Business Continuity Planning: 4 Questions to Consider
BCP can expand to many meanings. “Better Cover your Posterior.” Or “Before Loss, Current Loss and Post Loss.” Or how about this one? “Be Crisis-Proofed.” However you state it, Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is here to stay and is rapidly growing in risk management importance for organizations. To borrow a quote from Alan Lakein: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This blog represents the first in a series explaining and exploring the nuts and bolts of BCP.
A business continuity plan is a comprehensive “blueprint” created to assist and ensure that an organization can continue operations when a disruption to normal business occurs. Example disruptions can run the gamut including: power outage, water damage, fire damage, earthquake, cyber-attack, bomb threat, explosions and “active shooter” to name just a few.
Purpose of BCP
Business continuity planning helps protect company assets, minimize loss and mitigate the impact of a business disruption on employees, vendors and customers. The following components fall under the umbrella of BCP:
- Risk Assessment
- Emergency Response Planning
- Crisis Management.
By implementing BCP as a critical business objective, your organization will quickly familiarize itself with potential risks, improve your recovery abilities, and instill confidence & decisiveness in employees during a disaster when those skills are needed most.
Determining Your Business Contingency Needs
To help determine your organization's contingency needs, here are four questions you should consider initially:
- Does my organization have a business continuity plan?
- If yes, how up-to-date is our plan and when was it last assessed?
- If no, what are the necessary steps to get started with creating a plan?
- How often are training exercises offered to ensure everyone is familiar with the plan, their role, etc.?
Companies with well thought-out contingency plans have a better understanding of the critical actions that are necessary to recover quickly and to minimize business interruption.
We've now gone over the basics of business continuity planning. In the next segment, we'll discuss the necessary steps an organization must take to have an effective, dynamic business continuity plan in place in the coming year.