4 Steps to an Effective Business Continuity Plan

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It is important to have a process where systems of prevention and recovery are put in place to deal with potential threats to your company.

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Worst case scenarios like cyber-attacks, service outages, natural disaster or even a pandemic can affect your business. It is important to have a process where systems of prevention and recovery are put in place to deal with potential threats to your company. While having your business insured is good, it doesn’t always cover every aspect incase anything happens. You want to minimize financial loss and continue serving your customers.

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a document consisting of critical information that helps a business to continue operating during and after a disaster (click here to get a template). It’s designed to protect the personnel and assets of the business. It includes details like policy, purpose, goals, key roles, risk mitigation plans, data backups and so on. For it to work, you need to customize it to suit your business needs. Here are the steps for making it effective and a chance at surviving the unexpected:

1. Create a business continuity management team

Form a team that will execute the business continuity plan. The team depends on the size of your company and how you intend to roll out the program. The team should include a manger, assistant manager and administrative representing each department. If your company is medium or large in size then you could add more personnel on the team. The role of the team is to prepare standards for the project and ensure it flows smoothly. 

2. Business impact analysis

Identify the risks your company could face through a business impact analysis (BIA). The BIA will assist the team in categorizing specific risks and threats to performance, employees and operations of your business. Your team can also brainstorm on worst case scenarios that will have a huge impact on your business. The analysis is complex and requires a detailed questionnaire to gather the information needed.   

3. Resources

By now, the analysis conducted in the previous step reveals the differences between the resources you have and the ones you need. The team is to conduct a gap analysis to identify recovery strategies that can fill the gap. This is basically looking at how to gather the resources you need to protect your staff and business to bounce back from the incident. Things to consider are; how will you continue to meet demand for products or services if the equipment or facility is damaged? Do you have an essential contact list of those who keep the business operational? These contacts are emergency response personnel, insurance agents, accountants or legal advisor.

4. Implement & review

The finalized plan should be written, reviewed then distributed to and for all key stakeholders, partners and employees to ensure they are aware of the steps outlined in the business continuity plan. After testing and observing the results, you can make necessary adjustments to improve on it.   

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    Betty Mukami | February 28, 2021 10:55

    Great article. How I wish I knew this before March 2020. Anyway, covid 19 has taught me tough lessons and knowledge of BCP will help moving forward. Thank you

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