No matter the size or industry, a business continuity plan (BCP) is essential to all organizations. The impact of the pandemic, unfortunately, demonstrated how an unexpected event can easily disrupt business operations, leaving many scrambling to find the best solutions to resume their services. While many organizations already have a continuity plan in place, too often it becomes static. Instead, BCPs should evolve along with the growth of the company, the advancement of technology, and most importantly, the latest threats. Without proper maintenance of the BCP, a business can experience a string of further mistakes, leaving the business exposed and unprepared when faced with the next disaster.
Here are some business continuity planning tips to ensure your existing strategy is effective for the next unexpected event you might face.
Risk Assessment for Business Continuity Plans
Each organization is at risk for different events. Businesses often make the mistake of concentrating on unwarranted risks that will not affect them in any capacity. With the recent threats of cyberattacks, natural disasters, and the ongoing pandemic, more businesses today might feel overly cautious, thinking they need to protect themselves from every new threat. However, while there is always the possibility of unlikely events striking a business, focusing the majority of a business’s planning and precautions on such events is simply a waste of time. It would be like planning for a tornado when your business is in a fire-prone area.
Therefore, businesses need to conduct risk assessments to determine what possible events their BCPs should focus on. By performing a risk assessment, you can accurately identify what potential risks threaten your business continuity based on the criteria of your organization. Whether it is the type of service you provide, what regulations you must follow, the size and location of your business, or another factor, stick to the risk assessment to make sure your business continuity plans align with your business objectives and not your fears.
Business Continuity Plan Management Team
Avoid the mistake of assigning only one employee or only the IT team to be responsible for the BCP. A successful BCP is a team effort, and a well-executed plan involves representatives across each department preparing and training the other team members in their respective departments. Each representative can provide insights on the guidelines for executing the BCP when an incident occurs. It is crucial to have a smooth transition in communication so that if a senior staff member is unavailable, there is no breakdown regarding what tasks should be performed and by whom.
Training & Awareness
When a disturbance strikes, only some employees are aware of what to do in times of crisis. In some cases, it is the IT or response team. But what about everyone else? Organizations must professionally train everyone on what to do during and after an incident has occurred. With collaborative efforts to mitigate any further damage, your organization can recover quickly, saving you from financial ruin.
When it comes to training employees about the BCP, they should also always have easy access to it. The document must be simple, clear, and concise, so they are comfortable and prepared to handle an emergency during business operations. Methods of training may include tests, surveys, eLearning, seminars, and more.
Test, Update and Improve
One of the many mistakes organizations tend to make with their BCP is not testing the document. It is imperative to implement a strategy that determines how often to test and revise the BCP. These methods identify risks or vulnerabilities within the plan, such as how often to update new or existing staff on their responsibilities, and the process to ensure it remains relevant, so your team is not working with outdated data. Moreover, as your business grows, you must adapt your BCP to reflect those changes for it to be effective. Businesses should not wait until they are in the middle of an emergency.
With the uncertainty of the world today, a business continuity plan is more important now than ever. Every unexpected event that threatens your business should have a well-tested business continuity plan. All departments are responsible for responding to your business needs. This ensures your business is running effectively.
How can EDC Help?
Whether you are a smaller business owner or a large enterprise, at EDC we can create a unique BCP that is tailored to your every need. For institutions that already have BCP in place, we can improve upon your strategy to face new threats that may prevent business operations. At EDC, we have highly skilled technical writers equipped to handle the unexpected events businesses face in every industry, from financial, education, healthcare, information security, transport, and aerospace to infrastructure, agriculture, the manufacturing sector, and more. With EDC, we can prepare your business for the unexpected.
Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started at (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Kimberly Jones