The Only Four Plans You Need
Over the past 13 years I’ve come across a plethora of plans for emergency, crisis, and business continuity. A few have been outstanding, well-developed, user-friendly, and fit for purpose for the organisation.
Sadly, most are terrible!
This is not from a lack of trying of course, and they usually have good intent behind them. But most are developed by simply hobbling a lot of ‘good stuff’ together from Google searches and what seems like a ‘good idea’.
The reality is, good intent won’t help in an emergency, crisis, or business continuity incident.
At Crisis Shield we have worked with hundreds of clients to develop their plans. We’ve learnt a lot along the way, and today feel we have a good balance between meeting regulatory and business requirements, practicality and, most importantly, they work when activated.
We have crystallised these into four basic plans: Emergency, Business Continuity, Crisis, and Incident Communication.
These are very familiar for most businesses – all larger businesses (i.e., you have a physical office/factory/venue etc.) are required to have an emergency plan. This plan covers the fundamentals: fire wardens, floor, building and other wardens, assembly areas, fire extinguishers, training, and testing, building plans etc.
Crisis Plan (CMP)
There is no legislative requirement for a CIMP, but as we have witnessed over the years, companies who don’t invest in these plans (and teams) pay dearly when something goes wrong. We’re seeing a lot more emphasis over the past few years for a CIMP and Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) to be well-embedded, as insurance and business partners are now requesting these be in place. The skyrocketing number of cyber incidents have only escalated that requirement!
Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
Small office-based companies don’t require too much detail in their BCPs, however larger and more complex companies need to invest in a robust business continuity framework, usually appointing a BCP manager and/or team. Threats that hardly existed ten years ago are very real today, including cyber-attacks, staff shortages and extreme weather. A BCP will identify the threats to your business and what the business continuity response is when they occur.
Incident Communication Plan (ICP)
We started developing Incident Communication Plans (ICPs) around ten years ago, as we noticed larger companies needed a robust communications plan for everything from a minor incident, like a short power outage, to a major critical incident, such as a pandemic or loss of life. The ICP provides a communication framework and process to follow when an incident occurs, as well as providing a suite of templated media alerts that can be modified as required – these templated releases are far easier to modify rather than starting with a black sheet during an incident.
So why have four plans? Surely they could be amalgamated into one plan!
There is sound logic behind developing four separate plans and four separate teams. Whilst you may be a member of all four teams, it’s important that you know which hat you’re wearing when you respond.
We'll provide a few examples of how it all works in practice in our next blog!
In the meantime, if you would like to know more about emergency, business continuity or crisis plans, please contact us at email@example.com or call Allan Briggs on 0417 160 120.