Planning Made Easy
How to Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan?
In any business cycle; processes are to be made to achieve targeted results, these processes vary from time to time, or depending on the business` type.
Considering all the facts about the business, there are some stable concepts and initiations to be implemented, one of these concepts is an effective business continuity plan, business continuity plan first aim is to maintain and to restore business operations process in the minimum amount of time and with the minimum loses of resources, also at the first hand is to prevent any expected damages or issues that could happen to the business.
Some would mix up “Business continuity plan” with “Disaster risk plan”, the second one is a regularly part of the first, it covers only restoring business` assets, but business continuity plan is to restore and to maintain the business operations.
There are some factors must be considered to apply a BC plan, and of course business differs on its types, and also events vary on its impact or treatment, we’ll try to note these factors in a general way:
Analyzing business` assets:
“Knowledge is power”, you have to acquire every available information related to your business` assets; including manpower, equipment, locations, departments` functions and performances, business` data, and others.
Having these information will give you the right conception on every operation of your business, which lead to identify the right role and destination of these assets on your plan.
These assets ought to be defined by its impacts:
In the business: every operation within.
On / for the business: every related external factor / asset.
Knowing and expecting issues / disasters:
This comes to a question: “What if?” asking yourself this question will put you in advance to create a good BC plan, knowing possible threats against your business will give you the right action to handle them, also it would be wise to consult an expert on the issue, the main point of these step is to collect information about possible issues and disasters.
Some disasters are known and expected to happen every now and then, some pre-solutions are there to prevent them, and this can be applied by knowing the right and effective way to handle them, for example:
A fire proof building prevents fire from spreading inside the building.
A scheduled time table of data backup will prevent and guaranties the minimum amount loses of data during an incident.
Time is an applicable fact in everything, you must consider timings and ask yourself related questions such as:
When the issue could happen and what is its absorbed time?
What is the time needed to act upon the issue?
What is the period considered (downtime) until the restoring of business operations?
Places / remote areas:
During incidents, business` places are vulnerable to damages, some of these incidents can make a massive damage to the place making it non-operational, and so do you have a remote site that operates functionally considering doing the same business` operations?
How will you operate it? That is a good question on matter of keeping your business going.
Many disasters results in assets` damage, as a responsible of the BC plan, you ought to replace those assets to maintain your business functions, and this fact should be related to the cost of the assets too.
For example: if you are a goods distributor, and suddenly a number of cars are damaged due to natural disaster, and your company has a timeline to deliver goods to the market, what will you do? Do you have some replacement cars / sales agents? Will you rent some cars to do the job? And so goes on.
Inducting knowledge / Virtual training:
To make a real efficient plan, you ought to train employees and to induct them with the right knowledge on the proper ways to act upon issues and incidents.
This ways will keep you informed and fully aware of their acts toward issues, also this will give you the opportunity to identify shortage or breaches of your plane to fix and empower it.
Finally, you ought to keep in mind three things:
Always keep your plan organized, it will give you a lot of advances including handling timings, and precautions of the problem.
There is no plan goes by 100% on execution; so always prepare yourself to the sudden situation by increasing your practice knowledge and trainings.
Always have a checklist; some call it a “to do list” which includes the right acts and steps to make on the plan.
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