Date: April 22, 2020
The sudden global lock-down due to Covid-19 has left many organizations scrabbling to keep operations running smoothly. Kontempore in its second Tweet chat series on “Business Continuity plan during lock-down and pandemic” helped to chart a pragmatic course through the pandemic pandemonium. The speakers and the participants discussed and deliberated on how to stabilize business continuity. The leaders cutting across various functions opined that going forward the flexible organization will be the trend. Business Continuity Plan (BCP) would reflect utilization and well being of people, data on cloud, remote working policies, dynamic communication, smart learning, agility in terms of locations, minimum operating requirements, online access, vendor partner readiness. HR to be central to planning and managing people and More than ever HR to matter the most. The Kweettalk identified five priorities to preserve business continuity and build resilience during pandemic and lock-down.
Life Continuity Plan
- BCP to focus on the new paradigm – Life Continuity. One metric never used before.
- The rate of human exposure, rate of human life at risk and criticality and the rate of human life loss at any Organization to be a part of BCP implementation.
- Focusing on Prioritizing people safety and well-being of the employees in the workplace and
- Compliance to government and health authorities policies to go a long way in reassuring business continuity.
Revenue Continuity Plan
- Businesses to be flexible in their approach in order to protect the revenue.
- Switching to alternate product lines, sourcing alternative suppliers, vendor coordination, minimum operating requirements, critical staff focus, cash flow and anticipatory planning to be the new norms.
- Focusing on areas/ regions exempt from strict quarantine measures.
- Critical activities to be moved to alternate locations or taken online as much as possible.
- Businesses would stress-test plans for multiple scenarios to understand the potential impact of Covid-19 and how long the impact would continue.
People Continuity Plan
- The most important part of BCP – Managing people to manage business.
- Businesses to focus on Strategy where people are the last option and they continue as human possibilities.
- BCP would reflect a paradigm shift from physical presence in brick and mortar offices to satellite offices and remote working policies in getting back workers and employees.
- Agility in terms of locations, data on cloud, work from home, up-skilling workforce and critical staff focus to be the new norm.
Knowledge Continuity Plan
- Ready availability of information that is most updated and reliable to be at a premium now.
- What worked, what stopped and what hampered a quick action would need to be relooked at, learned and adapted for, by way of improvement in the BCP itself. An emergency doesn’t come with many templates in action, making this a vital exercise.
- Reviewing contracts and Regular and independent assessments by professionals.
- Finally smart learning – assimilating lessons learnt from experience of other organizations – is the need of the hour.
Communication Continuity Plan
- Clear, transparent and maintaining timely communications are necessary to reshape the business.
- Trust would be a key factor.
- The soft aspects such as authenticity, clear communication with all stakeholders and collective action would help mitigate adverse situations like Covid-19.
- A calibrated approach required to avoid a tsunami of contractual disputes.
- Keeping communication flowing even beyond the physical office to be of utmost importance to ensure business continuity.
- Arun Bothra, IPS (@arunbothra), Managing Director & CEOCRUT & CESU,
- SV Nathan (@Nathansv), Partner and Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte India,
- Sanjay Muthal (@sanjaymuthal), CEO, Kontempore Leadership Solutions & Services,
- Parthasarathy Vallabhajosyula (@parthaval), Co-Founder and Chief Modeling and Innovation Officer, Analytics Quotient,
- Amit Singh (@amit_singh007), Executive Director, Avendus Capital,
- Danty Yerra (@dantyyerra), Sr. HR Business Partner, SICAL Logistics Ltd.
Here what Experts suggest on Business Continuity Plan
Q1) How to assess Business Continuity Program maturity specially post Covid-19? “Different Industries would have different measures and metrics. The one that cuts across all industries would be time to profitability, utilization of people, communication efficacy, online access, critical staff focus and vendor partner readiness” – Mr. SV Nathan, Partner & Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte India Q2) How to safeguard business, mitigate risk more effectively in the event of an emergency or Force Majeure cases?
“Re-evaluation of Business Impact Analysis, Risk Assessment Measures considering a global pandemic and Re-development of the SOPs of the different Force Majeure cases would provide relief” – Mr. Danty Yerra, Sr. Business Partner, SICAL Logistics Ltd.
Q3) How Organization can operate effectively when key locations are closed?
“A good culture surpasses the boundaries of locations and establishes trust at its core of communication, collaboration and continuation in sustaining action. 3C’s are vital in any environment” – Mr. Srinath Gururajarao, VP & CHRO, Nexval Group
Q4) How to identify gaps or weaknesses in your BC plan specially post Covid-19?
“Building robust framework with regular reviews, WFH policy review, maintaining communication, vendor coordination, cash flow and anticipatory planning would serve” – Mr. Sanjay Muthal, CEO, Kontempore Inc
“Rigorous & regular testing – table top, scenario simulations & physical testing; Regular & independent assessment by professional firms; and finally smart learning” – Mr. Amit Singh, Executive Director, Avendus Capital
Q5) Which type of metrics Organizations should track along with measurable action plan for BCP operation running successfully and unsuccessfully specially post Covid-19?
“The Mc Kinsey model of Resolve, Resilience, Return, Re-imagination and Reform as proposed by Kevin Sneader and Singhal Shubam are actual levers of the action plan to run business post Covid-19” – Mr. Arun Bothra, IPS, Managing Director & CEO, CESU
“Different verticals have different metrics in play. The most critical pieces would be employee morale, client satisfaction, productivity, quality of output and infrastructure performance” – Mr. Parthasarathy Vallabhajosyulla, Co-founder & Chief Modeling and Innovation Officer, Analytics Quotient.