What is a Business Continuity Plan Template?
A business continuity plan 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 and logistics operations.
Why Use a BCP Template?
Business continuity plan templates help organizations protect their business amid a crisis or emergency. This ready-to-use document provides a structured framework, ensuring the plan is comprehensive and no essential detail is overlooked. It is also typically customizable, allowing businesses to modify them according to their specific needs.
What to Include in a Business Continuity Plan Template
BCP serves as a guide for organizations to create an effective strategy for responding 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.
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.
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.
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.
FAQs about BCP Templates
BCP documents should be updated regularly. If any organizational changes have been made in terms of team structures and operational procedures, the BCP should be updated. A review will be conducted to check if the information in the BCP is still reliable.
Outdated BCPs might result in loss of customer trust, huge revenue loss, and damage to brand and company reputation.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 the ISO 22301 standard, 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 in ensuring comprehensive BCP audit reports.
A business continuity plan template typically includes detailed information about the plan’s scope and objectives, the operations or functions that might be affected and the risks associated with them, recovery strategies for uninterrupted operations, and the specific roles and responsibilities of essential personnel during and after an incident.