- A template which allows the business to save time versus developing a plan themselves from scratch, and save money by not hiring outside resources to write a plan for them.
- A standard format which is comprehensive but can be adapted to different organizations and businesses.
- Clearly explained easy to follow BIA (Business Impact Analysis), coordinated with RA (Risk Analysis) which enables the business to quickly and easily prioritize critical operations based on risk to the business.
- Templates for testing the BCP.
- Reporting templates for presenting BCP information to stakeholders and management.
Small businesses have different needs, and different resources, than large corporations when it comes to Business Continuity Planning. While large corporations may decide to hire BCP consultants to craft a customized detailed business continuity plan for their operations, which can be complex and geographically distributed, small businesses may need a less complex business continuity plan template which is straight forward and easy to implement by internal resources. Specifically, small businesses are seeking a BCP template which has the following:
An effective Business Continuity Plan (BCP) typically includes IT disaster recovery plus contingency/backup plans for critical business operations. Most BCPs focus on restoring key business functions in terms of relocating facilities, machinery, people or equipment so that the operations necessary to keep the business alive can be carried on even if the business is hit with a flood, fire, blizzard, etc. This is all very important to have in place. But what many BCPs do not consider is loss of key people in the organization. The BPC may have answers to “what happens when the warehouse is under water?” or “what happens when the online order system goes down?”; this presumes the disruptive vent will be some sort of physical “disaster”. But what about the question “what happens when the only person in the company who knows how to make product X leaves? or gets sick?”. What happens if the CEO / owner of a company leaves or passes on? Then what?
Years ago when I got involved in what was then called “Business Assurance Planning”, the top threats to sustain business operations were fire, power outage, and natural disasters like floods, bad weather, earthquake. All of the contingency planning centered around finding another location work out of and making sure IT systems were backed up with copies stored off site. Then Y2K brought awareness of the vulnerabilities of all the IT systems we rely upon, even in the absence of a natural disaster, and we started to think about how we would operate if our IT systems stopped functioning.
ISO 22301, “Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements” , is a standard for a business continuity management system. The system specifies that the performance of the business continuity plan be measured using defined metrics which assess the ability of the business continuity plan to meet predefined targets. These targets are defined based on specific goals of the organization to protect their prioritized operations and activities, as approved by the top management.
BCP stands for Business Continuity Planning. BCP is a process of identifying the potential risks to your business and then evaluating how to prepare for these so that if they do happen, you have a working plan to enable your business to continue to be viable. This means that you are still able to operate at some level needed to meet customer needs and to be able to resume normal operations at a defined point in the future. Lack of adequate BCP means that a disaster could put you out of business permanently.
The simple answer is “yes” and “yes”. While there are many advantages to keeping BCPs and other business critical information on line (allows for remote accessibility, the cloud adds redundancy should your primary site be unavailable), it is not advisable to be completely dependent on electronic resources for recovering time sensitive critical information. Hurricane Sandy taught me a very valuable lesson in this which I will never forget. Recent incidents where cyber-attacks and randsomware have shutdown online systems also reinforce this lesson.
Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a valuable tool for being prepared in the event of an unforeseen disaster which impacts your business. Most organizations will readily agree with this fact that a BCP is needed. However there is great disagreement within organizations when the question arises “how much planning is enough?”.
Here are the top reasons why Business Continuity Plans are not effective and how to avoid them.
There are important differences between what is covered in a Disaster Recovery plan versus a Business Continuity Plan. Make sure your organization fully understands this before it's too late.
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is critical for all businesses, regardless of size or budget. It is well worth the effort to enable you to be prepared in the event of an unforeseen event that interrupts your normal business operations. A BCP is smart logical planning ahead that should not cost so much that only organizations with large budgets can do this. It doesn’t need to look fancy or flashy, it just needs to work!
Complete BCP Template with Instructions and Example Available at Amazon.com
Erik Kopp has worked in regulated industries for over 25 years managing business critical operations, and ensuring compliance with governmental regulations. He has published a series of books and articles which provide information on how to accomplish value added tasks most effectively so that you can get the job done and make the most out of your valuable time.
To provide real value-added and very efficient solutions to important issues which minimize the pain and effort, and get right to the point to keep your business doing what it does best. No fluff or fancy stuff or double talk. Just common sense based on knowledge and experience of what works.