There are five key steps to developing your continuity plan.
- Analyse your business.
BCM requires a comprehensive understanding of your business and all of its processes. These should be documented in your Operations Manual. Without this documentation, how could anyone fill in for you, effectively and efficiently, in your absence, either on holiday, or due to illness, whether short- or long-term? How else can you be consistent in operating your business? Have you got one?
- Assess the risks to your business.
- Develop your strategy.
Having assessed the risks, whatever type business you are conducting, you will probably choose a proven strategy:
- Accept the risks—change nothing.
- Accept the risks, but make reciprocal arrangements with other businesses. They could even be competitors.
- Attempt to minimise risks.
- Attempt to minimise risks and make arrangements for assistance after an incident.
- Reduce all risks to where you should not need outside assistance.
Risk assessment is the process of determining the risks that could cause business interruption and consequent damage to your income and reputation. This assessment is based on how you run your business.
In evaluating risk a business impact analysis will help to enable prioritisation based on probability of occurrence. You cannot afford to include every business process and application in a mitigation process or a recovery, so you should inventory and prioritise every critical business process.
Software is available to help with this process, but a spreadsheet can be designed to achieve the desired outcome.
Evaluation of cost effectiveness will be the driver in choosing your strategy.
To be continued
Terence CAVB (Certified Australian Virtual Business)
Principal, Cyberspace Virtual Services, Western Australia
www.virtualservices.com.au Experience the Difference
www.avbn.com.au Australian Virtual Business Network—You Deserve the Best
2007 Thomas Leonard International VA of Distinction Award Nominee
Contented Member of ‘A Clayton’s Secretary’
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