Overcoming BIA Pitfalls

Overcoming BIA Pitfalls

4 minute read

Of course I’m critical!

Business Continuity Management (BCM) can sometimes (if done poorly) seem like a cold and clinical process, especially the business impact analysis (BIA). When employees and even leaders, hear that the functions they perform are going to be assessed for how critical they are to the organisation, people get understandably nervous – what if I am not critical? Does this mean I don’t have a job anymore?

I once led a resilience function for an organisation which planned to embark on it’s BCM program at roughly the same time as a round of voluntary separations. I managed to persuade the executive to delay the program and deconflict those two time-bombs!

The BIA, which is essential but sometimes challenging, often creates the anxiety, and the main issue is that the assessment is usually based on personal opinions. One employee might think that a certain business process, vendor, IT application, or plant & equipment piece is very important, but another one might not, especially if their business unit is big, divided or spread out geographically.



We always advise our clients to try and make the process more objective – anchoring criticality to a set of criteria that enable everyone to have the same baseline. 


One way to do that is to reference uncontested knowledge and established norms within your own organisation, with perhaps the best resource for BIAs being your own risk framework. 


You can find good impact descriptions at the varying levels, you can consider the impacts across a range of established impact categories like financial, operational, reputational etc, and you can even sometimes find pre-determined time frames that can help with your assessment like “interruption to business-critical processes > 48 hours = Major Impact”.


So, although the BCM process, particularly the BIA, can create anxiety among employees as they worry about the criticality of their roles. However, by making the process more objective and anchoring criticality to a set of criteria, it is possible to reduce tension and subjectivity. This can lead to a more meaningful conversation and better outcomes for the organisation, its employees, and its clients.


To find out more, speak to the Battleground team by following the links below. 

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