Business Continuity Management
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Crisis Management and Business Continuity Management: Why Is It Often Confused?

The term CM and BCM are often used interchangeably.  The lack of ability to differentiate these two concepts will result in the content and execution of CM and BCM plans being unnecessarily overlapped.
Moh Heng Goh
Business Continuity Management Certified Planner-Specialist-Expert

The Crisis management (CM) plan is often embedded into the business continuity (BC) plan or vice versa.  This is not a problem unless the execution and responsibilities are delineated in both plans.

Business Continuity Management (BCM)

Why Read This Book [BCM] : A Manager's Guide to ISO 22301 Standard for BCM SystemOR Business Continuity Management BCMPediaBusiness Continuity (BC) Management, or BCM, is a holistic management process for identifying potential impacts from threats and developing response plans.

The objective is to increase an organization’s resilience to business disruptions and minimize the impact of such disruptions.

Consider BCM as the strategic process (Refer to the detailed explanation of the BCM "Umbrella") and BC as the execution when a disaster occurs.

A disaster is the consequence of activating a business continuity plan. In its simplest form, your organisation is denied access to its people, processes, or infrastructure.

Crisis Management (CM)

New call-to-actionOR Crisis Management BCMPediaCrisis Management, or CM, is the overall coordination of an organization's response to a crisis in a practical, timely manner.

It aims to avoid or minimize damage to the organization's profitability, reputation, or ability to operate.

The key is to protect your reputation. In most crises (except for disasters, which are sub-categorized as crises), ensure the primary location is not denied access.

If your crisis management plan is not directed and executed by senior management, there is a concern that both CM and BC plans and responsibilities will overlap heavily.

What is Crisis Management vs Business Continuity Management?

Your organization is expected to execute crisis management and business continuity plans during a crisis. The senior management team handles the decision-making process for handling crises or disasters. 

The execution of the necessary crisis response and should there be a denial of access to the "people, process and infrastructure, "the recovery activities following recovery strategies and business continuity plans will be executed. 

What is confusing is the overlapping of activities for the crisis response and continuity of operations.  It is good to start any discussion by defining a crisis and disaster.  When the incident occurs, the question is, "Is this a crisis or a disaster?"

This is the beginning of a more extended discussion for the readers, as the entire concept of the differences cannot be concluded here.

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