7 benefits of managing business continuity exercises with a BCM software

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As a continuity and resilience professional, managing business continuity exercises can be a stressful task. It requires a great deal of planning, expert execution and close monitoring throughout.

Exercises also need to be dynamic and engaging, while still achieving the set objectives.

Fortunately, business continuity management automation software such as ParaSolution can help you significantly improve your continuity exercises, thanks to several useful features.

In this article, discover 7 advantages of running business continuity exercises with a business continuity management software like ParaSolution.

1. Develop business continuity exercises efficiently with predefined templates

First and foremost, business continuity management software such as ParaSolution helps you improve the efficiency of your exercises by providing with predefined templates for developing an exercise.

This means that when you want to start developing an exercise, all your team members can use the same predefined template according to your criteria.

This ensures that all required fields are completed, while familiarizing your teams with your procedures over the long term.

Here are a few examples of essential criteria, parameters and details you can include in your incident and exercise templates as soon as the software is implemented:

  • Exercise summary: name, leader and planned date
  • Exercise objectives
  • Scenario
  • Business units included and participants
  • Approach, procedure and requirements
  • Success criteria
  • And much more!

2. Use a BCM software to gain a better understanding of the situation

In order to make informed decisions in crisis situations, it's important to have a clear understanding of the situation and its context.

With BCM software like ParaSolution, organizations can, among other things:

  • Access a range of important data and information on incidents and exercises, whether active or inactive
  • Obtain visual performance indicators on the status of an incident or exercise (e.g., the total duration of an incident versus the tolerated downtime)
  • Generate targeted status and accountability reports

Developing and managing your continuity exercises with software like ParaSolution offers the advantage of instant sharing of information, documents and updates. This, in turn, enables you to generate relevant reports and graphs for informed decision-making.

Women using ParaSolution

3. Take advantage of the crisis communication and mass notification features

Whether you manage an exercise or a real incident, you need to quickly alert and mobilize the various crisis management teams and business units required.

Fortunately, developing an exercise in continuity software enables you to use its important crisis communications and mass notification features.

The advantage is that you can send test communications to your participants as well as receive information about their status in real time.

The emergency mass notification system of ParaSolution

As an exemple, ParaSolution messages can be sent by text/SMS, e-mail or voice/message. Text, hyperlinks, images and attachments can also be added for added realism.

Using the notification function during exercises certainly helps increase the realism of the exercise for participants and make them aware of what an actual emergency notification would look like!

4. Use timely templates with the workflows function of BC software

A very interesting feature of BCM software to enhance your exercises is the workflows function.

Workflows enable organizations to predefine sequences of actions and tasks to be undertaken during incident management. These can be programmed to ensure that your incident management will meet crisis management objectives, as well as the standards and regulations of your industry.

The use of workflows makes it possible to invite stakeholders to complete the various required templates at the appropriate time. This provides a complete overview of tasks completed (or not completed) and any issues to be raised with the crisis management team.

Using BCM software during your exercises ensures that your participants take the right actions in the right sequence, and that exercise objectives are met!

5. Facilitate collaboration

Continuity software such as ParaSolution enables you to manage your exercises and facilitates collaboration between team members.

Exercise participants can quickly access their roles and responsibilities, then address any necessary tasks directly in the plans. They can also efficiently track which tasks have been completed and which have not, providing an up-to-date status of the situation.

Managing your exercise in a centralized solution enables your participants to easily communicate and coordinate their efforts, avoiding the information silos and communication errors that can occur when managing exercises manually.

Graphic of four components of Parasolution - Planning, execution, governance, reporting

We believe in broadening access to collaborators, not limiting it. That's why ParaSolution forms are simple, smart and accessible!

6. Collect and implement recommendations  

Once an exercise has been completed or an incident managed to resolution, ParaSolution lets you keep a complete history of the situation, the results obtained, the actions taken, and the measures implemented.

The aim is to better identify and compare trends, gaps, risks and opportunities for improvement in the future.

ParaSolution also captures the learnings and findings of participants, inviting them to complete action and decision logs and checklists to improve incident management capabilities over time!

7. Meet compliance requirements

Using software such as ParaSolution to manage your exercises enables you to properly document and retain the data required to meet compliance controls.

Whether in relation to new international regulations in the field of operational resilience, the various relevant legislative frameworks, ISO 22301 and/or ISO 17001 standards, or specific requirements related to your field, this approach ultimately speeds up your certification or recertification process.

Learn more here on what is the ISO 22301 certification and why you should obtain it! 

Got a business continuity exercise coming up?

Ultimately, exercises are vital to understanding your current incident management capabilities, and to raise awareness of business continuity across the organization.

Managing your exercises in BCM software like ParaSolution allows you to use a wide range of features to develop and run successful exercises! 

Contact our team for advice on your business continuity exercises, or discover more on our powerful ParaSolution BCM software.

Our experts will be delighted to teach you more about efficient incident and exercise management using automation!