Your Guide to Developing a Business Continuity Plan – Part 1

By The Tech Team | April 26, 2023

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a comprehensive strategy designed to ensure that essential business functions can continue in the event of a disruption such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, or other emergencies. More specifically, a BCP identifies potential risks and vulnerabilities to an organization’s critical business functions, sets up a framework to ensure the safety of employees, customers, and stakeholders, and establishes protocols for a business to resume operations after a disruption.

In our 2-part series of Your Guide to Developing a Business Continuity Plan, we outline 7 steps to developing, implementing, testing, and maintaining your BCP that will ensure your organization’s continued operations in the face of disaster.

Define the Scope and Objectives of Your Plan

Defining the scope and objectives of your BCP is an important first step in the planning process. Determine what aspects of your business you want to protect, the scope of the plan’s coverage, and the specific objectives the plan aims to achieve.

By defining the scope and objectives, you can ensure that it is focused on protecting the most critical aspects of your business and is aligned with your organization’s overall goals and priorities.

Conduct a Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is the next essential step in developing your BCP. Your risk assessment involves identifying potential risks along with evaluating the potential impact of those risks on your organization’s operations, employees, customers, and stakeholders. A few key factors in developing a risk assessment are:

  1. Identify potential risks: Begin by identifying potential risks that could impact your business. These risks could include natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods, as well as man-made disasters, such as cyberattacks, power outages, or supply chain disruptions.
  2. Assess the likelihood and impact: Once you have identified potential risks, assess the likelihood and potential impact of each risk. Consider the likelihood of the risk occurring, as well as the severity of the impact on your business. This will help you prioritize your response efforts.
  3. Determine risk tolerance: Determine your organization’s risk tolerance, or the level of risk that you are willing to accept.
  4. Develop risk mitigation strategies: Develop strategies for mitigating or managing the identified risks. This could include strategies for preventing or minimizing the risk’s impact and for responding to and recovering from it.

By developing a risk assessment, you can identify potential risks to your business and develop strategies for mitigating or managing those risks. This can help ensure that your BCP protects your business from disasters and disruptions.

Perform a Business Impact Analysis

A business impact analysis (BIA) is a process of identifying critical business functions and determining their potential impact if they were to be disrupted. Performing a BIA will help you prioritize your recovery efforts and determine the resources needed to restore your operations. Here are some key steps to conducting a BIA:

  1. Identify critical business functions: Identify the critical business functions that must be maintained during a disruption. These are essential to the survival and success of the business, such as payroll processing, order fulfillment, or customer service.
  2. Determine the impact of a disruption: Determine the impact that a disruption to each critical business function would have on the business. This might include financial, operational, and reputational impacts. Consider the length of downtime, the number of people affected, and the cost of recovery.
  3. Determine recovery time objectives (RTOs): Determine the maximum amount of time that each critical business function can be offline without causing significant damage to the business. This will help guide the development of recovery strategies.
  4. Identify dependencies: Identify the internal and external dependencies for each critical business function. This might include dependencies on people, technology, facilities, or suppliers.

Based on the results of your risk assessment and business impact analysis, you can identify the critical business functions that must be prioritized in the recovery process and develop effective recovery strategies that minimize the impact of a disruption on the business.

Stay tuned for Part II of our 2-part series where we dive into development, implementation, and maintenance of your business continuity plan. In the meantime, if you need assistance with developing a business continuity plan for your organization, contact our team at 623.850.5392 or by email at