VinciWorks hosts business continuity masterclass on conducting a tabletop exercise

Karla Gahan

Karla Gahan, Deputy Global Head of Risk & Advisory at VinciWorks

On 27 February, VinciWorks hosted its second in a series of risk masterclasses. In the interactive business continuity masterclass, experts Karla Gahan and Dean Hughes shared insights on how to run a tabletop exercise within your own organisation. Delegates were presented with a clear structure on how to prepare for and run a tabletop exercise. They also participated in a mock exercise, enabling them to understand how best to facilitate a session.

Guest speakers provide further insight on business continuity planning

We were delighted to invite business continuity experts to share their insights during the masterclass. Sam Dawson from disaster recovery and restoration provider Belfor discussed the services Belfor offer in the case of an emergency. Former firefighter Russ Timpson from Horizonscan shared his expertise on the role fire safety plays on your company’s business continuity plan.

What is a tabletop exercise?

A tabletop exercise is a facilitated training workshop that tests existing business continuity plans to determine efficacy and identify any areas which need further attention and action. It is carried out face-to-face with a business continuity team and run with a facilitator to ensure the exercise covers all of your objectives.

Key takeaways

    • Tabletop exercises often begin with convincing organisations of the true value of these sessions because there is a lack of understanding of the benefit these exercises can bring
    • The key core aspects of a tabletop exercise:
        • Resource management – Ensuring that all business continuity team members are aware of their roles and responsibilities
        • Learning – Enabling a business continuity team to test their plan in a safe environment
      • Assurance – Demonstrating to clients, regulators and other interested parties that the organisation is resilient and has a greater level of maturity in their Business Continuity Framework
  • The value of planning and ensuring that you have processes which underpin your business continuity plans

Delegates walk away with clear action steps

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our delegates in attendance. It is clear that they went back to their office with clear action steps and how to get buy-in from their board. One delegate said they gained practical tips to incorporate into a tabletop exercise that was already scheduled by their business continuity team while another said they will now start running tabletop exercises in their organisation.

Other action steps gained include:

    • The importance of having the right business continuity team in place
    • Even if you have the right plans in place, be ready for anything to happen
    • Review all documentation from the scenarios used in the masterclass when carrying out the next tabletop exercise
  • Having the resources and knowledge to explain to the board the important of having a business continuity plan in place and of running a tabletop exercise

About VinciWorks’ business continuity and risk management services

The VinciWorks Risk Management team understands the importance of building strong teams who can work together during an incident. Trained at Airmic, BCI and the IRM, our experts have continued to be thought leaders in the risk management and business continuity arena, implementing software management solutions, consulting on all aspects of Enterprise Risk Management, regularly publishing white papers and articles and delivering masterclasses, conference presentations and seminars. They have worked with Boards and Senior Management on ERM Frameworks, risk and control identification, assessment, appetite and tolerance.

Their innovative, refreshing and efficient approach to business continuity and risk management is reflected in VinciWorks’ product line. They are available to consult business leaders on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), as well as take them through one or all of the 10 steps of ERM.