Why You Need a Plan.
Most businesses with predefined strategies on how they will deal with natural and man-made disasters tend to recover from catastrophic events faster than unprepared firms. These businesses have already considered a wide range of possible threats and how these threats may impact their ability to generate income. For each threat identified they have developed a written strategy to minimize disruption to their business.
Why You Need a Plan
What's in a Plan
A continuity plan is a blueprint containing actions for specific risks. They often contain checklists such as emergency contacts and resources, boilerplate text for communications and notifications, insurance for identified risks, team/employee specific procedures, and other actions meant to minimize loss and speed recovery.
When creating a plan the goal is to first identify what your business depends on to operate, then identify what events can occur that will jeopardize your businesses’ ability to operate and earn income. Once you have accurately assessed your risks you can develop action plans for each risk to minimize economic disruption to your business.
Business Continuity Plan Steps
- Business Impact Analysis -Identify critical business activities, operations, processes, and the resources that support them. This may include a diverse range of items for different businesses such as sales, suppliers, machinery, employees, telecommunications, reputation, and other items you rely on in order to do business.
- Threat Identification -Identify threats to your critical business activities and how they can impact your business should they occur. These are the risks to your business income and longevity. These risks will ultimately be turned into a small number of scenarios that are documented in your business disaster action plan, so it is critical to accurately identify your risks and rank them according to the likelihood they could occurring.
- Minimize Risks -proactively take action to reduce risks whenever possible. This is not part of the plan, but is a good practice when identifying threats.
- Create Readiness Plans -document how to maintain business continuity when a recognized threat occurs. These are the scenarios on how you will deal with business disruption. These are your predefined strategies. These could include strategies focusing on emergency communications, finding alternative suppliers, potential alternative locations, replacing specific equipment, and other scenarios.
- Identify Team Leader -know who is responsible to initiate, evaluate, test, train, and modify the plan.
- Maintain the Plan -conduct annual reviews when renewing insurance or when things change. Completing your plan and forgetting about it is of little benefit. The value of planning is not the plan itself, but in the mindsets it creates.