Have you ever seen a business continuity department that was overstaffed? I haven’t. Most likely you are working ‘lean-and-mean’. If you are a large organization, you must implement an elastic and resilient organizational hierarchy. Technology tools can also help empower you to successfully scale your program. We will discuss those throughout UltimateBusinessContinuity.com.
I have managed global enterprises spanning the U.S as well every continent – except Antarctica. In order to successfully build and maintain strong and resilient business continuity programs I like to build hierarchical hub-and-spoke frameworks.
Tip – If you are a global enterprise a good scalable strategy is to appoint an English-speaking BC liaison to work directly with the process owners and employees in their country or region. Your Enterprise BC / resilience team should guide the program but to scale I suggest you give responsibility to each country management to do the hands-on implementation, testing, awareness and maintain compliance. The results of their efforts should be reported to you in a timely manner.
If there are questions from employees in the countries have them bubble up from process owners to country BC coordinators to regional liaisons. Your enterprise team should be available to the regional liaisons whenever they need assistance answering questions as well as partnering on table-tops and off-site recovery exercises. Assist with awareness communications, posters and newsletters that the regional liaisons localized to each country. It is really cool seeing posters and newsletter in different languages such as Japanese,
The same sort of hub-and-spoke hierarchy can work well for states, divisions and regions throughout the domestic part of an organization. Again, your enterprise team should be responsible for oversight but each region should be responsible for their own program which must be in compliance with your corporate guidelines.
Tip – The key to making this work is for management to completely buy into this type of hub-and-spoke hierarchical structure. They must support it for it to have any teeth. They must actively enforce it when ‘push comes to shove’. I have seen it both ways. When management supports the initiative, it works well. Without management support, it will likely fail. If it fails (flattens out so you do all the work) you may not have the resources to provide the value your organization deserves.
I have had extraordinary success building hub-and-spoke domestic and international programs. Every crisis my companies have encountered including the tsunami in Japan, earthquakes in Chili, pandemic in Mexico and terrorism in England have been handled as a successful partnership between the local team with support from the core our enterprise teams. I found it to be highly scalable and efficient. It can work exceedingly well if built and supported correctly. Good luck!