I asked Inverroy Crisis Management about their own Business Continuity Planning. Here’s what I found out.
Inverroy Crisis Management believes that all organisations should be able to respond to and recover from, disruption. As a new Associate, I had to ask: what did Inverroy’s own Business Continuity Plan look like?
For starters, I found out that although they had a plan, it was not always written. In fact, that was only done in late 2019 going into early 2020.
Interesting. But why?
Matthew Wardner, Founder and CEO of Inverroy, explained.
“When Inverroy was founded in 2015, it was a two person outfit. Both of us, Doug Wilman and I were Crisis Management and Business Continuity specialists. We verbally agreed what our Emergency Response and Business Continuity activities would be, and it was sufficient at the time.
Fast forward to 2019 and our team quadrupled in size to become eight people, with a strong indication that we would grow even more. More people meant more responsibility for their livelihoods and wellbeing. that was when we decided to officially write down our Business Continuity Plan”.
Creating Inverroy’s Business Continuity Plan
Without going into all the glorious detail of Inverroy’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP), here’s a quick overview of some key aspects of the plan.
Inverroy’s BCP is, of course, tailored to its own business model and needs.
As a Crisis Management and Business Continuity Consultancy, Inverroy has 14 staff and associates and is growing its team. Consultants are usually based in their clients’ offices, travel to clients or work from home as the project dictates. The rest of the staff and associates work from home with little travel into the office.
With this in mind, the main aims of Inverroy’s BCP are to safeguard health and wellbeing of its people impacted, keep critical systems and processes running during any disruption, and to keep its knowledge-based consultancy business operational.
Given the geographical spread of the consultancy arm – with consultants working in countries like UK, Ghana, Kurdistan, Turkey, Dubai, KL, and associates based in Scotland, England and Italy – the risk scenarios had to cover many bases, from the extreme, like a terrorist or cyber attack, to the mundane yet highly likely and potentially risky situation of being mugged and ending up in hospital.
“Our risk scenarios include disruption that could cause loss of staff, loss of our ability to get staff, and delivering our consultancy to clients. We now have a response team ready to respond to disruption, and another to keep the business running,” says Matthew.
The BCP is tested quarterly with members of the team. I was involved in a table-top exercise, and it was interesting (exciting almost?) to walk through an emergency in detail and test the response.
The emergency? A mugging in another country.
The learning? Keep emergency numbers written down, not just on your phone.
2020 needs no introduction, does it?
When the pandemic hit, Inverroy activated a quick version of its BCP: the 3Cs of Business Continuity: Cash, Clients and Capabilities.
“We had already adopted a hybrid working model pre-COVID as a Business Continuity and money saving activity. As we were working remotely, the initial impact of lockdown was less. The challenge then was how to reach clients and deliver excellence, so the use of Teams became important.
“We followed the three Cs of BC:
Cash: did we have enough? We monitored this daily, assessing future work versus expenditure.
Clients: we continued to support clients in their hour of need, making ourselves available for a call for advice or help that was not invoiced.
Capabilities: we also took the opportunity to improve our own competencies so we’ve had staff adding Safety Management and Organisational Resilience to their skillsets, and we also delivered a free course for clients in June 2020 on Crisis Management, while raising funds for our chosen charity: Erskine Hospital.
“COVID did affect our ability to travel to clients, but it didn’t knock us off course, we were able to adapt and deliver in a different way, to support and win new clients.”
I asked Matthew if COVID has changed Inverroy’s risk scenarios.
“It hasn’t. I don’t think any business understood what a pandemic meant, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only show in town. With people now working from home cyber-attacks are an even bigger risk; plus, as managers, we’re more conscious of burn out, mental health and supporting colleagues.
“A lot of people now work more flexible hours and therefore, as a knowledge-based business, we need our team to be available. Succession planning and managing your workforce, especially with all the talk about workforce limitations means that every business will experience the ripple effect – that will be a higher risk compared to what it was before.”
Making Business Resilience available to everyone
For me, it was an eye-opener just how detailed resilience planning must be. Even for Inverroy, who are experts with 300 years’ plus combined experience in this field, there have been learnings when writing their own plan.
It’s that realisation that led to the creation of Inverroy Digital: an accessible online business resilience platform that anyone can use to create their own Emergency Response Plan, Business Continuity Plan and conduct Supplier Readiness Assessments.
Matthew says: “While we were writing our plan, even for us it was time consuming to write the words, craft the examples and find the regulations. We thought with all our experience, it’s still hard, how do non-experts do it? That was almost the birthplace of Inverroy Digital.
“The power of Inverroy Digital is not the plan, but all the supporting documents, knowledge and explanations to help people understand why certain aspects are appropriate for their business. By providing the pros, cons, case studies, it helps businesses create plans that are right for them.”
Often, the people who have to create Business Continuity Plans either inherit plans, find free templates online that they then try to fit to their business model, or hire in external consultants. The problem is, Business Continuity Planning is not one-size-fits-all, and can be expensive. A plan for an organisation of 10,000+ people will not work the same way as one for 20 people.
That’s why we’re all pretty proud of Inverroy Digital (ID for short). Not only has it simplified the process immensely, but even people with little to no experience in the field (like me, for example, who works on the Marketing Communications side of things), can actually use and understand it.
But is having a BCP really that important?
I’d say yes, but I guess I have to since I work with a consultancy specialising in the field.
Matthew offers another perspective, the one that led them to develop Inverroy’s own detailed BCP in the first place:
“The realisation as an owner or senior manager that you have responsibility for all the people who work for you, who rely on you for their mortgage, their livelihood – that is a massive responsibility. If you fail as a business because of no forward planning, that will live with you for a long time.
“You can take control of your situation. ID provides the knowledge, the map to complete that journey and start to develop a resilient workforce and business, which has to be a good thing.”
Check out Inverroy Digital.
Or download your free Business Continuity Plan guide.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: