper (of course there will still be minor obstacles along the way).

    Having said that, the most effective way (in my view) is still to obtain the HoDs’ buy-in and support willingly. However, when all else fails, in order to get things done, we are sometimes left with no other option but to play the “authority” card.

    Once the HoDs are aware that the BCP is backed by top management and that they are equally (if not more) responsible if "things fall apart comes the testing phase", they would be more involve and less likely to hinder the process.

    Do share with me what you think. Cheers.

  • Hi Raymond,

    Thanks for your response. Very helpful indeed. Yes it is very much so. I actually talked over which areas were more critical and as ever with these things got a 'everything we do is important/critical'. I think with the HoDs in question is that their risk appetite is too (unrealistically) large. I went through some scenarios and what would hurt situations and it was still taken as 'its never going to happen' and 'I'm going to just make it up as I go along'. 

    Perhaps when it comes to the testing phase, and it all falls apart it will be a perception changer especially when top management challenge  why it failed. Your thoughts? 

  • Hi Rina,

    You have posed an interesting (yet at the same time frustrating) question indeed.

    Without much details to dwell on, my suggested practical approach would be to zero in on the business activities that would be most affected for that particular Department (i.e. its main business risks) in the event of a business continuity event (disaster) - basically establishing (for the HoD) what hurts that Dept the most comes apocalypse.

    More often than not, people will only sit up and take note when they realized the possible and probable impact to their own interests (thereby personalizing it) is huge.

    Hope it helps. Cheers.

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