Business Continuity Metrics for Management

This information is from my new book, The Ultimate Business Continuity Success Guide: How to Build Real-World Resilience and Unleash Exciting New Value Streams. Happily it is now Amazon’s #1 searched business continuity book. I hope you enjoy the chapter. and the book.

Business Continuity Metrics for Management: 

Provide Management The Great Metrics They Need, Love and Deserve!

Management loves and needs great metrics. Really, they love them. Sometimes it makes me teary-eyed when I feed them some dynamic dashboards full of real-time program pulse numbers and real-time graphs from my real-time tools (we’ll get to that later) and they start getting ga-ga eyes and begin caressing and crunching those important metrics. I once had to step out of the room.

I completely understand how important metrics are to the success of an organization. They are critical for management to gauge program progress and identify risks and opportunities as they arise. Give them great metrics and management will be your best friend. Keep them in the dark and you… well you were forewarned not to withhold. With managements help you WILL fast-track your resilience program. It is important that you proactively and regularly provide management with whatever they need.

A key to providing the right metrics is to clearly understand what management requires. Some managers like informal written summary reports and others prefer weekly or monthly face-to-face meetings and detailed reports. You should package your metrics to match their preferences.  The best way to understand their needs is to ask and actively listen. They will tell you through their words and body language what they require.

Depending on the level of management, different types of metrics will be required. For example, middle management might want quantitative metrics including the number of plans built and the number of recovery exercises completed during a time-frame. Upper management might prefer a higher level real-time critical risk dashboard describing the health of the overall enterprise.

Basketball superstar LeBron James is very good at understanding where his teammates want the ball – outside, inside… that is why he makes players better and they win championships as a team. Superstars that look inward and make it all about themselves rarely win championships. Get management the ball, I mean the metrics, they need to succeed and you will succeed.

Tip – Don’t worry, your metrics report probably does not have to be fancy. A simple progress report on a bi-weekly or monthly basis may be what they want and need BUT – if you want to supercharge your metrics program read on…

Ideally, the metrics you deliver are real-time!  This is where the right software and hardware in your toolbox become critical to your ability to deliver big. I use powerful tools to deliver real-time metrics to management AND to understand risks and opportunities. It has made all the difference between good and world-class. Later in the book we will discuss technology tools that can empower you to deliver the right metrics at the right time.

If you are not fortunate enough to have a powerful business continuity management system you can build a dashboard using a spreadsheet such as Excel or Google Sheets. The dashboard should include completion percentages and deliverable dates of the major phases of your program – Initiation, BIA, Risk, Strategy development, Plan development, Testing, Awareness and Maintenance. A spreadsheet solution will do the job to a certain degree but I am more into delivering metrics on a real-time basis. You will need to go beyond a spreadsheet to do that.

In conclusion, be like LeBron! Provide your management with the metrics they need and communicate regularly with them. Never hide anything. Be transparent. Supercharge your program. Deliver beyond expectations. Doing so will pay off big!