Business Continuity Management in the Coal Seam Gas Sector…anything but Business as Usual

Our customer had expanded rapidly in recent years, from a small private company to a major player in the natural gas sector.  It has undergone significant change and growth and its management saw a need to improve its Business Continuity Management (BCM). 

They engaged Business Aspect during 2012 and 2013 to address its Business Continuity Planning (BCP) requirements as a result of its growth and ownership change.  Business Aspect delivered enhanced BCM outcomes with lead consultant, Robyn Bailey immersed in a senior client-side role, with support from Brendon Taylor.  A major initial task was to understand the business requirements for BCP and as such Business Aspect scoped, managed and delivered an organisation-wide Business Impact Assessment (BIA). 

Business Aspect’s existing tools and processes were used to streamline this process.  A process that involved extensive senior stakeholder engagement and workshops with all of the key organisational functions, including Exploration and Appraisal, Well Delivery, Major Pipelines, LNG/Integration, Finance, IT and HR. The BIA resulted in a comprehensive analysis of the business requirements for recovery of major functions including the timeframes for recovery and all of the dependencies associated with delivering the processes – people, IT, facilities and information. As expected, a number of fairly stringent recovery timeframes were identified for the business, especially within the Operations and the Exploration and Appraisal groups, with not only the typical dependencies of facilities, people and IT but numerous cross dependencies with other business units. 

From here Business Aspect undertook a gap analysis to understand the existing capabilities to meet business requirements. These included capabilities such as IT redundancy, secondary facilities and documented strategies and plans to guide recovery efforts and processes. Where gaps existed, a roadmap was used to present prioritised recommendations on a cost/benefit basis.  A risk assessment was also performed and focussed on the threats to business continuity. Interestingly, the threat landscape for the Coal Seam Gas sector includes a number of political and social aspects, including legislative and regulatory changes, emerging environmental constraints and disruptions from protest activity – real challenges for the leaders of such organisations demonstrating the need to have risk management embedded in business decision-making and strategy. 

Following the BIA and roadmap, Business Aspect worked with key risk management stakeholders to define the BCM framework which included BCP policy and the broad organisational strategy for business continuance as well as the IT Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).  This strategy would form the basis for individual business unit strategies and processes that Business Aspect would later work on with the business unit stakeholders.  Key artefacts included BCP templates that were used to drive business unit collaboration during the strategy development process.

Business Aspect found that this process was ideal to increase user awareness of BCM and the BCP’s and produced a number of awareness artefacts to further these efforts across the business.

The engagement demonstrated Business Aspect’s capabilities in the risk and continuity domain as well as our ability to gain a strong sector based business understanding and using this understanding to work effectively with senior business management stakeholders. The engagement relationship also became one of “trusted advisor”.

Further work is ongoing with the customer including undertaking an IT disaster recovery desktop scenario test and general BCM advisory services.  

For more information about how Business Aspect can help your business, please contact us.