Wait a minute – as a Business Continuity professional, doesn’t that already make you responsible for business continuity in your organisation? In many cases it does, but there’s a subtle difference between responsibility and ownership. This just one of the practical points brought out by different DRII training courses. It’s all part of making sure that attendees learn not only the theory and principles that underpin good BC management, but also how to work with the rest of their organisation to make sure that business continuity is real, active and adequate. So where does the difference between being responsible and owning apply?

An example of the difference is in business impact analysis (BIA), one of the ten professional practices defined by DRII for business continuity. Business continuity practitioners plan and coordinate this activity, including defining the criteria to be used for analysing events and impacts, and how the data is to be gathered. Depending on the area of the business involved, the BIA may concern a particular department or group within the organisation. As a BC practitioner, you may have responsibility for that BIA, but it’s the department and its leadership that own it.

So (in this context), that means that having agreed to the BIA methodology you’ve laid out, the department then gathers or provides the necessary data so that relevant events and their impact to that department can be analysed. Your responsibility is in making sure that the department agrees and takes the actions required. While this in no way means taking over leadership of the department, it does mean that if there is a problem (agreement cannot be reached, actions are not taken, etc.), it is up to you as the BC practitioner to negotiate correct resolution, or to escalate the matter until such resolution can be reached.