Secure True Executive Sponsorship
Executive sponsorship has overall responsibility for the Business Continuity Planning committee; elicits senior management's support and direction; and ensures that adequate funding is available for the Business Continuity Planning program.
To build a business continuity plan, and then keep it dusted off and ready to go, there must be executive involvement and sponsorship. Sarbanes-Oxley regulations have driven executives to be more attentive to successful planning for disaster recovery. Ideally, a company’s executive board will request an annual review of crisis strategies. A yearly review is good practice, and having an executive level champion (usually it’s the CIO) ensures the right focus.
Budget must be allocated to accomplish business continuity planning and implementation, and an executive champion can secure and protect that budget.
Even today, some executives believe that any program involving computers is the responsibility of IT. Disaster recovery planning crosses organizational boundaries. An executive sponsor can make sure all departments provide information and allocate time for planning. The Business Continuity project requires support from Line Managers, Middle Managers and Executive Managers in the departments that operate critical processes. The continuity planner provides technical assistance, quality assurance, and training, but it is every department manager’s job to write and maintain a plan. Other departments that include planning are:
- Human Resources
- External Affairs or whoever is responsible for communications to customers or shareholders
One of the most challenging tasks in BCP is to establish executive consensus about:
Which aspects of a company’s business must stay operational in an emergency
The exact level of protection that is necessary (RTO, RPO, LOS)
Formalize executive commitment to business continuity and disaster recovery. Establish BCP/DR as a critical business process and ongoing corporate objective. A business undertakes Business Continuity Planning because company shareholders want the business to survive through difficult times, including disasters that threaten the business’ very existence.