Business Resiliency Planning for Law Firms – Step 4: Covering Your Bases

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that over the last few weeks we’ve spent a lot of time talking about business resiliency – and for good reason. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic that changed the way businesses operate overnight. It also has made the world in which we live and work significantly more unpredictable. Every day the assumptions upon which we’ve comfortably operated for years – and even decades – are rapidly eroding away, leaving us facing a new world, sometimes uncertain world, and wondering what the future may bring.

That, my friends, is where business resiliency planning comes in. When your law firm has a well-thought-out business resiliency plan in place, the future is fraught with far less uncertainty. This is because this type of plan ensures that regardless of the situation, your firm is able to get up and running quickly – and operate smoothly and efficiently – in the weeks and months following a disaster. When you think of it that way, the time spent creating a resiliency plan certainly sounds like worthwhile investment, doesn’t it?

That’s why we’ve been focusing on the ins and outs of creating successful business resiliency plans for law firms over the past few weeks. In Part 1 we discussed why it’s important to plan for future disruption and explored the many benefits of doing so. Then, in Part 2 we focused on establishing a committee to create your firm’s resiliency plan and the importance of tasking that committee to identify your firm’s goals before creating the plan. And last week, we talked about how to determine what the essential elements of your firm’s business resiliency plan should be.

In today’s post we’re going to discuss the final steps to take before you implement your plan and share it with your entire firm. Namely, your next steps are to review the plan, run it by the major stakeholders in your firm, test it out on a limited basis to see if it will work as planned, and then revise it, if needed.

Review and test

Once you’ve drafted your firm’s plan, you’ll need to organize a meeting of the primary stakeholders who are most likely to be affected by a disruption. Explain the purpose of the plan and how you went about drafting it. Make sure that they fully understand the risks of disruption, the types of disruption that are addressed, and how the plan is designed to ensure that the effects of the different types of disruption that the firm may face are minimized.

Next, walk them through each leg of the plan, step by step. For each potential threat, make sure that the relevant stakeholders understand how the specific threat may impact firm operations and how the resiliency plan is designed to mitigate those effects.

Once it’s clear that everyone is on the same page and understands the plan, it’s time to give it a test drive. Does the plan ensure that everyone knows what to expect in each situation that you’ve planned for? Are the procedures that everyone needs to follow clearly set forth and actionable? Does your team feel that it has the tools in place that it needs in order to implement their responsibilities under the plan?

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to move onto the next stage: revisiting the plan and revising it.

Revisit and revise

Now that your team has tested the plan and provided feedback, you’ll need to act on that information. Determine if there are gaps in your plan, and if so, how to address them. If your team was unsure how to proceed in certain situations, you’ll need to update the plan to incorporate their suggestions.

Similarly, if your team reported that they did not feel that they had the necessary technology in place to proceed as required by the plan, you’ll need to invest in new software and hardware in order to ensure that your team is fully equipped to deal with any uncertainty that may come their way. After all, the key to a successful plan is to invest in the tools you’ll need today in order to ensure future resiliency and success.

Finally, once you’ve revised your plan you’ll be ready for the final phase: implementation and training. We’ll cover that stage in next week’s post.

In the meantime, you can learn even more about steps you can take to prepare your plan for the future by downloading our latest FREE online guide: Adapt or Fail: Industry Changes Law Firms Can’t Afford to Ignore.

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