Business Continuity & Vendor Assessment – Tip #4 – Questionnaire Questions

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Please find the third tip in my series on vendor assessment originally posted here on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/business-continuity-vendor-assessment-tip-4-questions-kevin-brandt

Text of the post below.


In the previous tip in this series on vendor assessment related to my presentation at DRJ Springworld 2017 (thanks DRJ!), I covered some tips on how to plan out creating a questionnaire to assess your vendors. All questionnaires are individual to the company they are from and definitely should be. One tip, that bears repeating, is to ask questions focused on the areas that matter most to your company. However, there can and should be questions that are universal. With the amazing interest in this topic, I promised a “sanitized” sample set of questions that are generic and could be used as a starting point for any company’s vendor assessment questionnaire. Please find them below in no particular order and I will post more as they come to mind.

  • Name and title of the person (of the vendor) that filled out the questionnaire.
  • Name and title of that person’s direct manager.
  • How many certified business continuity professionals are on staff or under contract?
  • Who (if anyone) is the officer of the company ultimately accountable for the business continuity / disaster recovery / crisis management program at the vendor?
  • What is their title and who do they report to?
  • How frequently (if at all) does the company conduct a Risk Assessment?
  • How frequently (if at all) does the company conduct a Business Impact Analysis?
  • How frequently (if at all) does the company conduct Disaster Recovery exercises of their key technology infrastructure that directly affects service to our company?
  • How frequently (if at all) does the company conduct Functional Exercises of the key areas that directly affects the service to our company?

My disclaimer here is twofold: First, you may find these pretty obvious as they track BC best practices and, second, use at your own risk… but in good health! There could be many, many more questions. However, as a final thought I caution anyone conducting an assessment to limit the number of questions asked. With fewer questions you are more likely to get answers. Thanks again to everyone interested in this topic!