How to Create Business Continuity Plan

When prevention fails, the next right thing to do is face the emergency from its onset to outset without losing a footing. So, companies should have a business continuity plan prepared in advance to operate during times of uncertainty and stand firm in the aftermath.

What is business continuity planning?

A business continuity plan, abbreviated to BCP, refers to a well-tailored mitigating measure against the possible effects of a disastrous event or unforeseen emergencies. It includes the strategies and procedures in response to these ill situations and these will cushion the negative impact brought by these uncertainties.

BCP covers all the areas of business operation such as the products or services, fixed assets, data, and workforce. This plan is created in advance by the major company stakeholders using their business acumens, thorough analyses from experts, and foresight regarding natural, economic, global, or other types of hazards. 

This is a more comprehensive disaster recovery plan carefully created to ensure that businesses stay alive and quickly recuperate during and after the situation respectively.

Elements of BCP

Here are the basic components of BCP that is included in the recovery plan:

  • Goals and specifics
  • The procedure, scope, and purpose
  • Hierarchy of roles and responsibilities
  • The course of actions or risk mitigation plans
  • Contact details of management personnel
  • Coordination with the emergency personnel in the community
  • Policy on emergency evacuation
  • Itemized tasks of essential duties for the continuity of operations
  • Policy on data and site backup
  • Maintenance protocols

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Steps in creating a business continuity plan

Here are the basic steps in planning business continuity:

1. Create a recovery team.

To realize the business recovery plan, there must be a team to implement and conduct all the processes and policies when the emergency strikes. What makes up the team and its ideal size vary according to the size of your company, employee number, the set of processes to roll out during the recovery period.

The company should assign several people to oversee the plan. These consist of a manager, assistant manager, and administrative assistant from every department. However, if the company is bigger or medium-sized, the team can be expanded so tasks are delegated equally and avoid too much burden to some individuals.

The group leaders have to undergo pieces of training that will prepare him/her to administer the project. Preparations include ensuring project standards are met, training of additional team members, and supplementing processes that will optimize the plan execution.

2. Perform a business impact analysis.

Once the business continuity team is made, it is crucial to study and learn the impact of a disastrous occurrence on the company. Stakeholders and recovery team leaders should identify the risks that can affect the finances, operations, facilities, workforce, supply chain, and brand of the business organization. This is done through a thorough business impact analysis.

3. Find the discrepancies and grey areas of the plan

Through impact analysis, the stakeholders and recovery team may have identified what the company will have to face should the inevitable happen. The next thing to perform is the gap analysis. 

Through gap analysis, an organization can determine the recovery project objectives that don’t match with your resources. Delve on the resources that are to be more likely affected or can aggravate the problem (if not handled in advance) and find ways to patch up these flaws in the plan.

4. Design response and recovery strategies.

The risk and gap analyses inform the team to strengthen the course of actions in response to the unforeseen events and improve the grey areas by coming up with new strategies that should also address the recovery period of the business. Surviving the presence of a disaster is different from surpassing its aftermath. 

This is the next step: brainstorm effective ways on how businesses can bounce back after an emergency, especially when business losses have become evident.

5. Review the policies and continuously update them.

Emergencies are unpredictable. So, even when the business continuity plan seems finished as it tackled all the risks and requirements essential to protect the company, don’t settle.

Review the policies the team made and run them into tests. Observe the results and try to improve it better in every assessment. Continuous update of the plan is recommended, where the recovery teams should polish the processes by going out of the company resources. There are many sources such as business experts, online platforms, and emergency response organizations to access references, recommendations, cases, and approaches in managing business continuity amid disruption.