Establishing Aims and Objectives for Effective Business Continuity Exercise Planning

Before creating scenarios for business continuity exercises, it’s essential to set clear goals with input from stakeholders. These goals should match the overall Business Continuity Management (BCM) strategy and improve team skills. They should also consider existing abilities and address known issues.

Here’s a simple guide to creating practical and achievable goals:

  1. Clear and Brief: Make sure your goals are short but complete. They should be easy to understand, avoiding confusion.
  2. Strategy Alignment: Match your goals with the bigger BCM strategy. They should show how teams’ skills are improving and help the organization’s overall crisis response.
  3. Know the Current Skills: Think about what your teams can already do. Goals should be a challenge but also realistic, considering resources and plans.
  4. Tackle Management Worries: If managers have concerns, make sure your goals address them. This shows you’re being proactive and that your exercise is useful.
  5. Focus on Benefits: Explain how your goals will help. Better skills, smoother responses, and improved coordination are what you’re aiming for.
  6. Work with the Exercise Team: The Exercise Management Team is important as you plan the exercise. They’ll help achieve the goals. Start with a general plan and get more specific as you add actions and scenarios.
  7. Check Responses: Scenarios, often given by Actors or Role Players, create a dynamic situation for teams to respond to. Measure how well they meet the goals.

In short, successful business continuity exercises rely on clear and aligned goals. These goals should fit the BCM strategy, improve team skills, work with what’s already there, and address management worries. As you plan, the Exercise Management Team will help reach these goals by following your strategy and measuring how well teams respond.

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