Robert Clark MSc FBCS FIBCM MBCI MSyI

Business Continuity Management Consultant

 
 

VALIDATING YOUR BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN
Ensuring your BCP actually works

Robert Clark's second publication "Validating your Business Continuity Plan" has been published by IT Governance and is available globally in both paperback and e-Book formats.

When a disruptive incident strikes, you need to know that your business continuity plan (BCP) will work smoothly and consistently. Many companies, however, fail to carry out any business continuity exercising. This book explains why validating your BCP is essential to your business’s survival, and describes the component parts of a validation programme, with case studies and expert guidance.

Reviews and Feedback:

Charlie Maclean-Bristol FBCI FEPS

 

If there exists a warm, friendly book about business continuity, then this is it. Reading this book is like having an elderly but very experienced uncle teaching you about the subject, sharing their experience, the lessons they have learned and (business continuity) war stories. It is an easy read, not overly complex, and is sprinkled with anecdotes and lessons learned from the author’s long career in ICT and business continuity.


 

Mark Fenech MBA MBCI MIOR

 

I wish I'd had a copy of this book when I started out in Business Continuity. The necessity of validating Business Continuity Plans can be a formidable but essential activity for both small and large organisations alike. Business Continuity professionals are typically first confronted with having to master the theory contained in standards like the ISO 22300 family and the BCI's Good Practice Guidelines and then experiencing the stark contrast of applying that theory to a real-world environment. Both challenges can be daunting. Drawing on his extensive experience spanning 40 years, the author walks novice and experienced business continuity professionals alike through the validation process while paying due deference to globally accepted standards. He takes the theory and adds context by using numerous case studies to make the application of the theory easier for the reader to understand. Examples of failed tests and aborted exercises have also been included to help organisations avoid falling into the same pitfalls, which in some instances may even disrupt the very business they are trying to protect. All in all, an easy read. This book certainly deserves the 'must read' tagline and should form part of the essential library of anyone involved in the validation of Business Continuity Plans.


 

Ryan Farrugia

 

As a Business Continuity Management (BCM) coordinator, this book just hit the right note with me; a very good read, easy to follow and relatable to various industries. Not many BCM books offer detailed case studies like Validating Your Business Continuity Plan. In particular, the pandemic validation case study is not only as close to reality as (I imagine) it can get, but also well-written. I had to go back a few pages every now and then to ensure that it was describing a simulation – tension was rising from one paragraph to another! In my opinion, newbies will find the chapter defining the exercise of our plans as the highlight of this book, with “what”, “why” and “how” questions answered throughout this chapter. If the reader is experienced in the validation stage, this book will offer reassurance and possibly new perspectives on approaching exercising methods. I highly recommend this book to any person involved in BCM regardless of years of experience. Clark manages to strike a balance between the academic and the practical. The book elaborates on the techniques of maintaining our documents faithful towards BCM standards while sharing the author’s decades of personal experiences. In the end, this is what every client would hope to get from a consultant’s services.


 

Christopher Wright

 

Overall I really liked this book, finding it very informative and amusing – it is also best to learn at the expense of the mistakes of others rather than your own. For those new to the subject it provides excellent tips and advice and for those more experienced it provides food for thought and some new challenges. The book is light hearted and entertaining but with a hard hitting message


 

Chris Evans

 

I found it excellently written and of great value. I guess this was expected based on the qualification and experience level of the author. The premise of the book is excellent as it focuses on the need to actually test a plan rather than just write and store it with no future revisions. The writing style is great and the huge range of examples given will be of great value to anyone purchasing the book. In summary very enjoyable, derived great value from it.

OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR

 

About the book:

 
 
75% of companies without a business continuity plan fail within three years.Disruptive incidents can affect any organisation and occur at any moment. ICT outages, cyber attacks, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemics, supply chain failures and other unexpected events can all affect productivity and in many cases place a company’s survival in serious jeopardy. Business continuity planning is essential to overcoming business disruptions, but too many companies prepare business continuity plans and then shelve them, only for those plans to fail when they’re actually needed. 80% of companies that have not recovered from a disaster within one month go out of business.


A business continuity plan that isn’t validated isn’t a plan at all – it’s merely a strategy. Indeed, in some cases an untested plan is worse than no plan at all. In spite of this, only 30% of businesses actually validate their business continuity plans.

 

Product overview

Business continuity planning is a process of continual improvement, not a matter of writing a plan and then putting your feet up. Attempting to validate every aspect of your plan, however – particularly in a live rehearsal situation – could create a disaster of your own making.Validating Your Business Continuity Plan examines the three essential components of validating a business continuity plan – exercising, maintenance and review – and outlines a controlled and systematic approach to BCP validation while considering each component, covering methods and techniques such as table-top reviews, workshops and live rehearsals.


The book also takes account of industry standards and guidelines to help steer the reader through the validation process, including the international standard ISO 22301 and the Business Continuity Institute’s Good Practice Guidelines. In addition, it provides a number of case studies based on the author’s considerable experience – some of them successful, others less so – to highlight common pitfalls and problems associated with the validation process.

 

Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Standards and guidelines
  3. Business continuity begins at home
  4. Defining your exercise programme
  5. Selected scenarios
  6. Live rehearsal case studies
  7. It could happen to anyone, couldn't it?
  8. Maintaining your BCMS
  9. Reviewing your BCMS
  10. Performance appraisal
  11. Using consultants to help you exercise
  12. Training and education
  13. Additional reference material

 

About the author

Robert A Clark is a fellow of the Institute of Business Continuity Management, a fellow of the British Computer Society, a member of the Business Continuity Institute and an Approved BCI Instructor. He was employed by IBM for 15 years and Fujitsu for 11, working with clients on BCM-related assignments. He is now a freelance business continuity consultant at www.bcm-consultancy.com. Since 2014, he has been a part-time associate lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he has delivered BCM courses to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

 
 



© Copyright - Robert Clark 2016