Revising & Updating Business Continuity PlansOur Consulting Services
Keeping Continuity Plans Up to Date
Having a business continuity plan is crucial for the survival and longevity of your business. A BCP allows your business to continue to operate as close to normal as possible after an unexpected interruption. Too often the revising and updating of existing plans is overlooked. An out-of-date plan is worse than having no plan. Why? All businesses constantly change day to day, month to month, and year to year in both big and small increments. How will you restore your business to where it was before the disruption if the information in your plan is a year or more out-of-date?
When to update your existing business continuity plan?
We at Discenza Business Continuity Solutions recommend at least a semi-annual review of existing business continuity plans. Any major changes in the business, such as a change in executive leadership, should be reflected immediately in the plan. Not all changes need to take place at one time – this can be an ongoing task broken up into smaller tasks tackling different components of the plan on a more consistent basis. Keeping the plan as up to date and current as possible will only benefit you in the event of a disaster and ensure your business continues on as efficiently as possible.
How should you update your current BCP?
Your business continuity plan should always reflect the current state of the business. Here are some questions you need to ask when revising your plan:
- What has changed in the business?
- What key people have left?
- Who has replaced them?
- Have you introduced new lines of business or products?
- What changes in personnel, resources, and facilities have occurred with those new products or services?
- Have you discontinued lines of business or products?
- What changes in personnel, resources, and facilities have occurred with discontinuing those products or services?
- Have people moved from one department to another and have their phone numbers changed?
Another way to keep your plan current is to run an exercise of the plan at least once a year. There is no better way to discover if you can actually recover your business than by running an exercise that tests the assumptions of your plan. Any gaps uncovered by the exercise can be used to revise the plan to reflect your current operations.
A third way to revise your plan is to run through a check list of operations – this way you can continue to check and make revisions as you see fit to benefit your business. Check lists can consist of a multitude of items to keep up to date such as
- Lists of emergency contact
- Lists of supplies needed in the event of a disaster
- Lists of vendors or clients
- Organization charts
- Lists of minimal operational requirements to resume work.
These are all things that should be kept as relevant and up to date as possible.
Why Should You Update Your Business Continuity Plan?
Staying ahead of a disaster before it occurs is an absolute game changer for the success of your business. We all know things can and will happen. Being prepared means knowing you have a plan that is up-to-date. Realize that your business is always changing and evolving. So should your business continuity plan! Contact Discenza Business Continuity Solutions today if you would like help in revising and exercising your BCP.