Introducing the concepts and practices of business continuity planning needn’t be a massive undertaking. All you need to do is follow a structured process and proceed at your own pace.
How to proceed
Once you have decided that you should look more closely at this topic, choose an area of your business to start examining. This could be your primary business process, it could be a key location, or it could involve a key group of staff.
Understanding your business
Take a quick look and conduct a Business Impact Analysis to gain insight into the impact on the business if the activities that make up this process were to be disrupted. Then conduct a Risk Analysis to understand how vulnerable the activities are.
With this information to hand you will know which activities are critical to the success of your business and the likelihood that those activities can be disrupted. You can then proceed to identify measures that will reduce the likelihood that the critical activities are disrupted and limit the impact if they are.
Plan for the low probability, but high impact, risks
In all likelihood however, there will be activities which could severely affect the business if they were to be disrupted. Even though the likelihood of disruption has been reduced, the potential impact could be so great that you need to have appropriate Contingency Plans in place so that your staff know what to do in an emergency.
With the Contingency Plans in place, your staff trained, and the plans tested, you can have greater confidence that you will survive if something serious happens. Provided you keep the plans updated as the processes and people change, you can be assured that you have done your best to protect your business and the investments many have made in that business.
Onwards and upwards
Hopefully, by the end of this process you will understand the importance of having a Business Continuity Plan. You can now make it a normal part of your Business as Usual management system and extend it to other parts of the business.
Introducing a Business Continuity Management System is an essential process for any business that has long term ambitions to survive and grow. Developing your Business Continuity Plan needn’t be an onerous task. All it takes is determination to succeed and common sense.
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