Business Comeback Plan

Phil Jackman, April 2020

This document is an attempt to explore a methodology to create a business comeback plan, which is in many ways the reverse of business continuity plan. Instead of addressing how the business would cope in the event of a loss of service, the question posed is how will the business come back into operation in a way that is controlled and best meets the needs of all stakeholders.

The best way to address this issue is through a facilitated workshop (1 – 2 hours) to explore the issues raised by the question and to use the knowledge gained to plan out the recovery. Much of this information should already be in a business continuity plan.

I have tried to work through this in a logical order but it is very much a draft.

  1. Who are your most important clients
    1. How do you rank your clients
    2. Can they be grouped by type of service, or need
    3. Can they be grouped by location
    4. Is it possible to provide partial service
    5. Are there any government restrictions that affect some or all of these groups
  2. What are your most important process
    1. Who runs these processes
    2. Are there any dependencies between processes
    3. Is there an order in which they need to be brought back
    4. Could you deliver these services in a different way
    5. Are there important support services that underpin these
  3. Who are your most important people
    1. Are they all still available
    2. Are they all still willing to work
      1. How flexible are they prepared to be
    3. What are their skill sets
      1. Is it possible to transfer skill sets
    4. What is their age profile
    5. Are there any government restrictions that affect some or all of these people
    6. Are you able to contact them
  4. Who are your key suppliers
    1. Are they operating
    2. Are there specific items you need them to supply
    3. Are they able to
    4. Are there alternative suppliers available
    5. Are there alternative products or services available
  5. Who are your other key stakeholders
    1. Are they operating
    2. What do they provide for you
    3. What do they want in return
    4. Is this something you are able to provide
  6. From which locations do you operate
    1. Do you provide all services from all locations
    2. Do you need all locations to be operational
    3. Can your key people get to any location
    4. Are there any government restrictions that affect some or all of these locations
    5. Are there any physical restrictions that affect some or all of these locations
  7. How will you coordinate and communicate your recovery plans
    1. What will governance look like
    2. How often will it meet
    3. Who will allocate responsibilities
    4. Who will make decisions
    5. What will happen if actions are not delivered
    6. What will happen if the country goes back into lockdown or further restrictions.

This list is not exhaustive.

Scenarios for consideration:

  • If some form of social distancing prevails, how will this affect the layout of your office or workspace? If you can only accommodate a portion of your people, who will you ask to come in? Could you rearrange the office to enable more people to work there? Is staggering shifts an option or having people come in part time and work the rest elsewhere? Will there be a need for additional cleaning of the workspace between shifts?
  • Some consideration has been given to operating a one-way system to maintain social distancing. Is this something you could implement at your workplace? Could processes be rearranged to enable a better flow? Could processes that don’t rely upon each other be separated across different sites, or different rooms for example? Could stock be moved or split across the workplace to achieve the same?

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