An Appraisal Of Business Continuity Plan By Facilities Managers In Nigeria
Happenings all over the world have shown that no business facility is devoid of disaster. It is in the light of the above that good facilities management practice, demands a proactive approach to such problems by preparing business continuity plan (BCP). This research project is undertaken to appraise the plans prepared by the facilities management firms in Nigeria as fall back measure in case of any disruption in organizations business procedures. Field survey was undertaken with structured questionnaire and oral interviews with stakeholders as the instruments of research.
Purposive sampling was adopted in the interview. Seventy questionnaires were distributed out of which forty three were completed and returned, giving 61.4% response. Results showed that although facilities managers in Nigeria are well aware of the risk portfolio of their organizations, but adequate measures are not put in its proper place to prevent and prepare for any eventuality. For example, respondents opinion on how often BCP is being used in managing facilities shows that 65.1% do not use it often, 69.8% agreed that BCP is based on demand by client/organization.
The outcome of the result of the study showed that even if BCP is in use, it is not proactive, also refusal of government and clients to request for BCP contributed to the lack of preparation of plan. It was recommended that government should make it mandatory for all organizations to request facilities managers to prepare BCP to guide and prepare for any eventuality in the form of disasters and their position as part of their financial statement. Professional bodies and associations affiliated to disaster management, should assist organizations by organizing workshops, trainings, awareness campaigns for personnel of such organizations.
Table of Contents
- Title page
- Table of Contents
- List of Tables
- List of Figures
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Problem Statement
- 1.3 Justification of the Study
- 1.4 Aim and Objectives
- 1.5 Methodology
- 1.6 Scope And Limitations
- 2.1 Overview of Business Continuity Plan
- 2.2 Business Continuity Impact Analysis
- 2.3 The Key Players (Personnel) in charge of Implementing BCP
- 2.4 Business Continuity Planning Committee/Working Group
- 2.5 Areas and Organisations that Prepare and Implement BCP
- 2.6 Various Views, Definitions and Descriptions of BCP
- 2.7 Key Steps of Business Continuity Planning in Summary
- 3.1 Preamble
- 3.2 Sampling Size and Sampling Technique
- 3.3 Description of Data and Data Collection
- 3.4 Method of Data Presentation
- 3.5 Method of Data Analysis
Data Presentation, Analysis and Discussion
- 4.1 Preamble
- 4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.3 Discussion of Result
Conclusion and Recommendations
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendations
- Appendix I (Letter of Introduction)
- Appendix II (Questionnaire)
- Appendix III (List of Facilities Management Firms)
List of Tables
- Table 4.1: Distribution of Questionnaires
- Table 4.2: Profession of Respondents
- Table 4.3: Distribution of Respondents based on experience
- Table 4.4: Educational Qualification of Respondents
- Table 4.5: Professional Qualification of Respondents
- Table 4.6: Designation of Respondents
- Table 4.7: Respondents’ Opinion of BCP
- Table 4.8: Response on areas where BCP is used in Managing Facilities
- Table 4.9: Respondent opinion on how often BCP is used in managing facilities
- Table 4.10: Respondent Opinion on the Problems militating against the effective use of BCP in Managing Facilities
- Table 4.11: Respondent opinion on the impact of effective management of facilities
- Table 4.12: Respondents opinion on why BCP is prepared
- Table 4.13: Respondents’ opinion on the need for management of facilities in Nigeria 65
- Table 4.14: Respondents’ Perception on how BCP can promote effective Management of Facilities in Nigeria
List of Figures
- Fig. 2.1: Business Continuity Planning Lifecycle
- Fig. 2.2: Business Continuity Organisation
- Fig. 2.3: Business Continuity Organisation (Execution)
1.1 Background of the Study
While governments, not-for-profit institutions, and non-governmental organisations also deliver critical services, private organisations must continuously deliver products and services to satisfy shareholders and to survive. Although they differ in goals and functions, business continuity planning (BCP) can be applied by all governments.
Elliot et al (1999) defines business continuity planning as identifying an organisation’s exposure to internal and external threats and synthesizes hard and soft assets to provide effective prevention and recovery for the organisation, while maintaining competitive advantage and value system integrity.
There is much misunderstanding of business continuity management (BCM) and as yet no commonly practiced methodology for the assessment of an organisation in this regard (Honour 2001). Elliot et al (1999) noted that there is no structured implementation of capabilities to directly address the risks presented to us in the modern world. These newly emphasized risks in partnership with the inherent vulnerabilities resulting from the lack of a structured approach to BCM calls for a more robust and measurable means of protecting our continuity management that is continuity assurance.
As the name implies, continuity assurance is concerned with actively planning to avert the threat or reduce from the act, though this recovery is implicit in the approach detailed in this work.
1.2 Problem Statement
Management of facilities in developing countries like Nigeria is replete with a lot of problems. Prominent among them is the disruption of business operations, delays, ineffective or poor quality service. This is due to lack of clear understanding of those organisations risk profile or portfolio and absence of proactive measures that will ensure the continuation of critical business operations. As a result of the aforementioned, this affects the organisations in many ways, e.g. service provision is poor or substandard, profit maximization is seriously affected and the reputation of the organisation is equally affected, etc.
1.3 Justification of the Study
Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity is one out of the eleven (11) core competencies in the management of facilities. This needs a holistic study of the core competencies to see ways and means for effective facilities management. Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is suppose to be properly put in place for any business to strife, be it small, medium or big.
It is in the light of the above that a critical look at plans that are supposed to be put in place by FM for business to continue and also to mitigate any negative effect of any disaster on the organisation.
It is an acknowledged fact that one of the important and necessary conduction for smooth successful and effective management of any facility devoid of any interruption that may have far reaching impact on the organization is the putting in place proactive measure to ensure the continuation of critical activities considering the facilities management practice in Nigeria (being at the development stage) a feedback system is needed or information is needed on how this important activities were undertaken especially the approach adopted, (1) quality of the plan, (2) how they are implemented and (3) problems relating to the implementation and above all the quality of human resource who prepares and implement (facilities management) this will enable the facilities management practice to benefit from such results.
1.4 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this project is to evaluate the business continuity plans prepared by facilities manager in Nigeria with a view to providing guidelines and procedures for an orderly and timely business continuance.
- To study how BCP is used in the management of facilities in Nigeria.
- To determine the factors affecting the effective use of BCP in management of facilities by comparing (a) above.
- To assess the perception of stakeholders/facilities managers on how BCP can promote effective management of facilities.
The methods used could be summarized under the following sub-headings:
1.5.1 Literature Review
Review of related literature on the subject using magazines, journals, conference proceedings, internet, interviews, etc. This was done in order to articulate existing knowledge on principles, procedures and practice of undertaking business continuity planning in facilities management.
This is in order to articulate existing knowledge on business continuity plan, measures that are supposed to be put in place so as to guide against the negative impact of disaster.
1.5.2 Field Survey
Field survey was undertaken using structured questionnaire as instrument of study. A total of 70 questionnaires were self administered to respondents, some through electronic mail while others by contact to offices out of which 43 were returned, analyzed and used for the study. In addition, standard oral interview was undertaken with professional facilities managers/stakeholders with not less than five years in practice.
1.5.3 Analysis of Data
The data collected from the field survey was analysed descriptively using appropriate/relevant statistical tools. This include frequency distribution and mean scores.
1.6 Scope and Limitations
There are varying views/opinions on business continuity plan by Facilities Managers all over the world. These can be summarized under 3 distinct categories. First, it is perceived as proactive plan to ensure the continual operation of critical business plan. Second, as a plan that goes beyond ensuring the continual operation of critical activities but also means to be put in place when disaster strikes. Thirdly, some view it as emergency/contingency plan employed during crisis.
In this study, I have chosen the first view of Business Continuity Plan which is a proactive plan to ensure the continual operation of critical business plan.
Many of the facilities management firms were not cooperative on some issues e.g. effort to see the BCP proved abortive – they regard it as a business secret. Some vital information were denied the researcher.
Facilities management is in its developing stage as such one may not have enough population samples, enough competent hands to obtain the necessary information.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
The study examines Business Continuity Plan prepared by Facilities Managers with a view to providing guidelines and procedures for an orderly and timely business continuance. The objectives that guided the study were to: study how BCP is used in the management of facilities in Nigeria; determine the factors affecting the effective use of BCP in management of facilities; assess the perception of stakeholders/facilities managers on how BCP can promote effective management of facilities.
The research design adopted for the study is the survey method. The total of 70 respondents from facilities management firms were used as the sample size. Structured questionnaires designed on the five-point likert scale were distributed to the 70 respondents, out of which 43 were duly filled and returned, and this formed the basis for the analysis.
The research used simple percentage to analyze the personal data of respondents, while the mean (x) was used to analyze the respondents’ response to the questionnaire.
The result of findings indicates that business continuity plan has a significant positive impact on facilities management as it ensures that critical services or products are delivered during disruptions.
From the analysis and findings carried out, the following inferences and conclusions were drawn:
The study discovered that Business Continuity Plan is a proactive learning process to ensure that critical services or products are delivered during disruption as well BCP is used for emergency situations or serious disruptions.
It was also revealed that the general understanding and perception of stakeholders of Business Continuity and proactive measures to guide against its side effects is very low.
The research further revealed that the major problems militating against efficient use of BCP are linked to management, citizens and government. While the management of the firms are accused of not giving their full support to see to the efficient use of BCP, the government is accused of not showing enough concern and carelessness; the public is also accused of lack of cooperation.
Furthermore, the study discovered that the impact of effective management of facilities is absolutely positive on organizations; and that it is very important for BCP to be used in the management of facilities in Nigeria. However, to achieve this feat, a general orientation on the indifference of Nigerians to important issues by professional bodies and government by improving awareness campaign and punitive measures for unethical behaviour by professionals
It was also among other things revealed that Business Continuity Plan is not prepared by most facilities managers; even if BCP is in use, it is only reactive and not proactive. The attitude of stakeholders is responsible for ineffective and efficient management of facilities in Nigeria; as well as refusal of government and clients to request for BCP contributed to the lack of preparation of plan.
Moreso, understanding the psychology of the way that people view precautionary measures such as BCP can assist in achieving the wide range of possible benefits from a Business Continuity management strategy.
- The management of organizations be it small or large should always request the firm managing its facilities to prepare and always update BCP in accordance with the guidelines. It should give all the necessary support to the facilities manager.
- Government must be up and doing on the indifferent attitude of Nigerians on issues of vital importance in view of the aforementioned, the preparation of comprehensive risk management plan should be part of the annual report that corporate organizations issues to the general public. Government should also empower its relevant agencies such as those incharge of the registration of companies (Corporate Affairs Commission), Ministry of Labour and Productivity to withdraw or cancel such registration or appropriate disciplinary action be meted to them.
- Professional bodies and associations, most especially the International Facilities Management Association, IFMA, and government agencies particularly National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with its State counterparts (SEMA), both Federal and State Fire Services, National Orientation Agency (NOA) should assist organizations be it small or large by organizing workshops, trainings, awareness campaigns etc for personnel of such organizations.
- The preparation of proactive plans by firms, in form of BCP among others, should be made a condition for full support by NEMA, SEMA and it should be one of the important yardstick that insurance companies will use in assessing insurance premium.
- The citizens themselves must find ways of dealing with organizations that do not care to provide effective service to their client through the formation of very powerful consumer association.
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