As many of our readers already know, this website tries to focus its postings on major issues regarding continuity and compliance, and, in doing so, often encounters the discipline of business continuity management (“BCM”) and the many definitions of BCM professed by senior managers, business continuity planning teams from nearly thirty years ago to the more current definitions professed in the PS-Prep compliance strategy planning meetings of today.

According to the BS-25999 standard, business continuity management is a “holistic management process that identifies potential threats to an organization and the impacts to business operations that those threats, if realized, might cause, and which provides a framework for building organizational resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of it key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value-creating activities”.

Now while this British Standard 25999 seems to cover many aspects of BCM in this definition, Mr. Luc P. Klein MBA questions this definition by claiming that it does not currently cover the actual meaning of the term business continuity from his perspective.  More to the point, this definition, according to Mr. Klein, is primarily focused on operational activities and, all too often, it does not address other events such as: (1) Fraud, (2) Reputation, (3) Joint Venture and Mergers & Acquisitions, (4) Hedging, (5) Setting of Pricing Policies and Services, and/or (6) Misjudgments or misreading of market or technology developments or trends.

To back up Mr. Klein’s position, he has written a paper entitled “Is Business Continuity Management a Misnomer?”, and, he does a good job in driving home the point that business continuity management has evolved significantly just in the past decade — so much so that at the end of the day, business continuity management is truly about running the business, rather than solely its operations.

Perhaps many organizations around the globe can benefit from reading this article and having it become a catalyst for more unique discussions focused on the real business risks and/or threats each of our organizations must address in order to meet the full definition of the word business continuity.

If applicable, please read Mr. Klein’s position paper and share your comments with our readership, so that we all can benefit from such meaningfully dialogue and debate over this content about such a critical topic for so many of our private sector companies – particularly those who might be contemplating the task of bringing their companies in compliance with the DHS PS-Prep program.  Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Klein’s position?

For the record, Luc P. Klein MBA is a Senior Business Consultant, within the Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) practice of Logica Business Consulting, a business and technology service company, employing 41,000 people.

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