Time unfolds itself in unexpected ways. Even during the golden time of business, several things can go erroneous. We hardly ever foresee that the disaster is ready to bash. It is where the need for a Business Continuity Plan arises. To save your company during the phase of uncalled disaster for uninterrupted success, you need to hand over a tried and tested plan to every department accountable to carry out any part of the business. Lagging on planning means you are lingering on the recovery period out of any unforeseeable disaster. It could make you go out of business in no time.
How to Define a Business Continuity Plan – (BCP)?
Business Continuity Plan can be seen as a skill to be unstoppable while being productive and continue providing the services during disruptive incidents like a flood, fire, or cybercriminal attacks.
In other words, BCP is preparing to resume the functioning of business swiftly in disastrous events. This plan outlines the guide to an organization to follow if faced with such events; it includes:
- Business Partners
- Business Process
- Human Resources
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Why Is BCP Important?
Expect the best, prepare for the worst and be ready for the surprise
Says the Famous American Entrepreneur Denis Waitley to focus on the importance of planning for the uncalled and unforeseeable circumstances.
You can be associated with a large business corporation, or you might operate a small business entity, you have to devote all your energies to remain competitive in the market. In the process of seeking ways of business growth, it becomes challenging to retain the current customers with attractive services. There is no hard test to resume functioning right after a disastrous event.
If the company is capable of handling disastrous events efficiently, this means the company is up for gaining a reputation and a good name in the market. The customers will trust you for your services. There are several recovery methods available for the restoration of IT but the actual future of the company lies in people and your processes. There should be a solid plan for them as well.
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If a company does not have a Business Continuity Plan, its position is weak in the market. The need is to analyze the weaknesses in all the departments of the organization. After determining the business losses while it goes under a disastrous day or a week, take the initial steps to plan. The basic steps involved in initiating the plan are listed below.
- Make the plan to carry on business functioning smoothly.
- Figure out critical functions.
- Know your key business areas.
- Identify how different business departments depend on each other.
It is an observation that many people in the business world confuse the Disaster Recovery Plan (DR) with the business continuity plan. DR is an integral part of BCP. If the organization already has DR, it is good to go with the rest of the process. However, remember not to mix DR as the complete BCP.
After gathering enough information, when you intend to initiate your business continuity plan, stories of experiences about war days and other such incidents will help you make one solid plan for the organization.
Time to Evaluate Your Plan:
The first and prior need after the plan is done is to test the extent of its working. O’Donnell says the best way to test your plan is to let it go through the real incidents to know the extent of its functioning and to reconsider the areas for improvements.
Most organizations test their business plans four to five times a year to check how much they can count on the business continuity plan and fill in the gaps and lags. The general stages to evaluate BCP are listed below.
- Disaster Simulation Testing
- Structured walkthrough
- Tabletop Exercise
It is suggested to have fresh team members during each phase of testing. So, the gaps are detected by the fresh members in the case overlooked by the old team members.
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Finally, Review, Improve and Ensure your Business Continuity Plan:
Time changes, people come and go and this makes the room for reviewing your plan for a good practical number of times after the Business Continuity Plan is made and initially tested. Over time, you may realize something to be added further, rectified, or mold for the required level of safety. Usually, organizations do it through structured walk-throughs or tabletop exercises. Once the plan goes through the stages of reviewing and testing successfully, the need comes to finally ensure it to be a successful plan to implement. The casual approach is something that can lead to unsuccessful roads and you can immediately run out of business. Management is required to make the plan a priority to keep it viable and fresh.
Management must take the responsibility to inject awareness to employees about the plan. Training about the plan and its distribution are also some of the integral steps to ensure a successful plan. Someone from the top-notch HR management should be part of such training to significantly punctuate the importance and seriousness of the plan. This will result in employees will start giving more and more urgency and credibility.
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To Conclude, we can say that being prepared for the uncalled disastrous events is preparation towards the swift recovery while facing a day or a week of any such incident. Hence, saving the business to run out immediately!