A Focus on Business Continuity Can Help You Weather the Storm

3-minute read

Many businesses that do a good job of advance planning have thoroughly thought through supply chain and business continuity plans. However, many of these plans only consider isolated events, such as weather or terrorism, and never consider a disruption on the scale of a global pandemic.  

As a result, employees from the front office to the back office, from the plant floor to the C-suite, have been forced to think and react quickly by changing processes “on-the-fly” to meet new health mandated working conditions.

Now that states are reopening for business, have you assessed the impacts of these quick changes on your employees, processes, and technology? Follow these steps to begin developing a business continuity plan that will help you weather any kind of storm, including a global pandemic. 

Identify Key Processes

Conduct interviews and workshops to actively identify key processes and gaps, to move toward an ideal state. Many Lean Six Sigma tools such as Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers (SIPOC) and Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) are useful in facilitating workshops, gathering ideas, and developing implementation strategies. 

To begin, start by asking these questions to various leaders, managers, and front-line employees:

  • What key processes are not well documented as standard operating procedures (SOPs) with process and data flows?
    • What process metrics for Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Key Result Indicators (KRIs), and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are not defined or documented, and not bought in by your employees?
    • What technology gaps exist to provide process data at a level of detail necessary to evaluate the process results and employee performance?

Execute Real-Time Studies & Observations

This is the Gemba Walk: the place where value is created. It’s an opportunity to observe the real work that is being executed, ask “what” questions to understand the benefits of a process and show respect to your employees by involving them in the improvement process.

Develop a Plan & a Timeline

Put together a project plan including timelines and resource needs. Prioritize ideas and implementation strategies into the highest impact activities with the least amount of effort first. This ensures you are capturing quick, low-hanging opportunities in a timely manner.

Execute the Plan

Empower a project manager to ensure the timely execution of the implementation strategies. Capture opportunities as quickly as possible to realize efficiencies and reduce costs.

Read this ebook to learn five ways technology can equip your F&A teams to move to modern accounting and thrive in this virtual world.


Written by

Michael Heilman is a leader on our Crisis Management Services team. He holds over 20 years of professional experience providing business process and technology assessment services to clients in various industries. Michael's business consulting experience and deep knowledge of Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma and LEAN principles allows him to efficiently aid clients in navigating process improvements and change management to stabilize their businesses in times of crisis.