chapter  31
18 Pages

Reengineering the Business Continuity Planning Process

ByCarl B. Jackson

The recurring downward spin or decomposition includes planning, testing, maintenance, decline

re-planning, testing, maintenance, decline

replanning, testing, maintenance, decline, etc. The 1998

Contingency Planning and Management/Ernst and Young LLP Business Continuity Planning Survey

clearly supports this observation. According to the latest survey results, 63 percent of the respondents ranked BCP as being either

extremely important

or

very important

to senior management. This study indicates that decision makers have a high level of awareness regarding the importance of BCP. These findings contrast with other survey results which illustrate that execution and follow-through of the BCP mission is often lacking. These statistics include:

1. 82 percent of the respondents do not measure the cost/benefit of their BCP programs

2. Only 27 percent of the respondents’ organizations train their people on how to execute the BCP

3. 33 percent of the organizations responding do not test their BCPs 4. Only 3.6 percent of the organizations base pay increases for BCP

personnel on the success of the BCP program

Business Continuity Planning Measurements

These results also suggest a disconnect between top management’s perceptions of BCP objectives and the manner in which they measure its value. In the past, BCP effectiveness was usually measured in terms of a pass/fail grade on a mainframe recovery test or on the perceived benefits of backup sites and redundant telecommunications capabilities weighed against the expense for these capabilities. The trouble with these types of metrics is that they only measure BCP direct costs and/or indirect perceptions as to whether a test was effectively executed. These metrics do not indicate whether a test validates the appropriate infrastructure elements or even whether it is thorough enough to test a component until it fails, thereby extending the reach and usefulness of the test scenario.