Q: Do you have a point person in IT to help business units with business-continuity planning? If so, what are that person’s duties and skill sets?
A: At MoneyGram International, we have abusiness-continuity expert on the IT staff who communicates and coordinates the plan development and testing with the business owners. This has proven effective for our organization because this individual does not develop the plan, but is viewed by the business as an expert.
To be successful in this role, the business-continuity expert must have a proven track record in developing continuity plans in addition to project management. Because continuity planning does not always get a high priority in the organization, this individual must be able to establish a high level of credibility with the business units. Although the business unit maintains ownership of the continuity plan, often the continuity planner must take the lead and drive the planning effort. With established credibility, the business unit gains trust and views the individual as a partner.
Our business-continuity expert has an IT background, specifically with IT disaster-recovery planning. We have found that to be successful in this role, the individual must have business sense and be engaged in learning how the business works. In other words, this individual cannot sit in the background and take notes, but should drive execution of the plan by making suggestions on how the plan could operate.