Businesses can be impacted by a wide variety of incidents such as severe weather, burst pipes, server failures and fires. Chubb risk managers advise that one of the best ways to make sure your business is prepared for recovery is to develop a business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan provides a framework for returning to normalcy following an incident. Having a well-thought-out business continuity plan provides a foundation of your operational continuity and can pay off exponentially by saving recovery costs, business revenues, your organisation’s reputation and even people’s lives. It generally covers the following key areas:
Get support from top management and assign an individual to lead the process. Then assemble a core team from across the organisation, with representatives from each critical department, ensuring that roles, responsibilities and competencies required for a Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) are addressed.
Provide a structured process for analysing the likelihood and consequences of disruptive events, with events ranked by the risk of disruption to the organisation’s critical activities. Specific threats may include natural hazards, key facilities, technology resources, staffing, past events, supply chain issues, specialised equipment, security and/or utilities.
This process will rank your organisation’s key functions from most to least critical, allowing the priorities and timeframes for resuming activities to be determined. Function heads should identify potential mitigation strategies, upstream and downstream dependencies and key resources (including IT functionality and data availability) required to resume operations.
Document your plan and procedures on a step by step basis. Make sure to share it with staff and assign clear responsibilities for carrying out the plan.
Think of business continuity planning as a cycle – one that requires continual reviews, updates and adjustments based on changes to your business operations. Offer training sessions so your employees are prepared to support the recovery efforts. Conduct regular exercises to assess and improve response.
While the ideal time to put a business continuity plan in motion is before disaster strikes, even businesses that do not yet have a plan in place can invest time during the course of an incident to protect their employees, assess the potential impact and prepare for a smooth recovery.
Additional resource: Protecting Your Business During Civil Unrest
We’re here with an answer.