Chapter Summary The processes that today enable continuous improvement of Business Continuity Management Systems are based less on the maintenance of the Business Continuity Plan than was the focus in the past. Business Continuity Management standards emphasize the continuous improvement of its entire set of its programmatic elements through the trending of performance metrics that monitor critical success factors, key performance indicators, and thorough internal audits that ensure the effectiveness of the management system. The results of trends and management system audits are reported to the top management level of the organization for action. Any nonconformity with the requirements of the standards is investigated to determine their root cause and a corrective action plan is developed to prevent the recurrence of the issue that caused the nonconformity. A Responsibility Assignment Matrix can support the management of the implementation of some corrective actions. Once implemented, the success of the corrective actions is examined through a process of effectiveness reviews to help guarantee they were effective in achieving their goal. Any number of Root Cause Analysis tools is acceptable for use by the standards and include Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Human Performance Improvement (HPI), and Five-Whys. The Root Cause Analysis will often include an “extent of condition” review to determine if the potential (or the actual existence) for an identified issue or nonconformance to exist in other activities, processes, or programs within the Business Continuity Management System or within the remainder of the organization as a whole. Updates to the program and the plans are tracked through a Change Management system that can operate on either an Organizational Change Management or Process Change Management level. The Change Management system is documented so that modifications to the Business Continuity Management System are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner. This chapter discusses the elements that the Business Continuity Manager must apply to keep his or her program in a mission ready state, or to borrow a term from the Quality Management arena, “fit-for-purpose.” It will enable the manager to maintain momentum toward a mature program that will meet the expectations of the standards and achieve a world class Business Continuity Management System.

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