Simple Business Continuity Plan – Validation
Your Business Continuity Plan is drafted. Now what?
Once you have created a Plan Draft, you may want to turn to outside experts for review and confirmation. These experts could be your local fire department, county emergency management or disaster response team. The list could also include a Business Continuation consultant that specializes in your industry.
The right expert could add detail to your plan as well as validate what you’ve put together. For example, the right expert could:
1. Review your list of threats and suggested actions and add to it, if appropriate.
2. Suggest costs for implementing these recommendations.
3. Make sure your plan is meeting any legal requirements for your industry and your size business in your state.
Get the full plan approved by management.
This should be a formality, since we assume management has been included all along the way.
Turn the plan into a useful tool for your co-workers.
A Plan is one thing. If it’s well done, it’s a big binder full of stuff. But your co-workers have no interest in reading or storing a binder! What they need is simple instructions of what to do in an emergency. Draft ACTION STEPS for workers as a series of one-page instructions.
A one-page set of instructions, written in large text and in simple language, is all they will be able to follow in the excitement of a real situation!
You or someone in your organization is likely the best candidate to draft those instructions. You know your people, their language capabilities, their familiarity with various processes, what emergency equipment you have and where it is located, etc.
Practice following the ACTION STEPS.
Schedule a series of “emergencies” over the course of the year. Be sure each person has an alternate to perform his or her job, since in a real emergency some people will be gone.
In the case of a real emergency, people are often shocked to inaction, or frightened into dangerous reaction. People who have practiced will be able to take action immediately and will be better able to make good decisions.
Improve the plan with new information.
The Pan will no doubt have to be updated on a regular basis. But keep the ACTION STEPS to one page, and keep practicing! It’s your people who will save themselves, save each other and save the business.
Disclaimer: This is a very simplified outline of how to build a Disaster Preparedness or Business Continuity Plan. Depending on your business, you will want to expand it as necessary. Still, if you see that the plan you now have is missing some components, or if you have no plan at all, this is a good place to start.
If you would like a copy of our full 6-page Report: How to Build a Simple Business Continuity Plan, you can sign up here to get your free copy.