Hello, My name is Hayashi from the Marketing Department of Questetra, Inc.
I was working in an office on the 11th floor of a building (not Questetra) when the Great East Japan Earthquake hit in 2011. The office was located in the Kansai region of Japan, so the intensity of the quake was not great, but due to the loose ground around the building, it felt as if the building was about to break on the 11th floor where I was working, and the shaking continued for a long time.
At the time most people in the office reacted like…
“Oh my God!”
in a shrill voice, while actually a lot of people were laughing.
In retrospect, I guess they were so terrified that they froze while laughing, unable to take any action. A few people took action on their own, like opening the doors to the emergency stairs to make sure there was a way out, but no one could give clear instructions.
This is understandable, as it would be dangerous to go down the emergency stairs from the 11th floor to the 1st floor while the elevators are stopped and the tremors are still continuing, even if one wanted to escape. It is natural that people do not know what to do. In fact, the only people who immediately evacuated were those on the second floor of the building.
However, the situation would have been different if various arrangements had been made to prepare for such an eventuality. The response to a disaster and subsequent measures for business continuity are the basis of a BCP (Business Continuity Plan). Unfortunately, the company I was working for at the time did not have any guidelines in place to prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters.
On the other hand, due to the COVID pandemic companies are now required to formulate BCPs more than ever before, and awareness of business continuity is increasing. In this article I will explain how to utilize Questetra BPM Suite and Workflow for BCP based on the example of Questetra Inc. and my own experience.
Is the COVID Pandemic an Opportunity to Formulate a BCP?
Many businesses were affected by the pandemic, which began in earnest at the beginning of 2020.
Of course, there are some companies that have improved their business performance as a result of the pandemic, but there may only be a few that have been able to turn such a negative event into a positive one. However, when it comes to BCPs, the pandemic is an opportunity to formulate an appropriate BCP. Because the situation is still ongoing, it is important to ask yourself the following questions.
- What sort of problems are we facing?
- What decisions should be made?
How have Questetra’s Operations Changed Since the Pandemic?
As for my work at Questetra, not much has changed between before and after COVID.
This is partly due to the fact that I have always worked remotely. When I first joined the company, I worked in the office, but eventually remote work became my main focus, and now I have transitioned entirely to remote work after the pandemic.
When I made the transition to fully remote work I discussed it with my boss at the time, but in my case I saw no particular reason why I needed to come into the office, and the transition to fully remote work went smoothly. There are two reasons for this.
- Questetra BPM Suite is being used to the fullest in Questetra’s operations
- Accompanying paperless operation is being implemented
In the following section, we will discuss these points in detail.
Why Didn’t Questetra’s Operations Change with the Pandemic?
As mentioned in the section above, Questetra BPM Suite is fully utilized in Questetra’s operations. Each operation proceeds automatically according to a workflow diagram, so there is no need to hand over work, and there is almost no need to communicate by email or telephone.
We use Open Chat, the internal social networking function of Questetra BPM Suite, for normal communication, although private matters, such as those about salaries, are sometimes handled by email.
Some Questetra employees work remotely. Many of them work both in the office and remotely. In these situations, Open Chat is very useful to be able to communicate in real time.
Incidentally, we also use Open Chat for attendance management. Open Chat is an effective tool not only for notifying employees of the start of work, late arrivals, and early departures, but also for confirming the safety of employees in the event of a disaster. For example, when there is an earthquake somewhere, people in the area can immediately post a message saying that they were shaken, and someone else can comment with detailed information. This is also the case when there are other events that may affect business operations, such as heavy rain or traffic delays.
In addition, Questetra BPM Suite is a cloud-based software, so as long as there is an Internet environment we can access the same system as in the office and work from anywhere. This was also a major factor in the smooth transition to remote work.
Thanks to this way of conducting business every day, I am able to continue my work without being affected too much by the pandemic.
How Do We Continue Business as Usual?
To summarize my work at Questetra, I would like to start with the following;
- Questetra has a solid core of business processes built and managed by Questetra BPM Suite.
Questetra BPM Suite not only allows you to create a workflow diagram on your PC and automatically execute your business according to the diagram, but also allows you to easily change and share the business processes that you have created. This means that processes can be changed and adapted flexibly in the event of an emergency. Such process flexibility is also an important aspect of BCP.
Also, as mentioned above, Questetra BPM Suite is a cloud-based software, which means that you can access and work on your business processes from your smartphone or tablet outside of the office.
Even if there is a natural disaster or some other kind of emergency, business can go on as usual if these three things are in place: a solid workflow structure, the ability to respond quickly to changes in the situation, and light mobility that lets work go on no matter where or how it is done.
Of course, in the event of a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake that destroys buildings, it will be impossible to proceed with business as usual. However, even in such a situation, as long as the power supply and the Internet environment are safe, it should be possible to prepare for the resumption of operations by confirming safety and exchanging information through the Open Chat service described above.
Incidentally, Miracle Linux Corporation (now Cybertrust Corporation), which is using Questetra BPM Suite, has made the following comment.
“Even amidst the chaos of the Great East Japan Earthquake, when our internal servers were unavailable and we were unable to return home, we were able to continue to use our cloud-based services, G Suite (now Google Workspace) (email and files) and Questetra (workflow), in a stable manner.”
“At the time, I saw first hand how cloud-based services kept our business activities moving.”
※ Read more about Cybertrust Corporation Case Study here
The company introduced Questetra BPM Suite about a year before the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. The above is an excellent example of a business process that has been established for regular business operations demonstrating its power in times of emergency.
Preparing for emergencies starts with reviewing your business operations during normal times. Why not start with a free trial and review your usual business processes with Questetra BPM Suite?