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Winter Business Continuity Planning: Preparing Your Firm Part 3

By Dina Ferriero,
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The first installment in this series, based on our recent interview with Lisa Smith, discussed some business continuity considerations for instances in which your firm’s office building is forced to close as a result of messy weather conditions. In Part 2, we looked at some important challenges that may arise when preparing your firm for wintry weather conditions that do not require building closure.

In addition to these scenario-specific considerations, there are a few preparations that your firm can look at to prevent impact to business operations in any situation that may occur this winter. In this third installment, we’ll take a deeper look into a few of those considerations.snow warning

Preparing for All Scenarios

When developing your business continuity plan for inclement weather, be sure to think about where single points of failure exist. In other words, at what points could your plan fail if one person or resource becomes unavailable? Often times, a firm’s business continuity plans are too reliant on one or two top executives to set the plan in motion in the case of inclement weather conditions. While members of top management are usually the best and most logical decision makers, some responsibility for the BCP should be delegated to other company leaders. This way, if a hurricane or snow storm prevents an executive from working, the inclement weather business continuity plan can still be initiated throughout the company.

Another beneficial measure to consider is cross training employees on related tasks or functional areas. This ensures that, if one employee becomes unavailable due to difficult weather conditions, there is someone else within in the firm who is capable of temporarily assuming that person’s responsibilities. This eliminates instances where single points of failure might exist, and will help your firm to continue its normal business operations as smoothly as possible.

Conclusion

It is crucial to consider a variety of scenarios when developing your firm’s inclement weather business continuity plans. Once this is complete and procedures are established, the BCP should be clearly communicated to all employees. The third crucial step is to perform regular testing on these procedures, to ensure that everyone understands how to go about continuing to conduct their jobs in each situation, and to decrease the chances of experiencing unforeseen problems. This combination will prepare your firm for the challenges of facing the looming hurricane and winter seasons, and help prevent potentially devastating impacts to business operations.

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For more on to business continuity planning and related topics, be sure to check out these articles:

  • Snow's Coming! Is Your Business Continuity Plan Up to the Test?

  • Winter is in full swing! Business Continuity Planning for Inclement Weather Part Two

  • Preparing for Hurricane Earl: Business Continuity Planning

Eze Castle’s Business Continuity Planning Services (Eze BCP) 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 work with clients to address the full-spectrum of BCP. Learn more!

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Categorized under: Business Continuity Planning  Disaster Recovery  Trends We're Seeing 



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