Published December 10th, 2020
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
- the four key components of a BCP template;
- the importance of performing regular audits on your BCP;
- software tools to help streamline BCP record keeping; and
- free BCP templates you can download and customize for your business.
BCP serves as a guide for organizations on how to write a BCP that will effectively respond to potential business-disrupting events. Here are four key components of a BCP:
Scope & Objectives
States the purpose of the BCP, including specific business functions that should be prioritized for recovery during an emergency. This section should include examples of emergency events that would trigger the response of this BCP.
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 the 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.
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@example.com
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
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. Using a business continuity plan checklist can aid business continuity managers and IT teams to ensure comprehensive BCP audit reports.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture, the world’s leading digital form mobile software, can help businesses create and prepare a good business continuity plan more efficiently. Paper-based business continuity plan templates can be troublesome for management to keep and regularly update. With iAuditor, businesses can switch to a paperless planning process where you can create your own templates, easily assess the 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 on 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 an updated business continuity plan report to your team in a few taps. See sample business continuity plan PDF report here.
- 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.
Featured Business Continuity Plan Templates
Business Continuity Plan Template
Use this Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template as an outline for your business continuity plan that will critically assess all aspects of the business and make sure the emergency procedures and equipment are adequate. This business continuity template allows business continuity managers and consultants to:
- Identify key business functions and components to be prioritized for restoration and recovery during an emergency.
- Add list of processes/equipment most at risk of disrupting business operations.
- Discuss roles and responsibilities of key personnel and gather confirmation (digital signatures).
Click on the Web or PDF report below to view the business continuity plan example.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan Template (IT)
A business continuity and disaster recovery plan template is used to identify business functions at risk during an emergency and come up with a plan for continuous operation and recovery. This business continuity and disaster recovery plan template aims to help IT teams and business continuity managers become proactive in preparing for events that could disrupt operations and come up with strategies for disaster recovery. This template empowers you to:
- Specify and prioritize IT functions for recovery during a disaster.
- Describe IT equipment/ systems at risk in disrupting normal operations and essential backup programs needed for recovery.
- Confirm assigned tasks with IT team members through their digital signatures.
Business Continuity Plan Checklist
Perform regular audits of your organization’s BCP using this business continuity plan checklist. Whether small or medium business, this checklist can be used to ensure BCPs are up to date and reflect current high impact operations. Review key operational functions outlined in the BCP including recovery strategies and relevant assigned resources. iAuditor BCP templates can be edited to fit the organization’s needs.
Business Continuity Plan Audit Checklist
Regularly audit Business Continuity Plans’s using this digitized checklist and identify areas that need to be updated. Including risk assessments, changes, and emergency procedures.