WHY IS PLANNING IMPORTANT?
Whatever the nature or scale of a disruption, Business Continuity Planning minimises the impact to your comnany. Not all disasters ca be prevented, but a proper planning will make your organisation more resilient, provide reassurance to key stakeholders, ensure regulatory compliance and best practice on all levels.
Five phases of planning
Business continuity planning falls neatly into five phases, each of which includes steps that, when followed, provide the foundation of any good plan. Let’s take a look at the five phases.
Phase 1: Undertand your organisation and identify the risks
The first phase is to conduct a risk assessment, identifying any potential hazards that could disrupt your business. Consider any type of risk your team can imagine, including natural threats, human threats and technical threats.
Phase 2: Analyze the risks you face
Next, perform a business impact analysis to gauge the impact of each potential risk. For each risk, determine how severe the impact would be and how long your business could survive without those processes running. Consider what is absolutely necessary for recovery, how quickly it needs to happen, what are your minimum operating resources.
Phase 3: Design your strategy
Here you figure out strategies to mitigate interruptions and to quickly recover from them. Consider everything you’ll need to protect your people, your assets and you’re your functions. Start by comparing your current recovery capabilities to your business requirements and plan how you will fill that gap.
Phase 4: Plan development and execution
Finally, it’s time to create a concise, well organized and easy-to follow document. Consider everyone that may use the plan, and document it in a way that will be most useful when your business is suffering an interruption.
Phase 5: Measure your plan by testing
A plan isn’t truly a plan until it has been thoroughly tested. There are a variety of tests you should perform, with each providing different information on how to improve your plan. Tests can range from a checklist test, a walk-through performed by you your team as if there were an actual event, emergency evacuation drills, and when ready, a full on recovery simulation test is a bit more complex and involves your team simulating and emergency and using the actual equipment, facilities and supplies just as in a real disaster. After each test, you make any necessary modifications to your plan to keep it current.
When is the right time for business continuity planning?
There are 4 reasons to implement business continuity planning right now:
- It will save your company if a disaster strikes
- You have an obligation to your stakeholders, shareholders and customers to exercise a basic level of care and preparedness
- In many cases, it is the law, and without a business continuity plan in place, your top executives and your corporation could face criminal charges, heavy fines, and even jail time
- Regulations. The past decade has spawned an astonishing and complicated array of regulations and standards, many with serious legal implications if your company doesn’t comply
Contact our friendly team today to discuss how our experience and expertise can help you build future resilience into your organisation.