Preparing a business continuity plan is a leader’s primary task in the current socio-economic landscape. You cannot plan this step immediately; the main focus is to prepare this plan for any threat possibilities growing upon the business these days.
With complex technology network and supply chain, business risks are rising day by day. Disasters such as natural, anthropogenic and human-made are creating demands for enhancing an enterprise’s resilience.
In this article, we are going to read about the Primary & thereon after objectives and goals of a Business Continuity Plan and much more!
What is Business Continuity Plan?
The planning process of an enterprise incorporates business continuity plan, which helps in building a strong defensive recovery and responsive system to any possible risk. BCP helps in protecting personal as well as business assets. It is a direction towards a planned functioning of operations when any kind of disaster occurs or crisis strikes.
It elaborates on steps to be followed when any crisis occurs. It also makes sure that a business is still running at the same pace even when the disaster strikes because it is important for the survival of any business.
What is the Primary Goal of Business Continuity Planning?
To overcome any kind of mishappening and to minimize the impact of the disaster, business continuity plan demonstrates to your customers, stakeholders and investors that your business is robust enough to get over any kind of risk.
The primary goal of business continuity plan is to allow business operations to continue under problematic conditions, by introduction of appropriate strategies and recovery steps.
The BCP not only helps in proceeding and stabilizing the business during a crisis, but can also be considered a blueprint for a company to maintain their day-to-day operations and functioning during emergencies, disasters and other risks to get back to normalcy as soon as possible.
What are Business Continuity Plan Objectives?
Here are top 6 objectives of a business continuity plan of an organization.
- Prepare a Company’s Disaster Recovery Team
The plan should not just be considered like any other document and stored away to be never seen again. It is a step-by-step guide to be used during recovery phase after the disaster occurs. It is important to prepare a recovery team and teach them these steps for when the actual disaster occurs, they know which direction to go.
- Evaluate Risks and Impact
Identifying these potential risks and evaluating how they can impact the business and the daily operations is very important. Evaluating the damage, recovery time and cost of operational losses is necessary.
- Ensure Strict Protocols
In the plan, include the step-by-step procedure to be followed in order to recover from the damage. Usually, when any disaster occurs, even the recovery team might forget a few steps or points in the panic of the situation, that is when a clear step-by-step guide is important to consult and move ahead.
- Identify Important Storage Locations
It is necessary for the recovery team to understand where and how to access the data of the business if any breach occurs and they do not have any IT professional around. There must be a footprint for other employees and stakeholders to follow incase the IT workforce is unavailable to reduce any confusion.
- Outline Preventive Measures
Business Continuity Plan includes measures to prevent any potential risk or threat. It will outline the technologies, tools and protocols which are already in place to prevent or mitigate the effects of the crisis or disaster.
- Report Weaknesses and Find Solutions
Evaluate any weak points and loopholes in the business continuity plan and address them. Since it is an ongoing process, the risk changes constantly and need to be evaluated regularly. After identifying these risks, specific action steps should be proposed and taken immediately.
What Should the Business Continuity Plan Include?
The risks and threats might differ situation to situation, but the steps to be followed are usually the same.
- Disaster Impact Analysis on Business
It is important to include the analysis of the disaster on the daily operations of the business. This information helps the business continuity planners to establish recovery timelines and sequence of events according to priorities.
- Assigning Recovery Team
The recovery team or the business continuity team is responsible for co-ordination and implementation of the steps to be followed in the plan. Each plan should include the contact details, management structure and roles of each member of the recovery team.
- Recovery and Protection Activities
Protection is better than cure and restoration is a necessity during a crisis. The actions to be taken during a disaster should be varied according to the type of situation such as natural disaster, as well as a specific business unit.
- Training, Testing, Exercising
Planning cannot be purely theoretical. In order to check the feasibility of the plan, it is important to test it by performing the activities mentioned in the plan before-hand. Such exercises help in identifying any potential issues, while making other familiar to the process. These training activities should be performed on regular basis in order to make the team competent and proficient.
- Regular Updates
It is important to update the BCP on a regular basis in order to keep it relevant and useful. For example, if the plan includes details of software or personnel, which are no longer a part of the business, will only cause confusion at the last minute.
There are 3 major kinds of Business Continuity Plans useful in crisis.
Emergency Response Plan
This BCP is a guide of steps to follow during an emergency such as natural disaster or a fire.
IT Disaster Recovery Plan
This BCP is to be implemented by the IT professionals of the company. It aims at recovering any lost data or IT infrastructure or any other kind of IT breach.
Crisis Communication Plan
This BCP aims at protecting the business from the impact of any disaster or other disruption and lets the recovery team and other personnel communicate effectively, efficiently and appropriately.
While it is always better to take preventive measures from any disaster, it is also not practically possible to avoid crisis at all times. Therefore, Business Continuity Plan is an important document of the business. It should be effective, efficient and practical.
Having redundant plans will only raise administrative workload and increase the potential errors leading to causing confusion between the personnel during a disaster. Hence, following the rigid steps of the BCP is a wise decision during a crisis.