Free COVID-19 business continuity guide from ICC available online



Businesses are invited to use a free-to-download business continuity guide built around the principles of PAMA-Plan, Adapt, Monitor and Asses-with the aim to help companies worldwide become as resilient as possible in the face of the COVID-19 global health crisis.

The COVID-19 Business Continuity Guide developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the world's largest business organization, features practical tips on how to build a resilience strategy as well as guide questions that will help identify supply chain risks.

Also included are a sample business continuity scenario analysis and a business unit continuity analysis template.

"It is understandable to feel overwhelmed by the health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19. But we must focus on those things we can control. Preparedness is a critical factor in determining the likelihood your business will remain afloat. If you have not done so already, it is imperative that you put a plan in place to maintain business continuity," said the guide.

It further invites businesses to "reach out to your local chamber of commerce and trade association for advice more tailored to your region and sector…These are challenging times, but with preparedness, pragmatism and determination, we will prevail."

The PAMA approach calls for the following:

  • Have a Plan to ensure that disruption to your business is minimized and resilience enhanced.

  • When you begin to experience disruption, it is essential that you Adapt across all operations to ensure business continuity.

  • As the situation develops, you should Monitor public health advice as well as government support programs for your business and employees.

  • The fluid nature of the pandemic requires you to continuously Assess your COVID-19 business continuity plan, and amend as necessary.

Under the Plan principle, for instance, the guide urges a company to, among others, create a taskforce on pandemic preparedness. "Creating a key team of people who can focus their energies on the business impacts of COVID-19 will enhance the resilience of your business," it said.

It also suggests that companies assess the importance of business activities, conduct a business continuity scenario analysis, assign roles for COVID-19 mitigation activities, and establish internal and external communications strategy.

Under Adapt, the first priority should be "maintaining the physical and mental wellbeing of your people," and if the situation in your area worsens, "you may need to close offices and, where possible, shift to working from home."

The Monitor principle advises monitoring the situation to determine a change in severity and sourcing information from reputable sources such as the World Health Organization "and the national and subnational health services in your areas of operation."

Finally, the guide calls on firms to continuously assess and review their pandemic preparedness plan. "Be willing to adapt as necessary as the situation on the ground changes," it said.

The free guide is available for download here: 

--- Philexport News and Features, 08 April 2020