Did you know without a business continuity plan, one in four businesses forced to shut down because of a disaster never reopens?
A business continuity plan is a disaster management plan that prevents damage to a company and can help maintain productivity in an emergency situation. While creating a business continuity plan, companies need to identify all possible disasters and plan for employees to overcome each situation to bring the business back on track. Below are six steps to achieving a full-fledged business continuity plan (BCP):
Identify objectives and goals: Like any project, the first step is to find out the objectives and goals that your organization is hoping to achieve with a BCP. Plan out the level of detail, decide on the departments to be covered and map out your expected outcomes and budget.
Team selection: Select command and control teams as well as task-oriented teams that will work together closely in the event of a disaster. Remember to have them provide their contact details, identify back up personnel and practice the plan ahead of time.
Business impact analysis: An impact analysis can provide a better idea of how different kinds of disasters can affect your business or industry. Identify key business areas and critical business functions so that you can focus more resources there and avoid major financial losses.
Plans to maintain operations: Three main strategies can help an organization to overcome a disaster and return to business as usual include:
A prevention strategy – to prevent the disaster from affecting your business in the first place.
A response strategy – what your team will do while the disaster is happening to stabilize the situation.
A recovery strategy – steps to be taken to bring back business to a normal operational routine.
Testing and training curriculum: Provide periodic training to BCP responsive teams and key business area employees by conducting drills and simulative test procedures.
Determine program maintenance: A periodical BCP update/some maintenance is needed to cover new key business areas or any new possible disasters that may arise. It is also advisable to get advice from an outside expert to cover missing areas.
A well-developed business continuity plan can provide assurance to employees, vendors and customers that no matter what, your business will continue without any major impacts. When it comes to creating a plan, the sooner the better.