Are you familiar with the reality show, “The Amazing Race”? On the show, teams embark on a journey. At every destination, each team must compete in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical, and only when the tasks are completed will they learn of their next location. Teams who are the farthest behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the first team to arrive at the final destination winning the contest. The journey of “The Amazing Race” is a lot like life, personal and business. The goal is to finish while successfully completing a series of tasks along the way.
The takeaway from this analogy is, it’s not good enough to finish the race but fail to complete the tasks along the way. And, it’s not good enough to complete all the tasks, but not finish the race. Finishing first after having satisfactorily completed all tasks is a whole ‘nother level, but it’s the goal.
Unlike “The Amazing Race”, in life, we often have the luxury of identifying potential challenges, assessing the effects each might have on our ability to meet our goals, then finding ways to mitigate the impact. Too, we often have the ability to adapt to, improvise around and overcome an unplanned event that has negatively impacted our goals.
In business, that process is called a Business Impact Analysis or Assessment (BIA). The BIA focuses on events that disrupt or impede a business’s ability to operate normally. The Business Continuity Institute, a professional organization focused on helping companies prepare for emergencies, says in its good practice guidelines that there are four main types of BIA:
- Initial BIA: This is a high-level analysis that serves as a framework for more detailed BIAs.
- Product and Service BIA: This identifies a business’s most important products and services and the impacts they would face.
- Process BIA: This analysis identifies the processes or workflows that are needed to deliver the most important products and services.
- Activity BIA: This identifies the activities that deliver the most urgent products and services.
Paul Kirvan, a fellow at the Business Continuity Institute, says that past events are the best source of information about what impact a disruption would have.
2020 has left us no shortage of unplanned events that have negatively impacted business operations in one or more ways. It’s safe to say, every business (mom & pop, small, large and enterprise) would benefit from an impact assessment. Perhaps the results from a BIA are strategies that catapult the business from surviving to thriving or the pivot roadmap or data-driven input to the annual business continuity or strategic plan update. Regardless, every business is, or should be, developing mitigation, pivoting, sustainability, growth or exit strategies.
iSeek Solutions, through our management consulting services, empowers businesses to meet their goals. So, of course, we facilitate Business Impact Assessments. Our Assessment often entails thorough assessments of one, multiple or all of these areas: business processes, technology platforms and infrastructure, human capital and organizational structure.
The goals of every business are akin to those of “The Amazing Race”. Contact us today to assist your business in assessing the impacting events of the past and developing mitigation strategies for the future. To learn more about us, check out our website, subscribe to our blog, or follow us on LinkedIn!