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8 Steps to create a Business Continuity Plan

Published on February 25, 2019

Whether you operate a small business or a large corporation, having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place to avoid and mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations is essential.

A BCP details steps to be taken before, during and after an adverse event to maintain the financial viability of an organization and the well-being of your employees.

Because restoring IT is critical for most companies, numerous disaster recovery solutions are available. You can rely on IT to implement those solutions. But what about the rest of your business functions? Your company's future depends on your people and processes.

What’s more, being able to handle any incident effectively can have a positive effect on your company's reputation and market value, and it can increase customer confidence.

Anatomy of a Business Continuity Plan

If your organisation doesn't have a BC plan in place, start by assessing your business processes, determining which areas are vulnerable and the potential losses if those processes go down for a day, a few days or a week. This is essentially a Business Impact Analysis (BIA).

Next, develop a plan. This involves 8 general steps:

  1. 1. Establish the scope of the plan.
  2. 2. Outline the BC Incident identification and escalation process (with suitable defined roles and responsibilities).
  3. 3. Identify key business areas and critical business functions.
  4. 4. Determine unacceptable downtime for each critical function based on a justified level of impact to the organisation.
  5. 5. Identify: critical dependencies (internal and external), critical systems/applications, critical data and critical resource requirements where applicable, and prioritise for recovery accordingly.
  6. 6. Identify key contacts (relevant to plan scope).
  7. 7. Create recovery strategies for loss of people, loss of premises, loss of suppliers and loss of critical systems, with interim measures where appropriate.
  8. 8. Define strategy to regularly review, authorise, communicate, test and maintain the plan.

When set out in this format, it seems relatively simple – but the actions required within each step, particularly those which require the input from other business functions and departments, can be time-consuming, manual tasks for a BC manager.

This is one of the main reasons that the geniuses behind C2, our business continuity Practitioners, decided to create business continuity software – addressing those key pain points they felt were holding them back within their roles from progressing in the way that they should, as they were bogged down with tiresome and mundane paper-based activities.

Our software allows automation of all key business continuity management functions within a business, which then frees up the time of key personnel and allows them to focus on other business continuity activities like raising awareness and understanding of BC within the firm, to develop a more resilient company culture.

This is of course just one of the benefits associated with our world leading BCM software. Find out more about the software key features and how it could help your organisation by requesting a demonstration today!