Business Continuity Plans (BCP) are written documents designed to maintain ongoing business operations before, during and after an emergency. The BCP document outlines processes and procedures during a disaster situation, and provides strategies for a successful response. It is important to have a BCP to prepare for the unexpected, communicate effectively with employees and customers, maintain ongoing revenue streams, and preserve your corporate or business image. Key questions for your business to ask may include:
1. Who should be on our BCP team?
Obtaining buy-in from management teams across multiple departments is important for future execution of the plan.
2. Where is our business most at risk?
This starts with data for a lot of businesses. Other areas could include supply chain, staffing, asset quality and inventory management.
3. What is our strategy to reduce those risks?
Once key risks are identified, determine how to best mitigate and outline steps or checklists to follow.
4. How often should we test our BCP?
Testing the BCP helps to ensure your organization will be prepared if a crisis or emergency occurs. For most businesses, annual testing is appropriate.
5. What areas of the BCP need improvement?
Reassessing the BCP for gaps is key for ongoing improvements to the plan.
A Business Continuity Plan is a work in progress. Consistently review your plan and make adjustments as needed. Having an effective BCP in place is vital for your business to continue operations while mitigating risks.