In the Part 1 of this series titled “Business Continuity – Getting Started”, and Part 2 “Business Continuity – You Have an Event”, we reviewed creating your BCP Team, Plan Execution, Communication & Documentation. In this blog we will review steps you can take to maintain your BCP plan.
Your BCP is a living document! You will need to schedule regular maintenance checks to ensure your plan gets updated whenever changes happen that will impact your contact lists, templates, and process.
Determine the frequency in which you will check your BCP plan. There may be items you want to check and update monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. Depending on the frequency with which your business changes, you may determine you need a tighter or looser schedule.
Create a check list on what you will review and when. Examples of items to review:
- Contact Lists – any changes to primary & secondary contacts? Are the phone & email addresses still accurate?
- Plan & Template Locations – has the location of hard copies or soft copies changed?
- Testing Procedures – have actions from post-mortem’s during planned or unplanned events been updated in your plans?
Keep a Log
Track everything. Details of planned and unplanned events, times, dates, modifications. Although the plan is not something you need to look at daily (depending on your business), keep a log of all that happens. You will be thankful for this when you need to update or report on your plan.
Don’t forget to do enough planned testing so that you are better prepared for any unplanned events. Again, depending on your business and the impact to your outages with dictate how often you need to test. Anywhere from 1-4 times/year is generally the standard for medium impact outages.
Communications & Training
Update those that need to be updated when plans change. Ensure any significant changes are followed up with a training refresh for employees, managers, clients, and vendors/suppliers.
No matter the industry, all organizations should incorporate a BCP. This will prepare you for potential threats, demonstrate to customers that you are a proactive organization, and allow operations to continue despite disruptions. For more information on how to start your own BCP, please review other items in this series listed below.