strategies and contingency plans can be logically thought through when
cross-functional teams identify and assess potential business
disruptions. It is important to
include key suppliers, vendors and customers in this planning process. A cross-functional team approach allows
each area to give their perspective of what they feel are the issues and
solutions to identified business disruptions.
In some cases, what one area feels is an issue, may be discounted by
another department’s knowledge.
EXAMPLE: An internal department
team...trying to determine what events could cause potential business
disruptions with producing and shipping products from Asia-Pacific to the
United States and Europe….identified several potential supply chain
disruptions…some of the disruptions were external to the company….invited key
vendors and other service providers to join the team….vendors and services
providers came with their own list of potential disruptions….As the
cross-functional team discussed each of their issues, they realize that what
they thought were significant problems were not problems at all, or could be
easily mitigated…. they agreed on what the “real” business disruptions
partnered in developing realistic plans.
|The team learned a
valuable lesson. teams need to include
internal and external cross-functional expertise so the problem can be viewed
from a variety of perspectives.
Including internal and external departments early in the process
provides additional eyes. Multiple
perspectives enable the right business decisions to be made based on all the
information. The old say, “The more
eyes the better,” again proved itself true.
people, along with internal departments like Internal Audit or Risk
Management would not get involved until after the work was completed. It was then that the “locusts” would swarm
down and point out everything that was wrong.
Getting involved after the work is completed gave these departments
the reputation of being a hindrance to the process rather than part of the
solution. By not being involved early
in the process….could only tell people what not to
do, rather than telling them what they could do.
functional teams enables your company to effectively examine their
interdependencies and enables the management team to make sound business
decisions. The more integrated the process for identifying and assessing
potential risks to the business, the easier the decision by management. A cross-functional team can better define
the business impacts, probabilities and costs.