The fourth flaw comes from the inability of traditional BIA methodologies to weight and differentiate process criticality. Most methodologies prioritize processes according to a scale (1 – 5, low – medium – high, critical – important – deferrable, etc.).
Regardless of the chosen scale, the problem arises when multiple impact categories are considered (legal, financial, image, health and safety, upstream, downstream, etc.) and the BIA methodology fails to provide a technique to weight criticality (compare the criticality of one process to another’s) across different impact categories and/or across different priority tiers.
Assume the 1 – 5 scale is used – is a process with a level 4 financial impact, a level 4 legal impact, and a level 3 image impact more or less important than one with a level 4 financial impact, a level 4 legal impact, a level 2 image impact and a level 2 downstream impact? Few methodologies help you make this decision (fyi…the second process is the most critical). Conversely, is a process with a level 3 financial impact, a level 3 legal impact, a level 3 image impact and a level 2 downstream impact more or less important than a process with a level 4 operational impact? (the level 4 operational impact is more important)
Few BIA methodologies address this challenge and most default to labeling the process according to its highest criticality, disregarding same-tier or cross-tier weighting. This overly simple approach sacrifices granularity and as a result, it sacrifices the ability to optimally distinguish and adjust real priorities on-the-fly at-time-of-disaster based on the actual impacts of the moment.
In reality, criticality should not be weighted…until it should be!
It’s time to dump the traditional BIA!