Business Continuity Plans: Why Do People Use Them?
Nobody was prepared for the pandemic. The global event made companies painfully aware that they need to get ready for unforeseen events. A business continuity plan aims to prepare you for circumstances beyond one’s control.
Why is business continuity critical?
Corporations, through their products and services, try to solve the problems of their customers, but, in the course of running the business, they sometimes forget about their own difficulties. To be able to continue to deliver to their clients despite internal problems, corporations create rules and guidelines for their management to use in times of hardship.
These rules and guidelines, usually in the form of a handbook, are the lifeline of the company, providing the business with continuity. The business continuity plan is a failsafe for the worst-case scenario. Here are our tips on how to create such a plan:
How to ensure business continuity?
Here are a couple of ways to do that.
There will be times in the company when crucial employees – such as the management teams – won’t be immediately available, such as in cases of hospital confinement due to COVID-19, or worse, death by COVID-19. A clear plan of succession is valuable as it appoints the people who will be responsible for what department when the current head is unavailable. As in the military, this is the company’s chain of command.
Operations at lower capacity
Instances where half of the company is unable to show up to work are rare but not completely impossible – as we have seen during the pandemic lockdowns. The company should have a business continuity plan that shows how to manage available human resources in case of this occurrence.
There could be days during which an equal level of service cannot be maintained on all levels of the business operation. The business continuity plan should provide for which actions to prioritize and which can be maintained from a least priority level.
If the company has a core system that is not backed up, there is a high possibility that when an outage occurs, the whole company could collapse, and no business continuity plan would be able to help. A backup created over intervals of time should be included in your business continuity plan.
Remote work instructions
The pandemic opened the possibilities of remote work. Would your company be prepared for working remotely for an extended period? Could you provide mentorship over the Internet? Or maintain the high morale of the employees? All those circumstances should be illustrated in your business continuity plan.
Automation of certain tasks
Use the available tools to automate tasks. We live in a world where AI chatbots can take care of even the most difficult customer queries, and using them to our advantage can save a lot of time. Automatization of those simple tasks can ensure your business continuity.
Essential tasks plan
When technology fails, it would also be wise to have a manual on how to perform tasks that would otherwise be completed digitally. A set of instructions for the employee to follow in case there is a malfunction in the system could help in maintaining business continuity.
Knowing exactly what department to contact for what kind of issue is crucial for the business to operate smoothly. An internal list of email and numbers should be available to the employees. When it comes to the customers, a clear section on the company’s website dedicated to FAQ and emails regarding different queries could also provide the business with additional continuity possibilities.
Is the company prepared for a spike in the need for their service? How would the operations be conducted if the demand rose double-fold in a week? This is something worth considering and creating a plan for this situation.
There might be instances in the lifecycle of the company where the business could use additional funds. Are you prepared for such instances? If not, what are the steps you could take to prepare your corporation for this event?
To ensure business continuity, you need to come up with a plan. Touching on all the areas listed above should provide your company with enough safety to continue operations even when the worst-case scenario happens.