What is a BCP Plan and what is its purpose?
Every business activity, no matter what line of business or the size of the company, is subject to possible interruptions or adverse situations that hinder or impede its operations.
These outages, although rare, can happen at any time and when you least expect, caused by various types of threats such as natural disasters, fires, financial fraud, epidemics, systems failures, etc.
The BCP plan, or Business Continuity Planning, refers to a set of strategies and preventive action plans to ensure the full functioning of the essential services of a company in any kind of failures, until the situation is normalized.
Organizations with a view to the future, which have a well prepared and structured BCP Plan, ensure its continuity and survival in the face of unexpected circumstances, and have a complete and comprehensive view of their business processes.
A BCP plan in an efficient and effective business requires three essential conditions
Although in essence it has the same concepts and guidelines, the BCP plan will be different company to company, depending on the nature of the business.
For this reason, leaders need to keep in mind three essential conditions for developing BCP plans in their businesses. They are the answers to the following three questions:
- Risk analysis: What are the main threats to the business?
- Impact analysis: How could these possible threats impact the business?
- Strategic planning: If a threat arises, what attitudes and actions would be necessary for the resumption of operations?
The structure of the BCP Plan
As a rule, a BCP plan is organized into four smaller sub-plans, linked together and each for a different stage. They are:
- Contingency Plan (Emergency): Must be used as a last resort, when all precautions have failed. Defines the necessities and more immediate actions.
- Management Plan or Crisis Management Plan (CMP): Defines the roles and responsibilities of the teams involved in the activation of the contingency actions before, during and after the event.
- Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP): Determines the planning for the period after the crisis is passed, when the contingency is controlled, so the company can resume its original levels of operation.
- Operational Continuity Plan (OCP): Its goal is to restore the functioning of the primary assets that support the operations of a company, reducing down time and the impacts of a possible incident. A simple example is an internet dis-connection.
In short, the BCP Plan has at its core, the purpose of creating norms and standards so that in adverse situations, companies can recover, resume, and continue their most critical business processes, preventing them from suffering deeper damage causing financial losses.
Have you ever heard of business process management?
The incorporation of the concept of BPM methodology into the administration of organizations is essential, as it helps them to more accurately detect the strategic importance of their business processes and integrate the competitive advantages that can come from their professional management.
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