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In Part I of our 2-part series, we outlined the steps for developing a successful business continuity plan (BCP) which included defining the scope and objectives, conducting a risk assessment, and performing a business impact analysis (BIA). If you have not had a chance to check out Part I, you can do so here. In Part II, we dive into development, implementation, training, and maintenance of your plan.
Based on the results of your business impact analysis (BIA) and risk assessment we identified in Part I, you will then use that information to outline detailed procedures for responding to disasters and disruptions. These procedures are designed to minimize the impact of the disruption and to help your organization quickly recover and resume normal operations. Here are some crucial areas of your plan development you need to consider:
Emergency response plan: This area should outline the procedures for responding to an emergency or disaster such as activating emergency protocols, evacuation procedures, and securing the facility. This plan should also identify the roles, responsibilities, and contact information of your crisis management team. The team should be trained in crisis communication and have access to the necessary tools and resources to effectively communicate during a crisis.
Disaster recovery plan: This area should outline the procedures for recovering critical IT systems, infrastructure, and data following a disaster or disruption. Your plan should include recovery time objectives (RTOs) for critical systems and data, and identify the resources and personnel needed to carry out the recovery process.
Communication plan: This component of your BCP outlines how an organization will communicate with employees, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders during and after an emergency or disruption. A well-designed communication plan can help ensure that stakeholders receive timely and accurate information, maintain confidence in the organization’s ability to respond to the crisis and reduce the impact of the disruption.
Testing your business continuity plan is essential to ensure its effectiveness in protecting your business in the event of a disaster or disruption. Furthermore, it is important to conduct regular testing to identify areas for improvement and to keep your plan current.
A few key steps to follow when testing your plan include:
By testing your BCP, you can identify gaps in your plan and make necessary improvements to ensure that your business is prepared to respond to a range of potential disasters and disruptions.
Train your employees on the organization’s BCP to ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of a disaster or disruption. Here are some suggested steps to follow when training your employees:
By training your employees on your BCP, you can ensure that everyone is prepared to respond to a range of potential disasters and disruptions, and that your business is able to recover quickly and effectively in the event of a crisis.
Finally, maintain your plan by reviewing and updating it regularly. Evaluate the effectiveness of your plan based on any past incidents or tests that you have conducted. Identify any areas where the plan may need to be revised or updated.
Review and update the procedures outlined in your plan to ensure that they are accurate and effective. This might include updating contact information, revising recovery time objectives, or identifying new resources. Train employees on any changes to the plan and their roles and responsibilities in responding to a disaster or disruption.
By regularly reviewing and updating your business continuity and disaster recovery plan, you can ensure that it remains effective in protecting your business in the event of a disaster or disruption, and that your team is prepared to respond quickly and effectively.
An organization without a business continuity plan is one disruption away from permanently shutting down. Do not put your BCP on the back burner. Protect your organization by having the proper systems in place to prevent a disaster happening to you.
If you need assistance with developing a business continuity plan for your organization, contact our team at 623.850.5392 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.