Agility Planner: Addressing the Challenges of Business Continuity Planning

Blog
Nov 30, 2020
Olga Hout

The path ahead for modern businesses is laid through uncertainty caused by rising disruptions, including pandemics, cyberattacks, social unrest, the growing frequency of natural disasters. Creating a robust business continuity planning strategy is intensified by the increased scrutiny from regulators, higher expectations from clients, and evolving technology requirements—all of these factors put pressure on those of us tasked with developing a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan and a Business Impact Analysis. However, not every organization finds itself in the mature stages of business resilience, yet operations must run smoothly at all times. Agility Planner offers the tools to simplify and streamline business continuity planning while letting you focus on what matters the most—your people's safety.

What is Agility Planner?

Agility Planner is a Business Continuity planning and preparation tool that streamlines, simplifies, and supports your BC management process. It was built for professionals in charge of building a business continuity plan, who need buy-in and feedback from all departments in their organization yet manage the entire process centrally.  

Unlike other options that may include expensive consultants, complex and costly software, or labor- and time-intensive processes, Agility Planner provides a simple tool to make business continuity planning achievable for any size organization.  

As a busy professional tasked with multiple projects, you recognize the importance of proper resilience planning. However, time is of the essence. Along with helping your business stay committed to its mission and keeping you on track with your primary role, Agility Planner is designed to: 

  • Quickly adjust to organizational changes. 

  • Streamline planning and training. 

  • Support BC metrics' development. 

  • Drive BC program commitment, innovation, and advancement 

Business Continuity Challenges, Addressed by Agility Planner

Creating a business continuity strategy can prove to be an arduous and daunting task. How do you begin? Who do you need to include in the BCP process? And how do you make sure the plan gets updated when needed by someone responsible for that part? These and many other common obstacles to business continuity programs can be addressed by a comprehensive platform that streamlines all Business Continuity Management processes and addresses the following challenges.

a. Lack of resources

Business continuity is, by all means, an investment. However, there are certain costs related to it. Trying to run a robust business continuity program can be challenging when you’re not given the budget, workforce, or resources to do things properly.

2018 Agility Stax Report
2018 Agility Stax Report

One of the best ways to ensure that you are getting everything you need is to make a clear budget of the program's exact costs. Then estimate the costs to the business if something went wrong without the plan in place.

Agility Planner is a low-cost BCM solution. Unlike other options, including expensive consultants, complex and costly software, or labor- and time-intensive processes, Agility Planner provides a simple tool to make business continuity planning achievable for any size organization.  

It is the only solution that allows you to build and manage a BC strategy, giving you the flexibility to plan, train, test, alert, and recover—all in one.

b. Inadequate executive buy-in

Even with clear cost-benefit analysis, you may still be lacking enthusiastic support from the top.

There is a lot of risk-taking in business, and you may find that management is more inclined to take the risk that nothing major will go wrong rather than spend money to prepare for business disruption. Changing that mindset and getting management’s buy-in can be a real challenge.

As your company goes through the inevitable changes, it accumulates complex reports that summarize business continuity information. Needless to say, the leadership team that’s interested in building a resilient business requires an enterprise-level view of the current state of preparedness to determine program direction. As business continuity tools promote summary reporting, the leadership team can further change the organizational culture by acting on the data gathered and addressing exposures. If the change has resulted from the data insights, a person responsible for business continuity planning will see the direct value of their work and view the effort to create a resilient culture as sustained.

c. Lack of organizational engagement

Business continuity isn’t solely about document administration and updating plans. It’s about building a company-wide culture of preparedness with an attitude aimed at improving organizational resilience. Business continuity tools such as Agility Planner can help you decentralize your Business Continuity Plan by assigning users responsibility for entering, maintaining, and updating their information. Doing so reiterates the importance of their role and encourages their involvement in Business Continuity Management as the process becomes much easier.

Agility BC Plan Maintenance

d. Insufficient technology & data aggregation

Manually gathering data from multiple documents to develop metrics is an arduous task. If there’s no platform, the generation of metrics won’t be frequent enough to provide value. Besides, if metrics data must be compiled manually, there is a much higher risk of error. Strategy development can become hindered if there’s no confidence in data accuracy and its ability to speak on behalf of the entire organization. Management may be reluctant or unwilling to act on the information.

With Agility Planner, your company is granted access to already amassed historical data and 30+ years of knowledge and lets your unique organization build on it. Capture the inputted information as data for informed decision-making to be sorted and presented for incident management. 

e. Irregular testing

You can never be sure of how well your program will work unless you test it. By running different scenarios, you can find out exactly how well the processes you have put in place perform. You are then able to identify weaknesses either in your plan or in the enactment of it. Once you have this information, you can modify and improve your business continuity program.

Another benefit of testing is that you may be able to show management that any weaknesses in your program were due to a lack of funding, equipment, or staff engagement. This will give you more fuel to help address some of the issues raised above.

f. Inability to monitor the program

There are several reasons why monitoring the ongoing running of a business continuity program can be challenging.

First of all, there is the sheer scale of the problem. Monitoring the readiness of all the systems as well as the key personnel can be a complex task. 

Secondly, there’s no clarity of what metrics to use to determine the success of a plan. Besides that, if managing business continuity isn’t your primary occupation, time can be very limited. 

Agility Planner Screenshot - Generate Data and Determine RTO

When you first set up the program, you need to be clear with your managers that you will need time to monitor, test, and update the program and that this needs to be built into your position. You will also need to train up new members of staff when they join the company. It’s not something you should be doing as and when you can fit it in.

Agility Planner helps tackle both of these challenges. It offers you a template with historical data to begin your work, shows you which areas need improvement, and allows you to streamline communication with everyone on the business continuity team.

g. Complexity of the process

As organizations evolve and restructure, data management in most advanced software enables plans to be relocated to reflect business structure changes or business location changes. Software, such as Agility Planner, hosts all relevant and important documents related to your company's business continuity processes under one roof. Should a BIA or any other important document be updated, anyone can access the changes with proper rights. Besides that, with task delegation and progress tracking, your Business Continuity program will always hit its deadlines. 

How to Get Started with Business Continuity Planning

Agility Planner is a Business Continuity intuitive planning and preparation tool that streamlines, simplifies & supports your BC management process. Agility Planner has been developed to help your business go from reactive to proactive with its Business Continuity Planning. 

Directly through Agility Central, your organization gets any time, anywhere access to its business continuity strategy, allowing to: 

  • Quickly adjust to organizational changes. 
  • Streamline planning and training 
  • Support BC metrics’ development 
  • Drive BC program commitment, innovation, and advancement 

Businesses can't plan for everything. But Agility Planner can prepare yours for anything.

Agility Planner is a Business Continuity planning and preparation tool that streamlines, simplifies, and supports your BC management process.