The Value of a Business Continuity Plan - dummies

The Value of a Business Continuity Plan

By The Cabinet Office

Part of Business Continuity For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

A business continuity plan is essential because dealing with a major disruption places different demands on managers than day-to-day business; the situation will be unfamiliar and decisions more critical.

A good business continuity plan is a practical help if things go seriously wrong, such as when:

  • Your buildings are damaged or you lose access to your premises.

  • There’s a utility or infrastructure failure such as power, telecommunications or transport disruptions.

  • Essential plant or equipment breaks down.

  • Many of your staff can’t get to work or key individuals are unavailable.

  • You have a serious IT failure, lose data or are the victim of cyber-crime.

  • Stock or supplies are destroyed.

  • An important supplier or subcontractor fails to deliver or suffers disruption.

  • One disruption triggers a second – such as flooding causing loss of power.

A really good plan is sufficiently flexible to help even with problems you didn’t anticipate! It can help you to:

  • Focus on what matters most and save you important time during an emergency.

  • Get the information you need to start your response and get you back in control – including key contact and technical information.

  • Organise your staff and assign roles so you can address problems effectively.

  • Gain situational awareness – so you really know what’s going on.

  • Communicate effectively with customers, suppliers and the media, as well as with your own staff and other responders.

  • Manage your resources if the disruption takes longer to fix than you anticipated.

  • Keep your staff safe, your operations legal, and enable you to defend your actions if you ever need to.

  • Get back to normal business, recover and learn lessons.