Business Continuity Plan Contents

An overview to get you started with your Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
The following provides an outline of the most common items that should be included in your BCP plan. It is intended as a guideline only as we strongly recommend working with a professional consultant if you are starting this process for the first time to ensure your plan will meet your broader business recovery objectives.

Business Continuity Tools & Resources

If you're just starting your process, you may find our free online risk self-assessment tool helpful to quickly identify the biggest areas of potential risk in your business.

Ready to draft an initial BCP plan? Start by checking these Government-initiated resources:

The Business Continuity Plan

Before you start, make sure you have an owner for the project within your organisation that has the authority to make the required decisions to progress your plan.

A typical Business Continuity Plan will include the following:

1. Policy and governance

Briefly describe:

  • The scope of your business continuity programme
  • What scenarios it covers (or excludes)?
  • Who is accountable and responsible for your programme?

2. Roles and responsibilities

Include the following:

  • Who is authorised to declare a crisis and what process would they follow?
  • Who is in your Crisis Management Team (CMT)?
  • What business processes and/or teams would they need to work with in a crisis?
  • Who are the contacts within each process or team that will be responsible in a crisis?

3. Critical business activities with metrics

Identify and agree what key activities and systems your business will need to recover in a crisis, including:

  • Which need to be recovered first?
  • How long you can afford to be without each service?
  • Are your recovery timeframes realistic and achievable? If not, what do you need to change?

4. Strategies available

Provide details of the strategies you will employ to address your agreed crisis scenarios.

  • Mostly commonly these scenarios include things like:
    - Loss of Facilities
    - Loss of Technology
    - Loss of People
    - Loss of Key External Providers
  • This section can also refer to alternate plans where they exist (e.g. refer to a specific IT Disaster Recovery Plan.)

5. Recovery tasks and procedures

To ensure anyone who is asked to enact your plan can do so:

  • Prepare detailed step-by-step descriptions of expected actions during each phase of your crisis and recovery.
  • Describe each task and the roles responsible for completing each task.
  • In a crisis these can provide useful check lists to ensure no steps are missed.

6. Communications

Clearly define who you would need to communicate with during a crisis and make sure you have a plan to access these contact details in a crisis. It is also helpful to have pre-prepared templates for key communication requirements to save time during a crisis event.

7. Crisis Templates

Many businesses find it useful to have a range of templates available with their business continuity plan to manage each stage of a crisis to ensure the correct information is collected at each stage from initial assessment to return to business as usual.

8. Version Tracking

Keep a clear record of updates and changes to your plan to show your regular maintenance programme and when key items have changed.

Once you have completed your plan, get it reviewed. Ideally use someone who has not been too closely involved in its preparation to read through and confirm that they could follow the plan in a crisis. You can’t guarantee your primary team will be available immediately in a crisis and an independent review ensures unnecessary or unclear information can be refined in a time of calm.

We also strongly recommend regular testing of your BCP and DR plans to ensure they will work as expected in a crisis. If you require assistance with your testing regime, we can independently test your ability to recover your IT environment from backup with our Server Recovery Exercise or if you want to more fully test your team’s response to one or more scenarios, talk to us about our Planned Activation service.

Simplicity is the key to making your BCP most likely to be successful in a crisis.

For more information about our Business Continuity Consulting request a call back

Call 0800 266 846 to chat to a Plan B Business Continuity specialist, email us here, or request a call back from the right expert within Plan B.

* Required fields