Business Continuity Planning

Business Continuity Planning

Cloud computingA strategic outline of how companies should respond to a number of potential calamities and disasters is called a Business continuity plan. It is not possible to control all potential events that could slow down your routine business operations. However, a business continuity plan allows you to keep making money and operating while dealing with the negative circumstances.

It is the creation of strategies through the recognition of risks and threats faced by a company, with an eye to make sure that the assets and personnel are secured and able to function in events of a disaster.

A business continuity planning methodology involves defining all potential risks, then determining that how those risks will affect your business operations, implementing procedures specifically designed to mitigate those risks, testing all those procedures to make sure that they work and reviewing the process periodically to ensure that it is up to date.

Main Elements of a Business Continuity Plan

A Business Continuity Plan describes how employees should stay in touch and do their jobs in the event of an emergency or disaster, such as a fire at the office. Unluckily, many firms never take the time to make such a plan. Different companies have various continuity needs, some components are necessary in every plan, such as, assessment, prevention, succession, key Employees, communication, contacts, participation, realism, evaluation and repetition.

Significance of a Business Continuity Plan Methodology

These plans are necessary because if disastrous events occur, a business will already know how to react. The company will have a backup plan, system and methodology in place for all areas of the business. Employees will know their roles and order will prevail instead of chaos and confusion. When a company is not prepared with a business continuity plan, it risks hindering production and operations, in cases of technological failure and losing valuable information.

Business Continuity Plan Methodology

An organization that creates business continuity plan methodology positions them to react to human-made and natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and fires. The steps included in the process show workers what to do if business operations get interrupted. This helps in reducing panic and preparing employees to respond wisely. Here is the complete business continuity planning procedure.

  • Employee Contact Information

It is necessary to ensure that each contractor and employee who works at the organization is accounted for. Human resources administrators and Business leaders should work together to receive headcount reports monthly for their organization as a whole and by unit, division or department.

  • Backing Up Files

A Business continuity plan should list all the steps that the company will take for backing up work files on a daily basis. Firms that store client information and confidential employee should consider purchasing off site servers at the business continuity companies. This will permit organizations to work on their critical files in a private and confidential environment if their normal business location is damaged or destroyed.

  • Creating Written Plans

Each department, unit or division at the organization must have a written business continuity plan also.

  • Alternate Work Locations

Find alternate work locations that an employee will travel to in the event of a business interruption and establish times if critical employees are needed to arrive at alternate work locations.

  • Evacuation Procedures

Notify all employees of areas where they are going to meet to complete roll call in case of an emergency, so all employees are accounted for. Work with a security team to schedule evacuation tests for familiarizing employees with exit routes.

  • Testing Procedures

Test your continuity plans more than once a year.

Business Continuity planning steps

It is essential that every business should have a business continuity plan in place because they give the company a map to follow in case of calamity. There are a multitude of risks that can close a business permanently such as cyber-attack, terrorism, flood, fire and disease. It is also necessary to know Business Continuity planning steps to design a perfect continuity plan. The major steps of a BCP are as follows.

  • The first step starts with analyzing at what risks could jeopardize the continuity of a business. Different what-ifs scenarios should be played out on a paper to determine the effects it will have on the business if a given calamity happened. Everything should be considered such as employees, financial records, supplier and customer well-being and inventory.
  • Solution design is a procedure of answering all what-ifs in each scenario.
  • Implementation is another important step that involves building action plans that which can’t be insured and insuring that can be insured in a cost-effective manner.
  • Testing a plan ranges from putting the plans through a risk management committee to organization wide role plays of disaster management practices. Management and Employees need to be comfortable with the business continuity planning steps.
  • Maintenance should be done for all continuity plans annually. The plan should be revised and reviewed as necessary with ongoing employee training.

If a business follows all business continuity planning steps properly then the risks of calamities will be mitigated.