Preparing your business

What would you do if you couldn't access your office or run your business because of a fire, power failure or major incident? How could you notify staff or customers of alternative arrangements? How would you reach clients who may be in a vulnerable situation? The answer is 'business continuity management' (or BCM).

What is 'business continuity'?

BCM is the overall management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation and provides a framework for building resilience that means you can offer 'business as usual' in the quickest time possible, rather than having to 'fire fight, in an emergency'.

Could your organisation be at risk from the following?

  • Transportation disruption
  • Loss of staff
  • Adverse weather
  • Terrorism
  • Loss of telecommunications
  • Loss of data or documents
  • Loss of premises
  • Supplier failure
  • Power/utility failure
  • Floods
  • Fire

How would your organisation deal with the following?

  • Loss or damage of premises
  • Loss or damage to reputation
  • Loss of revenue
  • Loss of staff
  • Loss of customers / suppliers
  • Legal and regulatory penalties
  • A complete failure of your key services and / or organisation

How can you better prepare your organisation?

The BCM Lifecycle

The BCM lifecycle comprises of six elements which collectively cover all aspects and phases of a BCM programme. It is designed to be implemented by organisations of all sizes and sectors.

Business Impact Analysis

This is a process that identifies and documents key services; critical activities; the potential impact of a disruption of these activities; and the resource requirements to resume these activities.

Business Continuity Plan

This is a document detailing clear, understood and a well practised set of procedures and information intended to deliver continuity of critical activities in the event of a disruption.

Training and Exercising

An important aspect of BCM is the activity of testing the plans whether in full or part in order to ensure that the arrangements are fit for purpose. Before testing the arrangements it is very important that those with a role in the plan are trained. 

Emergency planning

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See also