We’re already three months into 2018 and I’m sure that by now you’ll have come across blogs, videos and infographics telling you that you need to have a business continuity plan in place to protect your organisation.
Many of these advisory pieces only tell you that your business needs to have one in place while skating around the actual content of a plan.
Last year we put together a blog on ‘five things you should cover in your business continuity strategy’ and after some great feedback, we decided to create a follow-on blog. So, here are five more things you should cover in your business continuity plan.
Plan for at least three scenarios
There is an old saying that bad luck comes in threes and you should always be prepared for at least three different scenarios that can affect your business. A threat analysis can help determine these potential disasters and it is best practice to explore these scenarios with different disaster types and locations.
For example, if one office is next to a canal it would be wise to include the possibility of flooding in their continuity plan, in addition to power cuts and computer viruses.
In the event of an incident, where do your staff go? If the Internet in the building was disconnected, would you expect them to report to another office or to work from home? What would they need to work from home?
Would they all leave at the same time or would someone stay to answer the phones? Can staff access their phones while working elsewhere? All these scenarios need discussing.
Think about your customers
You have an internal plan and all staff are now working from home or from another office, but how does this affect your customers? Do you need to let them know that the office will be closed until further notice and that they will not be able to call the office number? Likewise, if your business hosts other business systems, what will the impact be on them?
Training & exercises
It is important that your team knows more than where the recovery plan is, they have to know how to complete it in a disaster. Do they know whom to turn to if they have any questions? Are there any kinks that need ironing out? Without emergency drills, you will never know.
Overall, it is vital that you complete a strong gap analysis to determine that no areas are left unaccounted for. Here are a few questions to help you get started in your analysis:
- Have you accounted for employee absences during an incident?
- Have you accounted for flexible working hours and worksites?
- If applicable, do you provide sufficient emergency supplies?
- Do you need to inform your insurers about your plan?