The goal of a Business Continuity plan is to provide a plan of action that, in the event of disruption or emergency, specifies the key resources and staff, as well as a process and procedures for re-establishing services and functions.
Business Continuity plans are designed to assist staff during incidents when standard operating procedures are no longer sufficient to support the continuation of your operational functions.
As you begin your Business Continuity plan, try not to think about specific scenarios. Remember, power outages, snow days, or a gas leak can be just as disruptive as a major emergency. As you develop your plan it may be more useful to consider different types of impacts. For example:
- In an emergency, all or part of offices, records, and equipment may be inaccessible.
- Data network, communications, and utility services may be disrupted in the one facility or campus-wide.
- Critical hardcopy and digital records may be damaged or destroyed.
- An emergency event may directly impact staff members, limiting their ability come to work.
Then your Business Continuity plan can focus on how your functions can continue, even if at a lower level of service.
In summary, the Business Continuity planning process involves:
- Taking a snapshot of your operations; defining your critical functions
- Conducting an impact assessment and determining coping strategies
- Implementing actions to make your department more resilient