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Happenings all over the world have shown that no business facility is devoid of disaster. It is in the light of the above that good facilities management practice, demands a proactive approach to such problems by preparing business continuity plan (BCP). This research project is undertaken to appraise the plans prepared by the facilities management firms in Nigeria as fall back measure in case of any disruption in organizations business procedures. Field survey was undertaken with structured questionnaire and oral interviews with stakeholders as the instruments of research. Purposive sampling was adopted in the interview. Seventy questionnaires were distributed out of which forty three were completed and returned, giving 61.4% response. Results showed that although facilities managers in Nigeria are well aware of the risk portfolio of their organizations, but adequate measures are not put in its proper place to prevent and prepare for any eventuality. For example, respondents opinion on how often BCP is being used in managing facilities shows that 65.1% do not use it often, 69.8% agreed that BCP is based on demand by client/organization. The outcome of the result of the study showed that even if BCP is in use, it is not proactive, also refusal of government and clients to request for BCP contributed to the lack of preparation of plan. It was recommended that government should make it mandatory for all organizations to request facilities managers to prepare BCP to guide and prepare for any eventuality in the form of disasters and their position as part of their financial statement. Professional bodies and associations affiliated to disaster management, should assist organizations by organizing workshops, trainings, awareness campaigns for personnel of such organizations.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
While governments, not-for-profit institutions, and non-governmental organisations also deliver critical services, private organisations must continuously deliver products and services to satisfy shareholders and to survive. Although they differ in goals and functions, business continuity planning (BCP) can be applied by all governments.
Elliot et al (1999) defines business continuity planning as identifying an organisation’s exposure to internal and external threats and synthesizes hard and soft assets to provide effective prevention and recovery for the organisation, while maintaining competitive advantage and value system integrity.
There is much misunderstanding of business continuity management (BCM) and as yet no commonly practiced methodology for the assessment of an organisation in this regard (Honour 2001). Elliot et al (1999) noted that there is no structured implementation of capabilities to directly address the risks presented to us in the modern world. These newly emphasized risks in partnership with the inherent vulnerabilities resulting from the lack of a structured approach to BCM calls for a more robust and measurable means of protecting our continuity management that is continuity assurance.
As the name implies, continuity assurance is concerned with actively planning to avert the threat or reduce from the act, though this recovery is implicit in the approach detailed in this work.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Management of facilities in developing countries like Nigeria is replete with a lot of problems. Prominent among them is the disruption of business operations, delays, ineffective or poor quality service. This is due to lack of clear understanding of those organisations risk profile or portfolio and absence of proactive measures that will ensure the continuation of critical business operations. As a result of the aforementioned, this affects the organisations in many ways, e.g. service provision is poor or substandard, profit maximization is seriously affected and the reputation of the organisation is equally affected, etc.
1.3 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity is one out of the eleven (11) core competencies in the management of facilities. This needs a holistic study of the core competencies to see ways and means for effective facilities management. Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is suppose to be properly put in place for any business to strife, be it small, medium or big.
It is in the light of the above that a critical look at plans that are supposed to be put in place by FM for business to continue and also to mitigate any negative effect of any disaster on the organisation.
It is an acknowledged fact that one of the important and necessary conduction for smooth successful and effective management of any facility devoid of any interruption that may have far reaching impact on the organization is the putting in place proactive measure to ensure the continuation of critical activities considering the facilities management practice in Nigeria (being at the development stage) a feedback system is needed or information is needed on how this important activities were undertaken especially the approach adopted, (1) quality of the plan, (2) how they are implemented and (3) problems relating to the implementation and above all the quality of human resource who prepares and implement (facilities management) this will enable the facilities management practice to benefit from such results.
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this project is to evaluate the business continuity plans prepared by facilities manager in Nigeria with a view to providing guidelines and procedures for an orderly and timely business continuance.
a) To study how BCP is used in the management of facilities in Nigeria.
b) To determine the factors affecting the effective use of BCP in management of facilities by comparing (a) above.
c) To assess the perception of stakeholders/facilities managers on how BCP can promote effective management of facilities.
The methods used could be summarized under the following sub-headings:
1.5.1 Literature Review
Review of related literature on the subject using magazines, journals, conference proceedings, internet, interviews, etc. This was done in order to articulate existing knowledge on principles, procedures and practice of undertaking business continuity planning in facilities management.
This is in order to articulate existing knowledge on business continuity plan, measures that are supposed to be put in place so as to guide against the negative impact of disaster.
1.5.2 Field Survey
Field survey was undertaken using structured questionnaire as instrument of study. A total of 70 questionnaires were self administered to respondents, some through electronic mail while others by contact to offices out of which 43 were returned, analyzed and used for the study. In addition, standard oral interview was undertaken with professional facilities managers/stakeholders with not less than five years in practice.
1.5.3 Analysis of Data
The data collected from the field survey was analysed descriptively using appropriate/relevant statistical tools. This include frequency distribution and mean scores.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
There are varying views/opinions on business continuity plan by Facilities Managers all over the world. These can be summarized under 3 distinct categories. First, it is perceived as proactive plan to ensure the continual operation of critical business plan. Second, as a plan that goes beyond ensuring the continual operation of critical activities but also means to be put in place when disaster strikes. Thirdly, some view it as emergency/contingency plan employed during crisis.
In this study, I have chosen the first view of Business Continuity Plan which is a proactive plan to ensure the continual operation of critical business plan.
Many of the facilities management firms were not cooperative on some issues e.g. effort to see the BCP proved abortive – they regard it as a business secret. Some vital information were denied the researcher.
Facilities management is in its developing stage as such one may not have enough population samples, enough competent hands to obtain the necessary information.
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