Business continuity and crisis management

Business crisis risk assessment

You need to analyse the probability and consequences of crises that could affect your business. This involves:

  • assessing the likelihood of a particular crisis occurring - and its possible frequency
  • deciding its possible impact on your operations

This kind of analysis should help you to identify which business functions are essential to day-to-day business operations. You're likely to conclude that certain roles within the business - while necessary in normal circumstances - aren't absolutely critical in a disaster.

Likelihood of risks occurring

It can help to grade the probability of a particular crisis, perhaps on a scale of one to ten or as high, medium or low.

This will help you to decide your business' attitude towards each risk. You may decide to do nothing about a low-probability crisis - although remember that it could still be highly damaging to your business if it occurred, eg a terrorist attack.

Potential impact of a crisis

To determine the possible impact of a crisis on your business, it can be helpful to think of some of the worst possible scenarios and how they might hinder your business.

For instance, how could you access data on your customers and suppliers if computer equipment was stolen or damaged by a flood? Where would the business operate from if your premises were destroyed by fire?

Business continuity planning.

It's essential to look at risks from the perspective of your customers. Consider how they'd be affected by each potential crisis. Would they be likely to look for alternative suppliers?

Consider whether you would be able to keep to service-level agreements (SLAs) if a particular crisis occurred - and what the consequences might be if you couldn't. See drawing up service level agreements with suppliers.