Resilience in the Remote Work Era: Adapting Your BCM Plan

Bradley Chapman

Resilience in the Remote Work Era: Adapting Your BCM Plan

Did you know that 88% of organizations worldwide have encouraged or required their employees to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic? This unprecedented shift to remote work has highlighted the critical need for effective business continuity management (BCM), operational resilience (OPR), and organizational resilience (OGR).

BCM, OPR, and OGR are essential concepts that organizations must embrace to proactively prepare for and respond to disruptions. However, there is often confusion and overlap between these concepts, making it challenging to implement robust resilience strategies.

In this article, we will clarify the objectives and approaches of BCM, OPR, and OGR and explore how organizations can adapt their BCM plans for the remote work era. By understanding the essence of these concepts and implementing the right strategies, organizations can ensure the resilience and continuity of their operations even in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Defining Business Continuity, Operational Resilience, and Organizational Resilience

The definitions and applications of Business Continuity Management (BCM), Operational Resilience (OPR), and Organizational Resilience (OGR) have evolved over time, resulting in inconsistencies and confusion among organizations. BCM, which originated from the British Standards Institutions’ code of practice BS25999, has been replaced by ISO standard 22301. However, there is ongoing debate regarding the comprehensive definition of BCM and its relationship to risk management.

OPR is often considered a precondition for BCM, but there are differing views on the exact relationship between the two. In recent years, OGR has gained attention as well, but it lacks a consensus-driven conceptualization. To effectively implement resilience strategies, it is important to differentiate these concepts and understand how they relate to each other.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) refers to a management system that seeks to protect against, reduce the likelihood of, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptions. Its applications encompass proactive planning and actions taken by organizations to ensure continuity of operations.

Operational Resilience (OPR) focuses on delivering critical operations during disruptions. It involves strategies and processes that enable organizations to maintain the functionality and stability of their key operational areas.

Organizational Resilience (OGR) encompasses an organization’s ability to respond, adapt, and maintain business function during periods of disruption. It involves a broader approach that goes beyond just operational aspects, considering the overall resilience of the organization as a whole.

Differentiating the Concepts Through Dyads

The current definitions of BCM, OPR, and OGR overlap and lack differentiation. To address this, a framework using three dyads can be utilized: risk versus resilience, organizational processes versus assets, and normal operating conditions versus crisis conditions.

Organizational processes encompass the logistical efforts and actions required to achieve objectives, while assets refer to the tangible and intangible resources that support these processes.

By understanding the distinct domains of processes and assets, organizations can better differentiate between BCM, OPR, and OGR and apply relevant methods and tools to each concept.

Adapting Your BCM Plan for Remote Work

Adapting your BCM plan for remote work is crucial in today’s digital landscape. Organizations must prioritize key areas such as business process controls, remote workforce management, and process workflow optimization to ensure operational resilience in a remote work environment.

Effective business process controls are essential in enabling secure access and communication for remote workers, empowering them to perform their daily tasks efficiently and securely. Implementing robust controls will safeguard sensitive information and mitigate potential risks associated with remote work.

Remote workforce management plays a vital role in facilitating productive remote work. By aligning processes, policies, and communication channels, organizations can support their remote workforce in maintaining high levels of productivity and collaboration.

Process workflow optimization is crucial for streamlining operations, fostering effective collaboration with partners, and maintaining strong customer relationships in a distributed work environment. By optimizing workflows, organizations can enhance efficiency and adaptability, further strengthening their BCM plan for remote work adaptation.

Bradley Chapman