Steps in Developing and Maintaining Your Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
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Business continuity planning includes:
- Risk analysis and controls – defining the risks to which the facilities are susceptible and the probability of occurrence.
- Business impact analysis and time-sensitive business functions – documenting the impact to [business name] if part of the business (i.e. operating equipment, computer system, telephones) is unavailable to use.
- Designating alternative location – in the event that the facility is uninhabitable, designate an alternate location for resumption of business activities (e.g. a partner’s conference room or facility, in-home offices)
- Establish a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – the period of time within which systems, applications, or functions must be recovered after a disruption and [business name] is back to business as usual. This is based upon an analysis of risk factors as well as a Business Interruption Analysis.
- Determine recovery strategy – identify a set of viable options for recovery
- Effectively manage implementation:
- Emergency response procedure – initial steps to take
- Command, control and emergency operations – where to go, who is in charge, what to do, how often to meet (e.g. every four hours)
- Delegation of authority/responsibility
- Track problems and changes in order to modify BCP
- Detailed resumption, recovery and restoration procedures
- Vendor contracts and recovery resources – hardware, interconnect devices, software to set up business elsewhere, if needed
- Training staff – to know what to do during each potential disruption.
- Testing the plan – practice.
- Evaluate and update BCP – carry out carefully constructed maintenance procedures, as follows:
On a quarterly basis:
Ensure all contact lists are updated as needed:
- Employee list
- Client list
- Suppliers list
Add any relevant information from any activity logs that quarter.
Add/update any relevant information from any tests or walk-throughs that quarter.
Add/update any relevant information pertinent to a business acquisition or removal that quarter.