Business Impact Analysis is a systematic process that determines and evaluates the potential effects of a disruption on port operations.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA) helps identify a port’s most critical business functions, and the role of and actions of stakeholders that may be required to promptly recover activities once a disruption occurs. It can be run as part of a HS activity in terms of the impact assessment or a separate risk technique. Given the strategic role of ports as national gateways to the global marketplace, engines of growth and employer generator, BIA, in the case of ports should also consider broader implications of a disruptive event for the local and national economy and trade.

A BIA requires assigning a business continuity manager (or assigned point person). If such a person has not yet been assigned, port management needs to select an individual (internally or externally) with prior knowledge and an understanding of risk management and business continuity approaches.

A BIA process involves the following key steps:

  • Meeting with port department leaders for an overview exercise involving a BIA to identify the key potential business interruption events. Inputs from a HS process can help identify some of the major risks that need to be considered.
  • Scheduling individual BIA interviews with port department leaders and subject matter experts to validate potential risk events and their potential impact and probability.
  • Analyzing the results of interviews and discussions held with departments.
  • Providing each relevant manager with results for their review and approval. These results need to include appropriate financial impacts and probability.
  • Creating a report for review and consider engaging stakeholders on the BIA in other processes to provide input.

It is important that ports understand and present the risks they face in a manner that can be readily understood by relevant stakeholders to facilitate the appropriate risk management process. Several approaches support risk identification and assessment, and ports may either choose from among these approaches or devise their own approach. While information about the relative impact of a given risk and the probability of its occurrence is implicitly integrated into a BIA, a risk severity and probability matrix is another useful tool that can help ports inform stakeholders about the risks they face. If a port has already carried out a BIA, a risk severity and probability matrix will become one of the outputs generated by the BIA.

Additional information about BIA and risk mapping is available HERE.