Business Continuity Plan and Management Strategy
The main objective of any Business Continuity Plan Template is to define a framework in a business organization which protects its core assets and establishes routines and practises that insure their safeguard.
These practises are usually defined in a Business Continuity Plan and maintaining its accuracy and insure that its core processes are being followed is the responsibility of the Business Continuity Manager, who can be either a full-time employee or (in small organizations) someone that co-owns that responsibility alongside other role. However, a proper Business Continuity Plan Template is more a process than a job or a function and it should be defined in detail in a Business Continuity Plan which describes and documents the procedures that must be adopted on a ongoing basis and which measures should be triggered in the event of a disaster that impacts critical business processes.
As part of a Business Continuity Management Analysis and its effective implementation, one key aspect is to perform an impact assessment of an eventual disaster. This should allow the organization to assess the sensitivity of the business processes to downtime and identify the continuity requirements of each one of those processes. Therefore, this analysis not only enables the company to determine the focus and scope of the Business Continuity Plan, but it also defines procedures for responding to incidents and crises with an emphasis on emergency response and communication crisis.
After the Business Continuity Plan Template is defined and implemented, a new phase starts where the Business Continuity Management processes themselves are scrutinized through an evaluation of its level of internal adherence and insertion in the corporate management. Testing those procedures and training the staff and the professionals involved in the implementation of a BCP are also common activities used to assess the maturity of the organization.
Key steps of a Business Continuity Plan
- Definition of the scope of the Business Continuity Plan within the target organization.
- Impact analysis of potential disasters to establish priorities.
- Definition of potential disaster areas that need to be addressed.
- Establish a global framework strategy to respond to each disaster.
Details of procedures.
Details of infrastructure and services required to support the plans.
- Acquisition of services and resources.
- Deployment of the necessary infrastructure.
Tests and simulations of the exception plans
Maintenance plans guidelines for the development of a Business Continuity Plan
- The implementation of the Business Continuity Plan is a medium term project.
- The design of the Business Continuity Plan should be done in stages.
- The first step, the Draft, is critical to all the other subsequent steps because it is when the strategy defines the scope of the Business Continuity Plan to implement. The detailed planning of the remaining steps can only be done properly after this strategic definition.
- The strategy will also determine the level of detail required. This will then allow estimating the effort involved in the implementation.
- The implementation stage of the Business Continuity Plan depends on its costs and required investments measured against the potential benefits. It is usually dependent on board level approval.
- The tests and simulations should illustrate the achievements of the implementation of the Business Continuity Plan.
Good practises in Business Continuity project
- A Business Continuity Plan must have a scope defined. This scope can be geographical, organizational, infrastructural, or other …
- A Business Continuity Plan is a cooperative effort and must take into account the organization values, even though its scope usually focuses in fractions of the organization.
- The development of a Business Continuity Plan should focus on the organization processes and identify which of those require continuity
- A Business Continuity Plan should be recognized by a board management decision and supported by a Risk Analysis – which is an independent project that precedes the Business Continuity Plan and prescribes corrective, preventive and reactive actions. The Business Continuity Plan fits among the reactive actions.
- The Business Continuity Plan requires that the production processes adopted be satisfactory. Eventual improvements of these production processes might be within the scope of a Business Continuity Plan project.
Limitations of a Business Continuity Plan
- A Business Continuity Plan can only respond to an anticipated disaster. It is unable to predict and respond every kind of disaster. Therefore, it is recommended that it targets always the “worst case scenario”.
- A Business Continuity Plan must explicit their limitations and their premises in its documentation.
- Technical constraints, budget or technology are factors that must be considered in the development of an Business Continuity Plan project.
Business Continuity recommendations
- The design of a Business Continuity Plan can be supported by a consultancy, but it requires direct involvement of the staff and management of the target organization.
- The testing should be done gradually. Initial tests initials should be simple and focus on parts of the Plan. More complex testing should be made only after all the relevant parts have been isolated and tested.