The COVID-19 pandemic has blown millions of businesses that have experienced huge losses and business closure. Whether you have a small business or you are an owner of a multinational giant, the need for a business continuity plan is gradually increasing as it will help in faster response whenever disruption strikes by minimizing its impact on your business. Disaster recovery management should be part of the business continuity planning that should address the critical issues which will eventually help in reshaping the business. In this blog, we are going to discuss the essential steps that will help the companies in formulating a robust business continuity plan that will help in creating business resilience during odd times.
Steps to Creating a Robust Business Continuity Plan
Creating a successful business continuity plan not only takes time and money but also involves a lot of time for the leaders within the business. A business continuity plan will be robust in nature so that it can address all the essential business functions and help the business to run its operations smoothly. Following are the critical steps that the business continuity team must follow in formulating a successful plan that will surpass the pandemic and other emergency situations.
Identify the Goals of the Plan
Business continuity management of any agency usually extends beyond the IT department which applies broadly to different business functions such as human resources, product development, sales and marketing, operations, public relations, and many more. Identification of the goals and objectives of the business is important as it will help in formulating a business continuity plan that will help the business operations running while minimizing the process of disruption. Identifying goals will help in assessing the risk which will help in creating potential recovering strategies.
Establish Emergency Preparedness Team
It is essential to establish a team that is ready for mitigating risks during an emergency situation. Emergency preparedness team formation is important as the success of the business continuity plan depends a lot on the skills and expertise of the team members. Select leaders or cross-functional managers or any person whom you think might be valuable for the whole process. Make sure that there will be multiple leaders who will take the leadership of formulating the plan to its actions whenever required. The team is responsible for keeping things moving forward while making valuable decisions whenever required.
Measure Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis
Risk assessment is one of the crucial parts of the business continuity plan that will include all the possible risks of the business that it may face during emergency situations. Based on the type and nature of the risks, business continuity planning will be conducted in a way that can create an actual impact of running business operations smoothly during the disaster.
Identifying potential risks and threats of your business and analyzing them properly will help you to modify, reduce or add essential business services in the plan. Everything should be documented in a proper way so that the business impact analysis can be done in a proper way.
Identify Core Business Functions
Identifying the core business services is very important during the process of creating a business continuity plan. The core business services that will be included in the plan will be the department that will help your business to run smoothly during pandemic or emergency situations. Hence, selecting departments like human resources, business development, sales, marketing, etc. is very crucial as per the nature and scope of the business. Few business functions that can be included during planning are order fulfillment, shipping deadlines, inventory management, supply chain management, e-commerce platform functionality, customer service, etc.
Address Every Business Function
While creating a business continuity plan, the departments of business that are very essential should be included in the plan. There should be planning for every core business function so that they can operate in a full-fledged way. The plan must include how you will manage to take orders and fulfill the delivery to the customers while keeping inventory and supply chain intact. There should be alternate planning for all the departments that will help if a single plan is not working properly. Hence, risk identification and its business impact is essential to prepare a business continuity plan effectively.
Review The Plan Thoroughly
No business continuity plan will be complete if you don’t review the plan properly and make the necessary changes. The plan should be flexible in nature so that if you want to add or remove anything at the last moment, it can work properly. You have to make sure that you have documented emergency policy creation, level of business risk, financial resources that can be tapped during the disaster, communication with the employees during an emergency, external community partners that can work with you in the critical situation. Formulating the plan in this way will help the business to operate error-free during the disruption.
Test, Train Staff, and Make Improvements
After creating a business continuity plan, it is very important to present the plan to the stakeholders who will suggest the required steps by performing the trial runs. It will give you clarity that the plan will work practically during the disruption. Train the staff so that they can perform their essential duties and multiple testing should be conducted in order to measure the effectiveness of the business continuity plan. Updates and improvements should be done on a regular basis so that the plan works during the actual situation.
While your business may never encounter a vital disruption ever, however, nothing is ever certain. There can be chances where your company may face a distinctive share of hurdles and disruption. From a startup to a multinational company, the importance of a business continuity plan should be considered by all levels of the business. From daily business operations to strategic planning, structured business continuity planning is the essence of running a business, especially in a pandemic situation. You may face many business complexities while formulating the business continuity plan, but by taking a step back, you can identify the risks and their impact on your business. This business continuity plan will be more resilient and responsive in nature.