In recent weeks, we have seen the unexpected rise in business closures and slow-downs due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic. If you have not already established a Business Continuity Plan for your organization, now is a good time to start setting one up and making sure it is executed properly.
According to Ready.gov, a website that offers free tools for businesses to prepare for disasters and emergencies, there is a clear planning process that is recommended. This entails:Block 1 - Business Impact Analysis:
- Develop questionnaire,
- Conduct workshop to Instruct business function and process managers how to complete the BIA,
- Receive Completed BIA questionnaire forms,
- Review BIA questionnaires,
- Conduct follow-up interviews to validate information and fill any information gaps.
Block 2 - Recover Strategies:
- Identify and document resource requirements based on BIAs,
- Conduct gap analysis to determine gaps between recovery requirements and current capabilities,
- Explore recovery strategies with management approval, Implement strategies.
Block 3 - Plan Development:
- Develop plan framework,
- Organize recovery teams,
- Develop Relocation Plans,
- Write business continuity and IT disaster recovery procedures,
- Document manual workarounds,
- Assemble plan; validate gain management approval.
Block 4 - Testing & Exercises:
- Develop testing, exercise and maintenance requirements,
- Conduct training for business continuity team,
- Conduct orientation exercises,
- Conduct testing and document test results,
- Update BCP to incorporate lessons learned from testing and exercises.
Ready.gov also recommends the following resources:
- Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs - National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600
- Professional Practices for Business Continuity Professionals - DRI International (non-profit business continuity education and certification body)
- Continuity Guidance Circular 1, Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Entities - Federal Emergency Management Agency, CGC 1
- Open for Business® Toolkit - Institute for Business & Home Safety
If you're looking for more advice and resources for Business Continuity, please visit the links above. For communications and media strategy related to business continuity, please call us!