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Developing a Model for Business Continuity Planning in the Life Sciences

Contributors: Seraj Benkhayal

The client is a fast-growing drug discovery and development company with a proprietary platform to bring important new medicines to patients suffering from grievous illnesses. They engaged Clarkston to define a Business Continuity Planning (BCP) model and playbook to be utilized by all essential business functions in the life sciences industry. The deliverables included a BCP procedure, as well as templates and instructions for how to utilize the model, train employees, and ensure a sustainable long-term process. 

Clarkston approached the project in three phases. The initial phase involved developing a standard procedure for BCP, including scope, risk planning, prevention and recovery, and roles and responsibilities. The Clarkston team identified and defined a standard methodology for identifying risks and weighing each risk based on probability, risk level, and an overall risk score. 

Download the Business Continuity Planning in the Life Sciences Case Study Here

The second phase involved developing a playbook for business areas to utilize when conducting BCP, comprehensive of templates, tools, and instructions for risk assessment and planning. The Clarkston team conducted stakeholder interviews and documented process guidance that aligned with the stakeholders, who were encouraged to consider potential risks that can hinder business operations, such as natural disasters, technology outages, human factors, supply chain disruptions, brick-and-mortar damage, and geopolitical influences.   

In the third and final phase of the project, the Clarkston team utilized the newly formed procedure and playbook to conduct Pilot Assessments. In partnership with key stakeholders, the Clarkston team identified top risks by business area and conducted workshops with those business areas. The BCP process was then kicked off for those business areas to analyze and plan for their respective risks. The Clarkston team worked closely with each of the business areas to perform risk assessments, analyze business impacts, develop risk mitigations, and create recovery plans. 

Clarkston ensured the client was provided with all the forms, templates, procedures, education, and assessment tools required to successfully conduct Business Continuity Planning from start to finish, now and in the future. The Clarkston team empowered the client to independently lead and manage future BCP across their essential business functions. 

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