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A prevailing myth about business continuity planning is that you can develop a plan for one company and then easily replicate it for another via a simple “search and replace.” If only it was that simple. While there are common elements in all business continuity plans, there are many organization-specific factors and nuances which must be considered to ensure a business continuity program is successful at implementation and over time. Below are key considerations for both business continuity planners and the organizations they serve. Know your industry Business continuity programs should reflect both the industry norms and the organization’s culture.…


Tracey (Wilder) Mayer

Tracey (Wilder) Mayer, CBCV, CPCP, is the associate managing director for Witt O’Brien’s, one of the leading emergency management and disaster response consultancies in the US. A business continuity and crisis leader with more than 20 years of industry experience, Mayer began her career at GE Capital in Canada where her understanding of DR/IT backup strategies and interest in business led to a career transition to business continuity and crisis management.  Over the years, Mayer has supported clients through 9/11, the 2005 Hurricane Season, Hurricane Sandy, as well various other human-error events. Mayer led the implementation of workplace violence training for GE Capital, conducted BIAs, and wrote and maintained plans for organizations to meet FFIEC and NFPA certification requirements. At Witt O’Brien’s, Mayer has been instrumental in establishing policy and procedures related to evaluating external and internal suppliers and their ability to support their clients in the event of an incident. Mayer holds a bachelor’s degree with honors and two certifications in business continuity.

Practical Steps to Ensure a Bank’s Business Continuity During a Pandemic
A pandemic is a very particular and very terrible type of crisis. Unlike other crises such as earthquakes or cyberattacks...
Build Consistency to Ensure Quality

Service consistency and quality is an expectation of all stakeholders at all times. The people depending on you want peace of mind and no unpleasant surprises. Providing consistent services implies achieving sameness, uniformity, and fairness in the delivery or execution of all service attributes, regardless of time, place, occasion, and provider. The lack of consistent service by the business continuity management (BCM) team is one of the main reasons management and stakeholders get a sour taste in their mouth about business continuity. BCM practitioners must strive to provide a service environment that makes its stakeholders happy and supportive of the need for business continuity.

Develop a Catalog of Services

The first step in providing consistent, quality service is for your office to decide which services it provides and which it doesn’t. Have you identified and cataloged the services your team offers? The following services are among those commonly provided by enterprise BCM offices:

Using Residual Risk to Understand Program Effectiveness
The simplest way to determine if a program is executable is to measure the level of residual risk across its...
Rules and Regulations: The Rule of Law
President John Adams once said, “We are a nation of laws, not of men.” While the statement is foundational to the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, it is broader in interpretation and is not unique to American history. The “rule of law” dates back to ancient Grece, the idea that government is best administered with legislated laws rather than by rule through divine appointment. This concept is international and applies to free, civilized societies.