Before starting a business impact analysis (BIA) it is important to have a plan and know how long the process will take. This is where the BIA Calculator can help!
First, you must secure management support for the effort. Next, you have to prepare briefing materials that will guide your colleagues through the discussion process. This done, you need to develop an appropriate questionnaire with examples to inform and illustrate the meaning of terms such as: critical processes (e.g.: payroll or shipping) and recovery time objectives (RTOs); and then devise ways of measuring the impact of an interruption in financial or other meaningful ways. Of course the first two questions management is going to ask is “How long with this take and how much will it cost?”
ContinuityCompliance.org would like to help you answer these questions. The BIA calculator is a tool that can help you estimate the amount of effort required for the project manager to conduct an impact study. Drawing on commonly accepted guidelines and the experience of our team of contributing experts, the Calculator asks three simple questions:
• How large is your organization as measured in either number of full time employees or annual revenues?
• Do you have experience in conducting a BIA?
• How many critical processes do you estimate exist in your operation?
Using these variables, the Calculator then provides a projection of the total number of hours that will be required to conduct this activity. These hours represent real-world estimates of the amount of time that will be needed to collect the information, study it, validate the findings, and create a report for management. Note that for larger organizations the Calculator adds an overhead factor that represents the amount of time that will be spent in support activities such as scheduling meetings and briefing supervisors and managers. In small organizations, the overhead is negligible while in large ones it can be quite significant!
For this example, let’s assume that there are:
• 17 employees
• 14 critical processes (e.g.: payroll, commission accounting, shipping, etc.)
• The organization has never been through a BIA before
Given the above, the BIA Calculator determines that you need fifty-nine hours (58.53 to be exact!) of time to complete the basic BIA process of which sixteen hours are overhead. See the example below:
Now let’s change the assumptions used in the Calculator. Assume that there are:
- 214 employees.
- 97 critical processes including activities such as Data Backup, Inventory Management, and Compliance Reporting.
- The organization has been through a BIA process before (an answer of YES).
Then the calculated number of hours needed for Part 1 of this project is 394 hours including 40 hours of overhead planning and logistics (see below).
The information provided by the BIA calculator can be used in several ways. If you are interested in seeing how this time projection can be used to estimate the cost of the BIA, follow this link to a short article that picks up from this example and shows you how to arrive at a project cost.
Can You Help?
If you think you have some additional insights that could improve the BIA calculator, we encourage you to contact us and make your suggestions. Once reviewed by our team of technical advisors we can decide if and how to present your propose enhancements. After all, that’s how the sandbox is designed to work! Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not sure how many critical processes you are running. Review this short article that provides a guideline on the number of critical processes in organizations of different sizes.
Seen enough and want to begin working up your estimate? Follow this link to return to the BIA Calculator.
Need Some Help?
After reviewing the estimated work effort needed to conduct a BIA, many organizations decide to hire an outside consultant to assist with this process. If you are looking for an experienced consultant to help you with this or any other continuity, compliance, or security issue – please be sure to visit the Find A Consultant section of this website. ContinuityCompliance.org prides itself on the professionalism and knowledge of our affiliates and we are confident we can help you find exactly the right person for your project.