What is a Business Continuity Plan Template?
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template is a document that outlines strategies to help keep businesses operational during emergencies such as extreme weather events, fires, building evacuations, or power outages. A BCP should identify high business impact operational areas and assets and outline clear recovery strategies with key personnel assigned.
BCPs can be used 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 should serve as a guide for your teams to know how to effectively respond to unforeseen events. Here are four key components a BCP template should have:
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.
- 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
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.
- 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 a ruined brand. 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.
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:
To help you get started on your paperless planning, we have created the best business continuity plan templates you can download and customize for free.