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Creating Business Continuity Plan to Effectively Manage the Operations under the Risk

Making a business continuity plan (BCP) is important for any type of organization. It creates processes and procedures in conducting risk management to prevent the activities from interruption, especially if the organization is under critical condition.

Ensuring business continuity should become an ability need to master by organizations, in case they need to maintain vital functions after a catastrophe happens. While keeping the vital functions running, this plan allows organizations to rebuild the whole function as soon and smoothly as possible.

Definition of Business Continuity Plan

Business continuity plan refers to a document that determines how the business will keep operating under unexpected disruptions on its services. This business plan covers insights about business processes, human resources, assets, and other aspects of the business that affect by the disruptions. 

The plan usually included a checklist of business supplies and equipment, location backup, and data backup. It comes with contact information that can be reached out during emergency conditions, the main personnel, as well as backup sites providers. 

It can be made in a more detailed format by adding the plans for business operations both in the short and long run. The primary components of this continuity plan comprise strategies in handling IT and networks, servers, personal computers, as well as mobile devices. 

It needs to state the plans to rebuild the business productivity and enterprise software to fulfill the primary needs of the business. It should include manual works too so the business operations keep running when the computer system is still under maintenance. 

There are three main aspects that you need to consider when developing a continuity plan for your business such as follows: 

  • Contiguous Operations

Protect the ability of the business to keep running in a disrupting moment and when the plans go out of track. It might happen during scheduled backups or regular maintenance which affects many activities in the company or office. 

  • High Availability

Present the business capability and processes so it remains to own access to the application despite the failure that affects its normal operations. The failure might happen in different aspects of the business such as the process, facilities, or IT hardware and software. 

  • Disaster Recovery 

Formulate methods to recover data centers in different locations if the disaster destroys the main site. Or else, you can render it unworkable. 

Purposes of Business Continuity Plan

Making a continuity plan for the business has several main purposes. You can consider these purposes and make a continuity plan based on your business needs during a critical moment 

  • Help in managing the risk while the business is in the middle of recovery from an event that affects its operations negatively.
  • Help to respond to the disruptions and use them to develop business processes.
  • Establish an alternative site that is more suitable for recovery. 
  • Focus on the management and mitigation risk during the operation recovery as the results of an event that affects business operation. 
  • Maintain business resiliency to quickly respond to the interruption. 
  • Saving money, time, and business reputation under downtime. 
  • Serve as a requirement for legal or compliance needs. 

How to Create Business Continuity Plan

If your business never makes business continuity plan previously, you can start by identifying the business processes. Determine which areas of the business have high potential risk in critical situations. Estimate the potential losses if disruptions occur a day, a week, or a month. 

After assessing several important aspects of your business, you need to create plans. The plan typically consists of six primary steps.

  1. Recognize the scope of the continuity plan. 
  2. Determine the key business areas. 
  3. Categorize the critical functions.
  4. Assessing the dependencies of different business areas with the functions.
  5. Decide acceptable downtime for every critical function.
  6. Develop a plan to maintain operations under disruptions. 

You might misinterpret the continuity plan with the disaster recovery plan. It becomes part of a continuity plan. If you haven’t made disaster recovery plan, don’t worry since it includes the making process of continuity plan. 

However, if you have made the disaster recovery plan, it doesn’t mean that you can skip making the continuity plan. It is because BC plan covers more aspects than the DR plan. For instance, BC plan includes restoration time to ensure the operations meet business expectations. 

Testing the Plan

After you completely create business continuity plan, it is important to test the plan to make sure your plan is working. Although the real disruptions are the true test for the BC plan, checking the plan under controlled testing will help you to make some preventions and improvements to the plans. 

BC plan needs to receive a rigorous test to know if it is complete and fulfills the intended purpose of the business. Create the test as challenging as possible to identify which aspects of the plans still needs improvements. 

Getting to know the purposes of business continuity plan helps you to create it properly. Doing so makes the business meet the expectation even under unexpected disruptions.