In several of our previous articles on business continuity planning, we have stressed the importance of ensuring that all of your firm’s employees are fully aware of the company’s business continuity planning (BCP) procedures and what is expected of them in the event of a disruption to normal business operations.
After this planning phase is complete, the next step is to be sure that all employees can perform their business function responsibilities while working remotely. In order to successfully validate this objective, employees should perform a live test of their required applications from their homes or alternate work sites. Testing should include the following broad aspects: validating communication procedures, accessing all necessary applications, and overall ability to continue business operations remotely.
In an effort to practice what we preach and maximize the efficiency of our own business continuity plan, we recently conducted a remote BCP test here at Eze Castle. As a member of the marketing team, I compiled a list of the applications and tools I require access to on a daily basis, so that I can be sure of my ability to work with them from home. Below is a sample snapshot from my remote BCP testing worksheet:
Microsoft Office Suite
Adobe Creative Suite
Customer Relationship Management System
Website Content Management System
Marketing Automation Tools
Of course, each individual employee will have a unique list of items to be tested, but we have found this format to be quite successful in validating the ability to work remotely.
Easily Overlooked Items
Even the most comprehensive business continuity plans cannot address every detail of every employee’s job. This is a major reason why it is crucial to carry out the remote BCP testing process. Following are some items that are not as obvious, but equally important to make note of when verifying your ability to work productively from home or another remote location.
- Are you familiar with the process for having your calls forwarded from your office phone to your Blackberry or other mobile device? Most hosted VoIP solutions provide this capability, but it is important to understand how to set this up if you are unable to get to your desk.
- Do you know all of the passwords necessary to access the applications and tools you will need to perform daily tasks? Most people have too many to keep them all memorized. Be sure to store them in a safe location other than locally on your PC so that they are available to you even if your computer is not.
- Similarly, do you have all of the important phone numbers you will need saved somewhere other than locally on work PC? Maintaining an up-to-date list of phone numbers of colleagues, clients, vendors, partners and any other interdependent parties with whom you work on a daily basis is crucial to being productive remotely. Again, be sure this list is accessible to you outside of your office.
Inevitably, there will be additional aspects of working remotely that are unique to each individual’s job role. The best way to address these concerns is to test, test, test! At Eze Castle Integration, our Business Continuity Planning Services extend beyond technology to focus on the critical operations and processes that a hedge fund or investment firm must have available if a disruption occurs. Our Certified Business Continuity Professionals are experienced in working with clients to address the full-spectrum of BCP challenges.
Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning
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