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Business Continuity Plan Template

Prepare for business disruption and disaster recovery.

Published 24 Aug 2021

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.

bcp template

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: 

7 Elements of Business Continuity Planning

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the economy took a massive hit. The need for a business continuity plan became more apparent to organizations. Business continuity planning enables businesses, small or large, to build a more resilient operation.

Business Continuity Planning involves the following 7 elements:

  1. BCP Team

    In the midst of a disaster or emergency, having a team or point person to go to will be essential. The BCP team will be responsible for planning and testing business continuity strategies. Background of each member in the BCP team can vary from organization managers or supervisors to specialists.

  2. Business Impact Analysis

    A business impact analysis (BIA) identifies, quantifies, and qualifies the impact of a loss, interruption, or disruption. Having a BIA will be essential in discovering risks that your business is exposed to and the potential disruptions that may occur.

  3. Risk Mitigation

    This element pertains to the strategies against the risks that were discovered during the BIA. Risk mitigation strategies may include putting up security and safety systems in the workplace, conducting preventive maintenance of vehicles, machines, equipment, or any asset vital to operations, and training of employees, among others.

  4. Business Continuity Strategies

    A good business continuity plan should establish strategies or alternate practices to keep the business running despite disruptions or disasters. An example of a continuity strategy that a lot of businesses had to implement during the pandemic was remote working or work-from-home. This enabled businesses to continue their operations and keep their employees safe from contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

  5. Business Continuity Plan

    The business continuity plan is a combination of findings from the performed BIA and the recovery strategies established by the organization. A BCP plan typically includes 4 key components: scope & objectives, operations at risk, recovery strategy, and roles and responsibilities.

  6. Training

    All relevant personnel associated with the business continuity, disaster recovery, and incident response process should be trained according to the BCP plan that’s established and agreed upon.

  7. Testing

    In the testing phase, strategies and plans are being rehearsed or exercised to demonstrate its effectiveness. Testing the plan before rolling it out will enable the BCP team to discover potential flaws and fix them before they lead to damage or injury. It is recommended to review and test the plan periodically to ensure that all protocols and strategies are up-to-date.

business continuity planning

What should be included in a BCP – Business Continuity Plan?

BCP serves as a guide for organizations on creating 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.

    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 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.

    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: jsims@example.org
    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. Using a business continuity plan checklist can aid business continuity managers and IT teams to ensure comprehensive BCP audit reports.

business continuity plan example

How do you write a business continuity plan with iAuditor?

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 business continuity templates and checklists you can download and customize for free.

business continuity plan checklist

SafetyCulture staff writer

Erick Brent Francisco

Erick Brent Francisco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, he is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. His experience in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail helps enrich the quality of information in his articles.

Erick Brent Francisco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, he is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. His experience in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail helps enrich the quality of information in his articles.