Business Continuity Plan Templates

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Powerful software for Business Continuity Planning

What is a Business Continuity Plan Template?

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template is a tool used by business continuity managers and IT teams to outline strategies for keeping businesses operational despite emergencies such as extreme weather events, building evacuations, power outages, etc. It identifies high business impact operational areas, assets, and recovery strategies with assigned personnel.

Business continuity templates can be used in any industry for IT disaster recovery, continuity of customer facing operations, and backup of transport & logistics operations.

This article will briefly discuss 1) the four key components of a BCP template; 2) the importance of performing regular audits on your BCP; 3) software tools to help streamline BCP record keeping; and 4) free BCP templates you can download and customize for your business.

Click here to download and customize free BCP templates.

The 4 Key Components of a BCP Template

BCP templates serve as a guide for organizations to know how to effectively respond to potential business-disrupting events. Here are four key components of a BCP template:

  • Scope & Objectives
    States the purpose of the BCP, including specific business functions which should be prioritized for recovery during an emergency. This section should include examples of emergency events that would trigger the response of this BCP.
    Example:
    This BCP is to ensure the continuity of IT services and customer lines in the event of an unforeseen and prolonged power shutdown. Power disruption could be caused by emergency weather conditions or a building fire. Functional areas that are prioritized for recovery in this BCP include customer support desk and finance team.
  • Operations at Risk
    Includes possible risks with key operational functions which would greatly disrupt business and customer continuity. This also involves the magnitude of risk to each function, which will help the BCP committee decide on appropriate preventive actions.
    Example:
    Operation: Customer Support
    Operation Description: Customer support team looking after 24-hour global operations of live chat and customer calls for US, EMEA and APAC regions
    Business Impact: Critical
    Impact description: 100% of live chats go through the customer support team in Manila. 20% of live calls are routed to Manila office. A disruption would mean no more live chat support and customers experiencing significant wait times on calls Project timeline and team schedules
  • Recovery Strategy
    Outlines all the relevant procedures to restore business operations after an incident or crisis. A good recovery strategy includes a realistic recovery timeline and essential emergency resources.
    Example:
    IT personnel and BCP committees should operate alternate backup programs and servers to help save customer requests after power outage. Customer support should be able to receive the requests and respond to customers within 30 minutes. IT Director should operate alternate server rooms in Area B if the power outage last more than an hour to prevent huge revenue loss.
  • Roles & Responsibilities
    Refers to key personnel and their assigned tasks during or after an incident. Each committee member has a unique set of responsibilities to successfully carry out the BCP for each business function.
    Example:
    Representative: Jon Sims
    Role: Head of Operations
    Contact Details: [email protected]
    Description of Responsibilities:
    1. Must ensure BCPs are updated and must coordinate with team leaders regarding changes
    2. Helps notify key stakeholders in EMEA region of threats in Customer Support programs & tools

Importance of Conducting Regular BCP Audits

Outdated BCPs might result in loss of customer trust, huge revenue loss, and damage to brand and company reputation. This is why it is crucial for BCPs to remain up-to-date.

Regular BCP audits are essential to help evaluate emergency procedures and identify if there are vulnerabilities. They also help realign emergency procedures to business goals and industry practices. Up-to-date and efficient BCPs help businesses effectively manage any unexpected event, prevent extra costs, and continuously develop their overall processes and key functions.

Technology for your Business Continuity Plan

Paper-based templates for BCPs can be troublesome for management to keep and regularly update. iAuditor, the world’s leading digital form mobile app can help businesses switch to a paperless planning process. Create your own templates, easily assess accuracy of recovery procedures, and update your plans as needed in your mobile device. With iAuditor, you can:

  • Create and customize business continuity plans using your desktop, iPad or even in your mobile phone
  • Easily assign tasks to key personnel and BCP committee members
  • Use speech to text dictation to easily complete audits
  • Gather photographic evidence in your BCP drills
  • Record electronic signatures as required
  • Send and share updated BCPs to your team in a few taps
  • Automatically save your BCPs in the cloud

To help you get started on your paperless planning, we have created the best business continuity templates you can download and customize for free.