Despite all the progress and advancement made in the past few centuries, humans, by and large, are at the mercy of nature for their survival and wellbeing. We can’t really predict when an earthquake may occur; a fire may break out, or, as we are experiencing now, an infectious disease may throw our lives and businesses out of gear. That said, however, what sets us humans apart is our ability to keep marching ahead even in the face of mounting difficulties and challenges. And how do we do that? We do that by preparing, devising and using tools such a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
BCP is basically a document that contains all information pertaining to how a business will operate in case of an emergency. When a disaster strikes, both profit and reputation of a business may take a hit. A major disruption can make it difficult for a business, irrespective of the organization size, to pick up the pieces and get up and running again. A business can minimize the negative impact of a disaster on its operations and profits by having a proper BCP in place.
Business Continuity plan vs Disaster Recovery Plan
Here it is important to understand that a BCP is different from a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). There is no denying the fact that both BCP and DRP serve the common objective of helping a business survive and overcome a disaster. However, while the BCP focuses on helping a business continue its operations during an emergency, the key objective of DRP is to help a business recover from an emergency.
Focusing solely on DRP is a common mistake made by many businesses. While DRP helps a business bounce back after a disaster, a proper BCP is needed to prevent a complete shutdown of a business during a disruptive event. And in case of a major disruptive event, as we are experiencing now, BCP can make a whole lot of difference when it comes to ensuring that a business doesn’t suffer humongous losses. If a business has an effective BCP in place, it can easily ensure that employees continue to work from home even when the offices need to shut down.
While creating an effective BCP, it is essential to understand and include four key elements: Risk Evaluation, Business Impact Analysis, Incident Response and Recovery Plan.
The first step is to identify the risks that could possibly derail business operations. It’s important to assess the damage that a particular negative event can cause to a business and what can be done to prevent or reduce the potential losses.
Business Impact Analysis
The second step is to assess how and in what way the identified risks can affect each business unit. At this stage, it is important to prioritize critical business functions. In all organizations, there are certain activities that are essential for their survival. It must be determined how it will be ensured that these activities will continue in the time of crisis.
The third step is to formulate a strategy to approach and manage a disaster in an orderly and effective way. In the Incident Response Plan, a business should enumerate all the actionable points required to ensure that no harm is caused to employees and property.
Finally, there has to be a recovery plan with all the detailed instructions on how the organization can resume work after the emergency. An effective recovery plan can make it easier for a business to quickly get back on its feet once the disaster has passed.
How PRIME can help you in your Business Continuity Planning
When we talk about the Business Continuity Plan, it is important to highlight the role and importance of Business Process Management (BPM) software such as PRIME BPM in the creation of BCP. The cloud-based BPM software, PRIME allows businesses to create and store their BCP and make comprehensive information readily accessible to personnel. It also drastically reduces the time spent on managing and maintaining plans.
PRIME BPM is equipped with features such as value and impact analysis that help businesses determine the processes/ tasks which are crucial to run business smoothly and how changes in those processes would impact the business operations. Its risk and control feature help user to understand and record risks associated with each process and control actions that can help mitigate the risk.
Right from the creation and documentation of Business Continuity Plan to keeping contact lists, PRIME BPM can make the task of developing plans easier and less time-consuming. It can go a long way when it comes to enabling businesses to weather the storm and overcome all challenges posed by a disaster.