An independent building society with over 30,000 members.
As a firm regulated by the FCA, our client is required to have business continuity arrangements in place and to regularly update and test these to ensure their effectiveness.
The society already had a BC plan in place and recognising the value of an independent test, first engaged Teed in 2004 to design, facilitate and write up an exercise for the senior management team. Subsequent changes in staff and systems required that the BC plan was updated and tested. The society then invited Teed to run a further exercise.
Specific objectives were to:
- Test the effectiveness of the plan in enabling the effective recovery of services resulting from the loss of head office premises
- Raise awareness of team members’ roles and responsibilities
Ensure media interest was handled appropriately thereby reducing any potential ‘bad press’ resulting from the incident
- Understand how the society would respond in the event of a loss of a regional branch office
- Address any issues surrounding the unavailability of critical personnel
Teed designed a tabletop exercise that took the senior management team through an evolving scenario over three hours. The session commenced with a brief introduction to BCM to ensure all participants were starting from the same place.
The scenario was not too complex, but ensured the objectives were satisfied and raised a number of issues that will require to be addressed.
A debrief discussion at the end of the exercise gave both participants and facilitator the opportunity to provide feedback on what went well, what didn’t go so well and actions for consideration.
Following the exercise, Teed produced an exercise outcome report which provided the client with the facilitator’s independent view of the society’s business continuity preparedness and recommended a number of actions to take forward to improve upon the effectiveness of the plan. Feedback received from participants was also incorporated into the report to ensure the team’s own views were captured.
The exercise was well received by the team who recognised the importance of seeing how their BC plan would work in practice and how they would respond at the time of an incident.
Of the actions that were identified to be taken forward, there was agreement that a documented response procedure and plan was necessary to enable an effective response in the event of the loss of a branch office and should now be developed.