To protect the business against unpredictable events, it is beneficial to have a continuity plan in place. In this blog post, we go through what a continuity plan is and what we recommend it should contain.
What is a continuity plan?
A continuity plan is about having a plan for how resources and processes are to be handled in crisis situations or various interruptions in the organisation. Some examples of such situations are cyber attacks, pandemics, natural disasters and human error. The purpose of a business continuity plan is to be able to continue operations, albeit on a smaller scale, and return to normal levels as quickly as possible.
What should a continuity plan contain?
Before you start developing the continuity plan, you need to identify why it is needed and what your continuity goals should be. Here, for example, you can think about risks linked to the main mission of the business and which risks are reasonable for the business to cope with.
The content of a continuity plan can vary and look different because all organisations have different needs. But regardless of organisation-specific needs, we recommend that the continuity plan includes these five parts.
1. Reserve routine
That it is documented how the organisation should work during an ongoing crisis situation or interruption. In the backup routine, there must be information about who is responsible for a certain work task and how the work task is to be carried out.
2. Recovery routine
There must be a plan for how to restore the business after a crisis. What is needed to restore activities or resources?
3. Return routine
In a return routine, it must be documented how the business will function again when you are back in a normal state. How should the working method return to how it was before the crisis and what needs to be in place for you to succeed in this.
4. Contact details internally and externally
Document who should be contacted in an emergency and who needs to receive the communication. Don't forget to also map out which external stakeholders need to receive information.
5. Practice and training
Having a continuity plan without having ensured that it works in practice is fraught with risk. Hold training sessions and carry out exercises so that everyone in the business knows who should be involved and what is expected in each role. If necessary, it may also be necessary to involve your external partners and suppliers in training and exercises.
In conclusion, the business continuity plan exists to protect the organisation's priority activities and reduce the likelihood of disruption. Consider adapting the continuity plan based on your business and your conditions by connecting activities and distributing responsibilities within the organisation. What is documented in the continuity plan must be possible to implement in the form of activities and resources. Also keep in mind that the continuity plan should be easy to absorb and understand, so use simple language and something that is in line with how your organisation communicates today.
Do you want to know more about how a digital tool can help your business face crisis situations in a structured way? With the help of Stratsys, you can create, maintain and coordinate the continuity planning for the entire business. Read more here!