When a crisis hits - be it manmade or a natural disaster, businesses that have adopted a proactive approach to planning in detail how they’ll deal with potential threats are far less likely to suffer severe disruptions and major financial losses than those that do not.
In this POV we at key steps to take when creating a strong Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that will help protect your business when “business as usual” is anything but.
First, you'll learn about the importance of completing a comprehensive risk assessment which will help you identifying what should be covered within your BCP. With this information you can determine what is essential to keeping your organization up and running versus functions that can be down for a period of time without significant impact. This will help you prioritize what your plan should cover.
Next, it's essential to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) before you start planning. Your BIA will ensure that you’re protecting those areas that are most critical to your business and keep you from over or -under planning.
When you’re ready to create your BCP it will cover the step by step tactics to maintain operations but make sure you don't overlook the people factor. Identify team member responsibilities and be sure to choose individuals with strong institutional knowledge as good communication skills are essential; both during planning and when the BCP needs to be executed.
Finally, whether you're just getting started creating a BCP for your organization or are looking to refine your existing BCP remember to test, test and test again. A plan can only protect your organization if you've confirmed it works and covers the functions that are critical to risk mitigation. Ultimately, a BCP should be actively managed to ensure it grows and changes with your business.
For more on protecting your organization with a business continuity plan, read our full POV here.