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Avoid Common Pitfalls: Key Mistakes to Avoid in your Project Proposal Templates
In today’s competitive business landscape, a well-crafted project proposal can make all the difference in securing new clients and winning lucrative contracts. However, many businesses fall into common pitfalls when it comes to creating their project proposal templates. In this article, we will highlight some key mistakes to avoid in order to ensure that your project proposal templates are effective and persuasive.
Lack of Clarity and Structure
The first mistake to avoid is a lack of clarity and structure in your project proposal template. A poorly organized proposal can confuse your clients and make it difficult for them to understand the scope of the project. To avoid this, start by clearly defining the objective of the project and outlining the steps that need to be taken to achieve it. Break down the proposal into sections such as introduction, methodology, timeline, budget, and deliverables. Use headings and subheadings to guide your clients through each section and make it easy for them to find the information they need.
Another important aspect of clarity is using language that is concise and straightforward. Avoid jargon or technical terms that may confuse your clients. Instead, focus on explaining complex ideas in simple terms that anyone can understand. Use bullet points or numbered lists to present information in a clear and organized manner.
Lack of Personalization
One common mistake businesses make is using generic project proposal templates without customizing them for each client. While templates can be a great starting point, they should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each client or project. Take the time to research your client’s industry and understand their unique challenges and goals. Incorporate this knowledge into your proposal by addressing their specific pain points and showcasing how your solution can help them overcome these challenges.
Personalization also extends beyond just the content of your proposal template. Pay attention to visual elements such as colors, fonts, and images. Align these elements with your client’s branding to create a cohesive and professional look. A personalized proposal shows your clients that you value their business and are invested in their success.
Lack of Supporting Evidence
A project proposal without supporting evidence is like a house without a foundation. It lacks credibility and fails to convince clients of your capabilities. Avoid this mistake by including relevant case studies, testimonials, or success stories in your proposal template. These examples demonstrate your past achievements and give clients confidence in your ability to deliver results.
Additionally, consider including relevant data or statistics that support the effectiveness of your proposed solution. Whether it’s increased productivity, cost savings, or improved customer satisfaction, quantifiable evidence adds weight to your proposal and makes it more persuasive.
Lack of Call-to-Action
Lastly, one crucial mistake businesses often overlook is failing to include a clear call-to-action in their project proposal templates. A call-to-action tells the client what they need to do next after reviewing the proposal. It could be scheduling a meeting, signing a contract, or providing feedback.
Make sure your call-to-action is specific and easy to understand. Use action verbs such as “schedule,” “sign,” or “reply” to guide the client towards the desired action. Provide clear instructions on how they can take that next step, whether it’s contacting you via email or phone.
In conclusion, avoiding common mistakes in project proposal templates is essential for winning new business opportunities. By ensuring clarity and structure, personalizing the content for each client, providing supporting evidence, and including a clear call-to-action, you can create persuasive project proposals that impress clients and increase your chances of success.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Free Business Continuity Plan Templates
By Andy Marker | October 23, 2018
In this article, you’ll find the most useful free, downloadable business continuity plan (BCP) templates, in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats. Customize the templates to fit the needs of your business, ensuring you maintain critical operations at all times.
Included on this page, you’ll find a business continuity plan template , a small business continuity plan template , a business continuity framework template , and more.
Business Continuity Plan Template
Download Business Continuity Plan Template
Word | PowerPoint | PDF | Smartsheet
Use this template to document and track your business operations in the event of a disruption or disaster to maintain critical processes. With space to record business function recovery priorities, recovery plans, and alternate site locations, this template allows you to plan efficiently for disruption and minimize downtime, so your business maintains optimal efficiency. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.
Additionally, you can learn the definition of a business continuity plan, the steps involved in business continuity planning, as well as about the business continuity lifecycle in our article about business continuity planning .
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IT Service Continuity Plan Template
Download IT Service Continuity Plan Template
This template is geared specifically to IT business operations and aims to maintain IT processes despite any possible harmful disruption. Use this template to document recovery objectives, teams, and strategies in order to accurately capture all facets of the continuity plan needed for an IT team. This template is available in both Word and PDF formats.
Business Continuity Framework Template
Download Business Continuity Framework Template
Word | PowerPoint | PDF
This template outlines the structure involved in creating a business continuity plan. It provides an easy, comprehensive way to detail the steps that will comprise your unique BCP. Use this template to plan each phase of a typical BCP, including the business impact analysis, recovery strategies, and plan development. This template can serve as an overall framework for your larger BCP plan.
Business Continuity Program Template
Download Business Continuity Program Template
Similar to the business continuity plan template, this template documents the steps involved in maintaining normal business operations during an unplanned disruption or disaster. Using this template, you can plan out the critical elements needed to continue business as usual, including recovery priorities, backup and restoration plans, and alternate site locations. This template is available for download in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats.
Business Continuity Procedure Template
Download Business Continuity Procedure Template
Much like the business continuity framework template, this template helps users create a thorough, streamlined BCP by detailing the procedure involved in creating and maintaining a plan, as well as implementing one. Use this template to document everything from a business impact analysis to plan development, plan testing, and exercises. Download this template in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or PDF to get started.
Business Continuity Plan Template for Nonprofits
Download Business Continuity Plan Template for Nonprofits
In the event of a disruption in business that affects your nonprofit organization, use this template to document a business recovery strategy, identify alternate business locations, and effectively plan for inevitable business downtime. This template is available for download in Microsoft Word and PDF formats.
School Business Continuity Plan Template
Download School Business Continuity Plan Template
Plan for disruptions in regular school activities and operations in the event of emergency or crisis with this helpful template. This template, designed with schools, colleges, and universities in mind, allows you to prioritize operations and responses, identify important phases of recovery, design a restoration plan, and more.
Small Business Continuity Plan Template
Download Small Business Continuity Plan Template
Record your business recovery priorities, identify alternate site locations to conduct business, create recovery teams, and assign recovery responsibilities to specific team members with this continuity plan for small businesses. Ensure that you are able to maintain critical processes and minimize downtime so your business can keep moving forward.
SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template
Download SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template
Use this business continuity plan template to keep your SaaS business productive and efficient, despite any unforeseen events or disruptions. With space to record everything from recovery procedures and strategies to relocation strategies and alternate site locations, you’ll be able to keep business moving and remain productive during a crisis or disruption.
Business Continuity Plan Template for Medical Practices
Download Business Continuity Plan Template for Medical Practices
Identify risk strategies for specific areas of business, like clinical, finance and operations, and IT, designate specific recovery strategies, and prioritize the most important, mission-critical operations for your medical practice with this complete business continuity plan template.
Business Continuity Plan Template for Healthcare Organizations
Download Business Continuity Plan Template for Healthcare Organizations
Some businesses, like healthcare organizations, rely on critical processes and procedures to maintain productivity and keep both patients and staff safe. To ensure these processes are followed — even during a business disruption — use this business continuity plan template to identify all potential risks, create mitigation plans, and assign tasks to key team members.
Activities to Complete Before Writing the Business Continuity Plan
Certain steps can help you prepare to write a business continuity plan. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.
Common Structure of a Business Continuity Plan
Every business continuity plan should include certain common elements. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.
Tips For Writing Your Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity experts have gathered time-tested tips for business continuity planning. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.
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Home › What is Documentation? › What is a Business Continuity Plan? › 12 Best Business Continuity Plan Templates
12 Best Business Continuity Plan Templates
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Business continuity managers and IT teams use a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) document to lay out plans for operating enterprises in the face of calamities like severe weather, forced building evacuations, power outages, etc. It identifies operational areas, resources, and recovery plans with assigned individuals that have a significant business effect.
To make your own, use the free business continuity plan template . You can never be too prepared for a crisis, so provide your business with the resources it needs to function well despite any setbacks.
When Should You Use a Business Continuity Plan Template?
Writing a business continuity strategy is critical to ensure your organization remains a going concern in spite of disruptions. You should have a strategy in place before responding to a calamity. Planning for business continuity is essential for a successful disaster recovery plan when dealing with emergency situations such as:
- Data breaches
- Internet or major IT outage due to an earthquake
- Equipment failure
- Injury, death, or sudden exit of key staff
Your organization needs a business continuity plan as much as a business strategy for normal operations.
These business continuity plan templates may offer a little more motivation to get going, depending on your requirements. If you’re having a problem writing an effective BCP, you can use any of the following templates depending on your business vertical.
12 Business Continuity Plan Templates
We are sharing with you 12 business continuity templates to reduce your time and effort in writing one. Here these are:
1. IT Service Business Continuity Plan Template
This IT Service Business Continuity Plan Template is suitable for IT companies such as software houses and design agencies. It highlights essential steps to undertake and ensure IT processes running in the event of a major disruption. Use the template to record all aspects of the continuity plan required for an IT team by identifying recovery objectives, teams, and tactics.
A good IT service business continuity plan template ensures that critical network systems remain operational despite outages. As we live in a digital-first world, businesses cannot survive without an IT service continuity plan template.
2. School Business Continuity Plan Template
With the aid of a useful template, have a solid backup plan for routine school activities and operations in case of emergency or crisis. You may prioritize responses, and operations, identify crucial recovery stages and create a restoration plan using the BCP template.
When a crisis happens, the most important asset that any school must safeguard against rapid loss is its critical data. We have seen how educational institutes have been a victim of ransomware attacks wiping out important data from different departments.
In any case, schools must be able to continue operating, regardless of any disruption. Schools may improve their degree of preparation by developing a business continuity plan.
3. Small Business Continuity Plan Template
With the help of this continuity plan for small businesses, you may list your goals for company recovery, select alternative site locations for operations, form recovery teams, and designate recovery duties to certain team members.
The provides a framework and guidance of operations for small businesses to restore their critical functions in the event of unforeseen events. This template includes work processes and lays out clear responsibilities of recovery teams and essential staff members. This is a FEMA-approved business continuity plan template that lists continuity plans to business disruptions due to three primary reasons:
- Fire, a sudden storm, or flooding
- Reduction in workforce
- System failure such as IT or electricity grid
In order for your organization to continue to grow, be sure you can maintain crucial procedures and reduce downtime.
4. SaaS Business Continuity Plan Template
To maintain productivity and efficiency throughout any unanticipated events or disruptions, use the SaaS (Software as a Business) business continuity plan template.
Unlike any other BCP, the SaaS continuity plan focuses more on systems and IT infrastructure than HR and other departments. That’s because SaaS businesses have a cloud-based business model such as selling subscriptions to a web or mobile app. Since these businesses sell software as a service, there is a recurring free every month or year.
In the event of a disaster, the critical functions of a SaaS business are equipment and systems. Some prominent SaaS are Google Drive and Dropbox.
The main emphasis is on getting the IT systems back online as soon as possible following a major disruption that could happen for loss of internet connectivity, floods, fire, or a cyberattack.
5. Healthcare Business Continuity Plan Template
Healthcare businesses like clinics and hospitals cannot afford disruption as it can be life-threatening for staff and patients.
These templates are great resources to assist healthcare facilities in developing their continuity plans and ensuring an effective and efficient return to normalcy.
With the help of a comprehensive business continuity plan template, you can identify risk strategies for certain business areas like clinical, finance, operations, and IT, specify disaster recovery plans and rank the most crucial processes for your medical practice.
To sustain productivity and ensure the safety of both patients and employees, healthcare institutions depend on essential processes and procedures. This template will help healthcare providers to identify all possible risks, design mitigation measures, and allocate duties to important team members. During the business disruption, this template will act as your Hospital Preparedness Program.
6. Law Firm Business Continuity Plan Template
A robust business continuity plan for legal firms involves more than data backups. Every law firm has clients with sensitive and confidential data. Ongoing cases and litigation support will not be possible when the law firm ceases to function.
Law firms can put in place corporate-wide procedures to equip your whole team for a variety of crises. Avoiding liabilities that can occur as a result of an obsolete or insufficient continuity plan is the goal.
7. Construction Company Business Continuity Plan Template
There are additional situations than major disasters that might endanger your business operations.
Your business’s essential machinery, tools, and technology might malfunction or get infected with dangerous ransomware. Or, essential employees may quit your business, leaving you rushing to hire extra staff since they lack the specialized abilities needed to finish the project.
These are common scenarios among construction companies. Construction equipment is quite costly and often upwards of millions of dollars. Without a backup disaster recovery plan, construction companies may not be able to complete their clients’ work on time.
This template is excellent for architects and construction firms regarding business continuity. It outlines in detail how the construction company will continue its normal business operations in different scenarios:
- Premises incidents including flood, fire, or storm
- Infrastructure incidents including power failure, loss of computers, and equipment, and internet outage
- Staff incidents such as sudden injury or death
8. Bank Business Continuity Plan Template
We live in an interconnected world where the provision of services such as finance and banking are now digital. Other than the developed nations, many emerging economies are now digitizing their financial institutions.
A Business Continuity Plan for financial institutions ensures swift recovery of operations, including services to customers, occurring as a result of natural disasters, power outages, cyberattacks, or human error.
The objectives of a BCP are to minimize financial loss, continue to serve customers, and mitigate disruptions on reputation, operations, liquidity, credit quality, and compliance with federal laws and regulations.
For financial institutions such as banks, a business continuity plan is an essential part of their strategic planning process. Governments around the world regulate financial institutions, and any disruptions can have far-reaching consequences for the company, its customers, and the economy as a whole.
As such, a financial institution’s business continuity plan must be comprehensive and well-researched. It should address everything from how the company will maintain customer confidence in the event of a major disruption to how it will keep critical systems up and running. Millions of people rely on mobile apps to transfer funds, pay bills and make online purchases.
9. Business Continuity Plan Template For Manufacturing Industry
Given the importance of manufacturing to the economy, any significant disruption to production can have severe consequences. A business continuity plan is therefore essential. We have already seen how supply chain bottlenecks have hampered growth and increased prices of essential items in most countries around the world.
The plan should outline how the business will continue to operate in the event of an interruption and should cover everything from alternative sources of raw materials to new manufacturing locations. You can use this template to minize the risks of disruptions and ensure that the business can continue to meet customer demand. In today’s global market, a business continuity plan is essential for any manufacturing company that wants to stay competitive.
Tech giants and enterprises always have business disaster recovery plans to ensure incidents such as supply chain bottlenecks, equipment failure, injury, or loss of human life have minimum impact on the business.
Critical events pose a threat to financial loss for individuals in the manufacturing sector because of unanticipated downtime, lower plant utilization rates, lost income, and even personnel who are in danger.
For the manufacturing sector, having a business continuity strategy is crucial to both mitigating a catastrophic event as it occurs and maintaining operations for networks dependent on the manufacturer’s company.
10. Cloud Computing Business Continuity Plan Template
By switching to cloud-based solutions, your company may become more productive, flexible, and lucrative. Planning is essential before taking this action, especially when considering business continuity in the cloud.
SaaS and IaaS models are, in many respects, victims of their own success since it is far too simple for companies to ignore their offerings. Cloud service companies compete in a very crowded industry. Because of this, suppliers promise to handle every facet of the system and data administration at a minimal cost.
It seems sensible that this might cause companies to overlook important components of their business continuity planning and assume their cloud provider would take care of them.
68 percent of businesses outline cloud misconfiguration as their top concern about the security of their infrastructure and data. You need the finest security procedures for dealing with cloud systems since 52 percent of firms ranked disasters.
A business continuity plan is to safeguard your application’s uptime in case anything happens to one of the data centers. You can always fall back on running a clone in AWS, for example.
11. Business Continuity Plan Template For Warehouse
Unfortunate occurrences like a global pandemic may result due to planned or unexpected reasons. Any effective Business Continuity Plan must include preparations for such a disaster.
Any crisis may have devastating repercussions on businesses with warehouses since they are an essential part of their infrastructure and necessary to provide customer service.
This is true with companies relying on rapid commerce or quick commerce, where the need to set up and manage multiple warehouses close to customers’ locations is vital.
By using this template, you can perform risk assessment, test out emergency situations and come up with viable solutions to ensure your warehouse continues operating as a normal business operation.
Planning entails collaborating with professionals and third parties to provide a suitable answer. To promote a speedy recovery from the crisis, a contingency plan should be well thought out.
With business continuity planning, you gain a thorough understanding of the security of your assets, operations, facilities, and personnel. Priority hazards and the assessment of the appropriate course of action in response to recognized risks are both included in the detection of warehouse contamination. Planning can proceed with the knowledge that an adequate response is already in place.
12. Business Continuity Plan Template for Oil and Gas Companies
For every hour of IT downtime, oil and gas companies lose $1 million. In the unfortunate event of power failure, it can go as high as $10 million in lost production and possible equipment damage.
A well-crafted plan will take into account all potential hazards and establish procedures for dealing with them, including evacuation plans, communication protocols, and backup power supplies.
Oil and gas companies attribute their success to insulating themselves from business interruption risk. With ongoing price fluctuation, companies strive to convert effective risk management into business opportunities. This in turn helps them in gaining a competitive edge in the global markets.
The price for not assessing risk is operational downtime. Profitability in the oil and gas field is proportional to large upfront investments alongside calculations of oil and gas prices, oil field output, and configuration of refineries. Oil and gas is a high-risk business and not having a BCP will lead to severe financial losses.
You can use this template to minimize your losses and ensure your oil and gas company remains a going concern despite major setbacks.
Write a Business Continuity Plan with Your New Template
It is imperative for companies to prepare business continuity plans with well-documented recovery strategies and a complete business impact analysis. There are more benefits than costs in implementing a BCP. The strategy challenges you to consider the potential dangers to your company from new angles. You can then adjust your route as appropriate, improving your prospects of long-term survival.
Analyzing your company’s existing situation and level of readiness for unforeseen dangers is the main goal of business continuity plan templates. With it, senior management may locate any areas of the company that need improvement and discover answers to issues that can impede your progress toward your objectives.
With a strong BCP template, minimize the impact of potential disruptions to your business. These templates serve as a guide to developing your own plans, which will vary depending on the type and size of the company.
Leverage any business continuity plan template that fits your requirements and makes your business successful.
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Disaster Recovery Plan Template
DRP's are steps or mechanisms that can reduce or eliminate various threats for organizations
- Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
- Difference Between DRP and BCP
- Disaster Recovery Plan
- IT Disaster Recovery Plan
- Business Continuity Plan
- Continuity Checklist Plan
- Disaster Response Plan
- Bomb Threats and Terrorist Attack
- Fire Preparedness
- Hurricane and Tornado Preparedness
- Political Disaster Preparedness
- Winter Storm Preparedness
- Industry News
- Business Continuity Plan Template
This Business Continuity Plan Template was designed to assist you in the development of your Business Continuity Plan. This Business Continuity Plan Template was developed using the following resources. You are free to edit the Business Continuity Plan Template as you see fit. To guide you in your business continuity plan please look over our business continuity checklist .
- This is an external release of the MIT Business Continuity Plan.
- For information on the plan or Business Continuity Planning at MIT or send e-mail to [email protected]
- Fortson, Judith . Disaster Planning and Recovery: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians and Archivists . New York: Neal-Schuman, 1992.
- Jones, Virginia A. and Kris E. Keyes. Emergency Management for Records and Information Programs. Prairie Village, KS: ARMA, 2001.
You can download this Business Continuity Plan Template for free using the links below:
Microsoft Word 97-2003: Click Here
Microsoft Word 2010: Click Here
Adobe PDF: Click Here
To Page the BCMT Duty Person:
Duty Person To just leave phone number To leave an 80 character message
Number to call back dial: call ______________and give PIN #
For recorded disaster recovery status reports and announcements
during the emergency
Copyright 1995 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Table of Contents
Part I. Introduction
1Introduction to This Document 1
Part II. Design of the Plan 3
Overview of the Business Continuity Plan 3
Organization of Disaster Response and Recovery 4
Administrative Computing Steering Committee 4
Business Continuity Management Team 5
Institute Support Teams: 6
Disaster Response 7
Disaster Detection and Determination 7
Disaster Notification 8
Initiation of the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan 8
Activation of a Designated Hot Site 8
Dissemination of Public Information 9
Disaster Recovery Strategy 9
Scope of the Business Continuity Plan 11
Category I Critical Functions 11
Category II Essential Functions 11
Category III – Necessary Functions 11
Category IV – Desirable Functions 11
Part III. Team Descriptions 12
Institute Support Teams 14
Business Continuity Management Team 14
Damage Assessment/Salvage 15
Campus Police 16
MIT News Office – Public Information 17
Part IV. Recovery Procedures 21
Notification List 21
To reach the BCMT Duty Person: 22
Business Continuity Management Team Coordinator 25
Damage Assessment/Salvage 26
Salvage Operations 27
Campus Police 28
MIT News Office – Public Information 29
Insurance Team 31
Appendix A – Recovery Facilities 33
Emergency Operations Centers 33
Appendix B – Category I, II & III functions 34
Appendix C – Plan Distribution List 35
Business Continuity Management Team 37
BCMT Duty Person Procedures 38
GUIDE TO BCMT ACTIVATION 39
Part I contains information about this document, which provides the written record of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Business Continuity Plan.
Introduction to This Document
Planning for the business continuity of MIT in the aftermath of a disaster is a complex task. Preparation for, response to, and recovery from a disaster affecting the administrative functions of the Institute requires the cooperative efforts of many support organizations in partnership with the functional areas supporting the “business” of MIT. This document records the Plan that outlines and coordinates these efforts, reflecting the analyses by representatives from these organizations and by the MIT Information Security Officer, Gerald I. Isaacson.
For use in the event of a disaster, this document identifies the computer recovery facilities (hot sites and shell sites – see Page 33) that have been designated as backups if the functional areas are disabled.
How To Use This Document
Use this document to learn about the issues involved in planning for the continuity of the critical and essential business functions at MIT, as a checklist of preparation tasks, for training personnel, and for recovering from a disaster. This document is divided into four parts, as the table below describes.
I Information about the document itself.
II Design of the Plan that this document records, including information about the overall structure of business continuity planning at MIT.
III General responsibilities of the individual Institute Support Teams that together form the Business Continuity Management Team, emphasizing the function of each team and its preparation responsibilities.
IV Recovery actions for the Institute Support Teams and important checklists such as the notification list for a disaster and an inventory of resources required for the environment. [ Note: If a “disaster” situation arises, Section IV of the Plan is the only section that needs to be referenced. It contains all of the procedures and support information for recovery. ]
This document addresses several groups within the MIT central administration with differing levels and types of responsibilities for business continuity, as follows:
Administrative Computing Steering Committee
Business Continuity Management Team
Institute Support Teams
- Functional Area Recovery Management (FARM) Teams
It should be emphasized that this document is addressed particularly to the members of the Business Continuity Management Team, since they have the responsibility of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from any disaster that impacts MIT. Part III of this document describes the composition of the Business Continuity Management Team in detail.
As the written record of the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan, this document is distributed to each member of the Business Continuity Management Team, including members of the Institute Support Teams.( Appendix C – Distribution List Page -33)
It is also distributed to members of the Administrative Computing Steering Committee, FARM Team Coordinators, Information Systems Directors and others not primarily involved with the direct recover effort..
Part II. Design of the Plan
Part II describes the philosophy of business continuity planning at MIT generally, and the kind of analysis that produced this Plan. It also provides an overview of the functions of the Business Continuity Management Team in implementing this Plan.
Overview of the Business Continuity Plan
MIT increasingly depends on computer-supported information processing and telecommunications. This dependency will continue to grow with the trend toward decentralizing information technology to individual organizations within MIT administration and throughout the campus.
The increasing dependency on computers and telecommunications for operational support poses the risk that a lengthy loss of these capabilities could seriously affect the overall performance of the Institute. A risk analysis which was conducted identified several systems as belonging to risk Category I, comprising those functions whose loss could cause a major impact to the Institute within __ hours. It also categorized a majority of Institute functions as Essential, or Category II – requiring processing support within ______ week(s) of an outage. This risk assessment process will be repeated on a regular basis to ensure that changes to our processing and environment are reflected in recovery planning.
MIT administration recognizes the low probability of severe damage to data processing telecommunications or support services capabilities that support the Institute. Nevertheless, because of the potential impact to MIT, a plan for reducing the risk of damage from a disaster however unlikely is vital. The Institute’s Business Continuity Plan is designed to reduce the risk to an acceptable level by ensuring the restoration of Critical processing within __ hours, and all essential production (Category II processing) within _______ week(s) of the outage.
The Plan identifies the critical functions of MIT and the resources required to support them. The Plan provides guidelines for ensuring that needed personnel and resources are available for both disaster preparation and response and that the proper steps will be carried out to permit the timely restoration of services.
This Business Continuity Plan specifies the responsibilities of the Business Continuity Management Team, whose mission is to establish Institute level procedures to ensure the continuity of MIT’s business functions. In the event of a disaster affecting any of the functional areas, the Business Continuity Management Team serves as liaison between the functional area(s) affected and other Institute organizations providing major services. These services include the support provided by Physical Plant, security provided by the Campus Police, and public information dissemination handled by the MIT News Office, among others.
The Plan is predicated on the validity of the following three assumptions:
- The situation that causes the disaster is localized to the data processing facility of Operations and Systems in ________; the building or space housing the functional area; or to the communication systems and networks that support the functional area. It is not a general disaster, such as an earthquake or the “Blizzard of ’78,” affecting a major portion of metropolitan Boston.
It should be noted however, that the Plan will still be functional and effective even in an area-wide disaster. Even though the basic priorities for restoration of essential services to the community will normally take precedence over the recovery of an individual organization, the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan can still provide for a more expeditious restoration of our resources for supporting key functions.
- The Plan is based on the availability of the hot sites or the back-up resources, as described in Part IV. The accessibility of these, or equivalent back-up resources, is a critical requirement.
- The Plan is a document that reflects the changing environment and requirements of MIT. Therefore, the Plan requires the continued allocation of resources to maintain it and to keep it in a constant state of readiness.
MIT’s Information Security Officer, with assistance from key Institute support areas, is responsible for developing the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan. Development and support of individual FARM Team Plans are the responsibility of the functional area planning for recovery.
Ensuring that the Plan reflects ongoing changes to resources is crucial. This task includes updating the Plan and revising this document to reflect updates; testing the updated Plan; and training personnel. The Business Continuity Management Team Coordinators are responsible for this comprehensive maintenance task.
Quarterly, the Business Continuity Management Team Coordinators ensures that the Plan undergoes a more formal review to confirm the incorporation of all changes since the prior quarter. Annually, the Business Continuity Management Team Coordinators initiates a complete review of the Plan, which could result in major revisions to this document. These revisions will be distributed to all authorized personnel, who exchange their old plans for the newly revised plans. At that time the Coordinators will provide an annual status report on continuity planning to the Administrative Computing Steering Committee.
Testing the Business Continuity Plan is an essential element of preparedness. Partial tests of individual components and recovery plans of specific FARM Teams will be carried out on a regular basis. A comprehensive exercise of our continuity capabilities and support by our designated recovery facilities will be performed on an annual basis.
Organization of Disaster Response and Recovery
The organizational backbone of business continuity planning at MIT is the Business Continuity Management Team. In the event of a disaster affecting an MIT organization or its resources, the Business Continuity Management Team will respond in accordance with this Plan and will initiate specific actions for recovery. The Business Continuity Management Team is called into action under the authority of the Administrative Computing Steering Committee which has the responsibility for approving actions regarding Business Continuity Planning at MIT.
- Senior Vice President, Chairman of the Committee . Manages and directs the recovery effort. Provides liaison with senior MIT management for reporting the status of the recovery operation.
- Vice President for Financial Operations . Provides liaison with the Committee for support of critical business functions affected by the disaster.
- Vice President for Information Systems . Coordinates all data processing and telecommunications systems recovery, including operational restoration of Building O&S and operations at the designated hot site.
- Vice President for Research Provides liaison with the Committee for support of critical business functions affected by the disaster.
- Vice President for Resource Development Provides liaison with the Committee for support of critical business functions affected by the disaster.
- Executive Vice President Alumni Association Provides liaison with the Committee for support of critical business functions affected by the disaster.
- Assistant to Provost Provides liaison with the Committee for support of critical business functions affected by the disaster.
For the business continuity of MIT systems, two organizations are primary: the Business Continuity Management Team, with its Institute Support Teams, and the Functional Area Recovery Management (FARM) Team for the area affected. In the event of a disaster, the BCMT provides general support, while the FARM Team is concerned with resources and tasks integral to running the specific functional area.
This section provides general information about the organization of recovery efforts and the role of the Business Continuity Management Team. Part III of this document describes the Business Continuity Management Team and the responsibilities of each Institute Support Team in detail.
Business Continuity Management Team.
- The Business Continuity Management Team is composed of upper-level managers in MIT administration. The following is a list of each position on the Business Continuity Management Team, and a brief overview of each member’s responsibilities:
- Information Security Officer . As Co-Coordinator of the Business Continuity Management Team, with the Coordinator of the O&S -FARM team, provides liaison between the Institute’s operational and management teams and the FARM teams in affected areas. Also responsible for ongoing maintenance, training and testing of the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan. Coordinates the Institute Support Teams under the auspices of the Business Continuity Management Team.
- Director, Operations and Systems . Coordinates support for data processing resources at the main data center and the designated recovery sites.
- Director, Telecommunications Systems . Provides alternate voice and data communications capability in the event normal telecommunication lines and equipment are disrupted by the disaster. Evaluates the requirements and selects appropriate means of backing up the MIT telecommunications network.
- Chief, Campus Police . Provides for physical security and emergency support to affected areas and for notification mechanisms for problems that are or could be disasters. Extends a security perimeter around the functional area affected by the disaster.
- Director, Physical Plant . Coordinates all services for the restoration of plumbing, electrical, and other support systems as well as structural integrity. Assesses damage and makes a prognosis for occupancy of the structure affected by the disaster.
- Director of Insurance and Legal Affairs . Provides liaison to insurance carriers and claims adjusters. Coordinates insurance program with continuity planning programs.
- Director, MIT News Office . Communicates with the news media, public, staff, faculty, and student body who are not involved in the recovery operation.
- Personnel Department. Provides support for human resources elements of recovery and staff notification through the emergency broadcast service.
- Director, Distributed Computing & Network Services . Provides network support for Administrative and Academic Computing and other distributed services and networks.
- Assistant to the Vice President, for Information Systems . Represents the Office of the President. Liaison to FARM Teams in the President’s Office.
- Associate Comptroller, Comptroller’s Accounting Office . Represents the Vice President for Financial Operations. Liaison to Financial Operations FARM Teams.
- Manager, Audit Division . Provides audit support during the emergency. Makes recommendations on changes to the normal control procedures necessitated by the recovery process.
- Safety Office – Coordinates risk reduction and avoidance activities and emergency response with the BCMT
- Emergency Response Team – This unit, headed by the Physical Plant Mechanical Engineering Manager, provides the initial response to the majority of campus emergencies.
Institute Support Teams:
Under the overall direction of the Business Continuity Management Team, support is provided to assist a functional area’s recovery by Institute Support Teams. These teams, described below, work in conjunction with the FARM Team of the area affected by the problem condition to restore services and provide assistance at the Institute level. In many cases, the organizations comprising these support teams have as their normal responsibility the provision of these support services. This support is generally documented in a procedures manual for the organization. The Business Continuity Plan is an adjunct to that documentation and highlights, in particular, the interfaces between the campus level service and the individual FARM Team operations requirements. In cases where the documentation in this Plan and the organization’s documents differ, the organization’s documentation has precedence.
- · Damage Assessment/Salvage Team. Headed by the Administrative Officer for Physical Plant and activated during the initial stage of an emergency, the team reports directly to the Business Continuity Management Team, evaluates the initial status of the damaged functional area, and estimates both the time to reoccupy the facility and the salvageability of the remaining equipment. This team draws members from the Physical Plant Office, from Operations and Systems, Telecommunications Systems, Distributed Computing & Network Services and from the FARM team of the affected area as well as appropriate vendors supporting our environment.
- Following the assessment of damage, the team is responsible for salvaging equipment, data and supplies following a disaster; identifying which resources remain; and determining their future utilization in rebuilding the data center and recovery from the disaster. The members of the Damage Assessment Team become the Salvage Team
- Transportation Team. A temporary Institute Support Team headed jointly by the Computer Operations Manager in Operations and Systems and by the Associate Director of Operations for Physical Plant, responsible for transporting resources personnel, equipment, and materials to back-up sites as necessary. This team draws members from two organizations: Information Systems personnel who normally operate the shuttle bus between and Physical Plant personnel who normally transport heavy equipment within the Institute.
- Public Information The interface with the media, the general public and faculty, staff and students who are not participating in the recovery process is handled by the MIT News Office, working closely with the Personnel Department.
- Telecommunications Team Headed by the Director of the Information Systems Telecommunications Department, is responsible for establishing voice and data communications between the affected site and the remainder of the campus.
This section describes six required responses to a disaster, or to a problem that could evolve into a disaster:
1. Detect and determine a disaster condition
2. Notify persons responsible for recovery
3. Initiate the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan
4. Activate the designated hot site
5. Disseminate Public Information
6. Provide support services to aid recovery
Each subsection below identifies the organization(s) and/or position(s) responsible for each of these six responses.
Disaster Detection and Determination
The detection of an event which could result in a disaster affecting information processing systems at MIT is the responsibility of Physical Plant Operations (PPO), Campus Police, Information Systems, or whoever first discovers or receives information about an emergency situation developing in one of the functional areas _________, Building ____ other building on campus housing major information processing systems or about the communications lines between these buildings.
PPO will follow existing procedures and notify the individuals who are acting as the Business Continuity Management Team Duty Persons (DP)). The DP on call will monitor the evolving situation and, if appropriate, will then notify the Business Continuity Management Team representative based upon a predefined set of notification parameters. (Page – 22)
When a situation occurs that could result interruption of processing of major information processing systems of networks on campus, the following people must be notified:
· Normally, Physical Plant Operations and /or the Campus Police receive the initial notice through their alarm monitoring capabilities. If the problem does not activate a normal alarm system, immediately notify these two areas.
· Chairman of the Administrative Computing Steering Committee
· Vice President for Information Systems
· The Business Continuity Management Team Coordinator (Information Security Officer)
· The Operations and Systems FARM Team Coordinator
· The Telecommunications and Distributed Computing & Network Services FARM Team Coordinators (if the situation affects the data or voice transmission lines or facilities)
Initiation of the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan
Initiation of this Plan is the responsibility of the Business Continuity Management Team Coordinator or any member of the Business Continuity Management Team or the Administrative Computing Steering Committee.
Activation of a Designated Hot Site
The responsibility for activating any of the designated hot sites or back-up resources is delegated to the Vice President for Information Systems. In the absence of the Vice President, responsibility reverts to the Director of Information Systems Operations & Systems or the Coordinator of the O&S Functional Area Recovery Management Team. Within ___ hours of the occurrence, the Vice President for Information Systems, or alternate, determines the prognosis for recovery of the damaged functional area through consultation with the Information Security Officer and the Damage Assessment Team, headed by Physical Plant, which also includes representatives from Operations and Systems, Telecommunications Systems and the functional areas affected.
If the estimated occupancy or recovery of the damaged functional area cannot be accomplished within ___ hours, the usual occupants of the designated back-up site are notified of the intention to occupy their facility.
Dissemination of Public Information
The Director of the MIT News Office is responsible for directing all meetings and discussions with the news media and the public, and in conjunction with the Personnel Department, with MIT personnel not actively participating in the recovery operation. In the absence of the MIT News Office representative, the responsibility reverts to the senior official present at the scene.
Recovery Status Information Number (617) ______ has been established as a voice mail information number for posting recovery status and information notices. All reports will be placed by the Continuity Planning Coordinators or the Telecommunication FARM team leader.
Provision of Support Services to Aid Recovery
During and following a disaster, Institute Support Teams, as described on page 14, are responsible for aiding the FARM Teams. They operate under the direction of the Business Continuity Management Team through the Recovery Coordinator (the Information Security Officer).
Disaster Recovery Strategy
The disaster recovery strategy explained below pertains specifically to a disaster disabling the main data center. This functional area provides mainframe computer and major server support to MIT’s administrative applications. Especially at risk are the critical applications those designated as Category I (see below) systems. The O&S FARM Team Plan provides for recovering the capacity to support these critical applications within ___ hours. Summarizing the provisions of the O&S Plan, subsections below explain the context in which the Institute’s Business Continuity Plan operates. The Business Continuity Plan complements the strategies for restoring the data processing capabilities normally provided by Operations & Systems.
This section addresses three phases of disaster recovery:
Strategies for accomplishing each of these phases are described below. It should be noted that the subsection describing the emergency phase applies equally to a disaster affecting the Adminstration Building or other building on campus, the functional area that provides support for the maintenance of the critical system.
The emergency phase begins with the initial response to a disaster. During this phase, the existing emergency plans and procedures of Campus Police and Physical Plant direct efforts to protect life and property, the primary goal of initial response. Security over the area is established as local support services such as the Police and Fire Departments are enlisted through existing mechanisms. The BCMT Duty Person is alerted by pager and begins to monitor the situation.
If the emergency situation appears to affect the main data center (or other critical facility or service), either through damage to data processing or support facilities, or if access to the facility is prohibited, the Duty Person will closely monitor the event, notifying BCMT personnel as required to assist in damage assessment. Once access to the facility is permitted, an assessment of the damage is made to determine the estimated length of the outage. If access to the facility is precluded, then the estimate includes the time until the effect of the disaster on the facility can be evaluated.
If the estimated outage is less than __ hours, recovery will be initiated under normal Information Systems operational recovery procedures. If the outage is estimated to be longer than __ hours, then the Duty Person activates the BCMT, which in turn notifies the Chairman of the Administrative Computing Steering Committee and Vice President for Information Systems and the Business Continuity Plan is activated. The recovery process then moves into the back-up phase.
The Business Continuity Management Team remains active until recovery is complete to ensure that the Institute will be ready in the event the situation changes.
The back-up phase begins with the initiation of the appropriate FARM Team Plan(s) for outages enduring longer than __ hours. In the initial stage of the back-up phase, the goal is to resume processing critical applications. Processing will resume either at the main data center or at the designated hot site, depending on the results of the assessment of damage to equipment and the physical structure of the building.
In the back-up phase , the initial hot site must support critical (Category I) applications for up to __ weeks and as many Category II applications as resources and time permit. During this period, processing of these systems resumes, possibly in a degraded mode, up to the capacity of the hot site. Within this __-week period, the main data center will be returned to full operational status if possible.
However, if the damaged area requires a longer period of reconstruction, then the second stage of back-up commences. During the second stage, a shell facility (a pre-engineered temporary processing facility that we have contracted to use for this purpose) is assembled on the ________ parking lot and equipment installed to provide for processing all applications until a permanent site is ready. See Page 33 for a list of the designated recovery sites.
The time required for recovery of the functional area and the eventual restoration of normal processing depends on the damage caused by the disaster. The time frame for recovery can vary from several days to several months. In either case, the recovery process begins immediately after the disaster and takes place in parallel with back-up operations at the designated hot site. The primary goal is to restore normal operations as soon as possible.
Scope of the Business Continuity Plan
The object of this Plan is to restore critical (Category I) systems within __ hours, and Essential (Category II) systems within ___ week(s) of a disaster that disables any functional area and/or essential equipment supporting the systems or functions in that area.
The initial Risk Assessment of the computer applications that support MIT administration assigned ____systems to Category I Critical. This risk category identifies applications that have the highest priority and must be restored within __ hours of a disaster disabling a functional area. Specifically, each function of these systems was evaluated and allocated a place in one of four risk categories, as described below.
Category I – Critical Functions
Category ii – essential functions, category iii – necessary functions, category iv – desirable functions.
Note: Category IV functions are important to MIT administrative processing, but due to their nature, the frequency they are run and other factors, they can be suspended for the duration of the emergency.
The administrative systems in Categories I – IV are those that provide Institute wide services. There are many departmental and laboratory systems as well as non-information processing systems (such as _______________) that are also either essential for the Institute or the local area(s) they support. Recovery for these systems too must be based upon an assessment of the impact of their loss and the cost of their recovery. See the Departmental FARM Team Plan document for further information on assessing risk at the departmental level.
Part III. Team Descriptions
Part III describes the organization and responsibilities of the Business Continuity Management Team. Composed of sub-teams (the Institute Support Teams), the Business Continuity Management Team as a whole plans and implements the responses and recovery actions in the event of a disaster disabling either a functional area, Central Administration or the main data center. It’s primary role is to provide Institute level support services to any functional area affected by the problem.
· Information Security Officer . As Business Continuity Management Team Co-coordinator, provides liaison between the Institute’s operational and management teams and the FARM teams in affected areas. Also responsible for ongoing maintenance, training and testing of the Business Continuity Plan. Coordinates the Institute Support Teams under the auspices of the Business Continuity Management Team. The Co-coordinator of the BCMT is the Coordinator of the O&S FARM Team, who will take responsibility for recovery in the absence of the Information Security Officer.
· Director, Operations and Systems . Provides for support for data processing resources with primary responsibility for restoration for O&S processing. Recovery plans for the computing facilities are the responsibility of the Coordinator of the O&S FARM Team and are described in the O&S FARM Team plan
· Director, Telecommunications Systems . Provides alternate voice and data communications capability in the event normal telecommunication lines and equipment are disrupted by the disaster. Evaluates the requirements and selects appropriate means of backing up the MIT telecommunications network. Recovery plans for the primary 5ESS telephone switching equipment in __ and satellite facilities in other buildings on campus are described in the Telecommunications FARM Team plan.
· Chief, Campus Police . Provides for physical security and emergency support to affected areas and for notification mechanisms for problems that are or could be disasters. Extends a security perimeter around the functional area affected by the disaster. Provides coordination with public emergency services (Cambridge Police, etc.) as required.
· Director, Physical Plant . Coordinates all services for the restoration of plumbing and electrical systems and structural integrity. Assesses damage and makes a prognosis for occupancy of the structure affected by the disaster.
- Director, Safety Office. Coordinates safety and hazardous materials related issues with other organizations involved in recovery planning and response as well as governmental and other emergency services.
Director, Personnel Department. Coordinates all activities of the recovery process with key attention to the personnel aspects of the situation. This includes releasing staff from areas affected, initiating emergency notification systems and working with the MIT News office on dissemination of information about the recovery effort
- Director, Distributed Computing & Network Services. Coordinates all services in support of the restoration of network services and support facilities. This icludes support for Athena communications services and external network service support.
· Director, MIT News Office . Communicates with the news media, public, staff, faculty, and student body who are not involved in the recovery operation.
· Assistant to the Vice President, for Information Systems . Represents the Office of the President.
· Associate Comptroller, Comptroller’s Accounting Office . Represents the Vice President for Financial Operations.
· Audit Manager, Audit Division Provide consultation on compensating controls and suggestions on maintaining the appropriate level of controls during the recovery process.
To oversee the development, maintenance and testing of recovery plans addressing all Category I and II business functions. In the event of a “disaster” to manage the backup and recovery efforts and facilitate the support for key business functions and restoration of normal activities.
The BCMT is co-chaired by the MIT Information Security Officer and the Coordinator of the O&S FARM Team, who serves in the absence of the Security Officer. The Team is composed of key management personnel from each of the areas involved in the recovery process.
The team interfaces with and is responsible for all business continuity plans and planning personnel at MIT.
On a quarterly basis, the team will meet to review FARM Team plans that have been completed in the last quarter.
On an annual basis, the Team will review the overall status of the recovery plan, and report on this status through the Information Security Officer, to the Administrative Computing Steering Committee.
Individual Team members will prepare recovery procedures for their assigned areas of responsibility at MIT. They will ensure that changes to their procedures are reflected in any interfacing procedures.
The BCMT will ensure that continuing levels of support are available for the FARM Teams that require it.
The BCMT will also review and approve FARM Team plans as they are submitted, re-evaluate the criticality of MIT operating functions at regular intervals and provide for awareness and training in recovery planning. They will also participate in emergency preparedness drills initiated by the Safety Office or other appropriate campus organizations.
To report to the Business Continuity Management Team (BCMT), within two to four hours after access to the facility is permitted, on the extent of the damage to the affected site, and to make recommendations to the BCMT regarding possible reactivation and/or relocation of data center or user operations. Existing Physical Plant emergency procedures are documented in a manual known as the “Black Book” maintained by Physical Plant. The Business Continuity Plan procedures supplement, and are subordinate to those in the Black Book, which takes precedence in the case of any difference. Following assessment of the damage, the team is then responsible for salvage operations in the area affected.
Headed by the Administrative Officer for Physical Plant and activated during the initial stage of an emergency, the team reports directly to the Business Continuity Management Team, evaluates the initial status of the damaged functional area, and estimates the time to reoccupy the facility and the salvageability of the remaining equipment. During an emergency situation, the individual designated in the Black Book will take operational responsibility for implementation of damage assessment. This team draws members from the Physical Plant Office, from Operations and Systems, and from the FARM team of the affected area. Following assessment, the team is responsible for salvaging equipment, data, and supplies following a disaster; identifying which resources remain; and determining their future utilization in rebuilding the data center and recovery from the disaster.
The Damage Assessment/Salvage Team will interface with other Physical Plant operations groups, the Campus Police and Information Systems operations functions, including vendor and insurance representatives, to keep abreast of new equipment, physical structures, and other factors relating to recovery.
4. Preparation Requirements
Identification of all equipment to be kept current. A quarterly report will be stored off-site. The listing will show all current information, such as engineering change levels, book value, lessor, etc. Configuration diagrams will also be available. Emergency equipment, including portable lighting, hard hats, boots, portable two-way radios, floor plans and equipment layouts will be maintained by Physical Plant.
A listing of all vendor sales personnel, customer engineers and regional sales and engineering offices is to be kept and reviewed quarterly. Names, addresses and phone numbers (normal, home, and emergency) are also to be kept.
To provide for all facets of a positive security and safety posture, to assure that proper protection and safeguards are afforded all MIT employees and Institute assets at both the damaged and backup sites.
The team will consist of the Campus Police Department Supervisor and appropriate support staff. The team will report through the Chief who is a member of the Business Continuity Management Team.
The Campus Police Team will interface with the following teams or organizational units, relative to security and safety requirements:
Environmental Medical Services
MIT News office
Other appropriate departments as required
Provide emergency medical services, if necessary.
Identify the number of Campus Police personnel needed to provide physical security protection of both the damaged and backup sites.
Identify the type of equipment needed by Campus Police personnel in the performance of their assigned duties.
Coordinate and arrange for additional security equipment and manpower, as applicable, if needed.
Identify and provide security protection required for the transport of confidential information to and from both off-site and backup sites. Coordinate with the appropriate MIT Department.
Periodically review the level of security needed at both the damaged and backup sites.
MIT News Office – Public Information
The most difficult time to maintain good public relations is when there is an accident or emergency. Public relations planning is required so that when an emergency arises, inquiries from the news media, friends and relatives of staff, faculty, and students can be handled effectively. While we cannot expect to turn a bad situation into a good one, we can assist in making sure facts presented to the public are accurate and as positive as possible given the situation.
It is in our best interest to cooperate with the media as much as possible, so that they will not be forced to resort to unreliable sources to get information that could be untrue and more damaging to the Institute than the facts.
Therefore, it is the policy of MIT in time of emergency, to:
Have the MIT News Office serve as the authorized spokesperson for the Institute. All public information must be coordinated and disseminated by their staff.
Refrain from releasing information on personnel casualties until families have been notified. Once families have been notified, names of those personnel should be released quickly to alleviate the fears of relatives of others.
Provide factual information to the press and authorities as quickly as facts have been verified, and use every means of communications available to offset rumors and misstatements.
Avoid speculating on anything that is not positively verified, including cause of accident, damage estimates, losses, etc. (Fire Officials normally release their own damage estimates.)
Emphasize positive steps taken by the Institute to handle the emergency and its effects.
Situations calling for implementation of the Emergency Public Information Plan may include, but are not limited to:
Systems malfunctions disrupting the normal course of operations.
Accidents, particularly when personal injury results.
Natural disasters, such as fires, floods, tornadoes and explosions.
Civil disorders, such as riots and sabotage.
Scandal, including embezzlement and misuse of funds.
Major litigation initiated by or against the Institute.
The Director of the MIT News Office, a member of the Business Continuity Management Team, will act as the Public Information Officer for the Institute. The News Office alternates are listed in Appendix A. In their absence the responsibility will revert to the Senior Manager on the scene.
The MIT News Office will be the interface between MIT and the public or news media. Copies of all status reports to the Business Continuity Management Team or Administrative Computing Steering Committee will be forwarded to the Public Information Officer for potential value in information distribution for good public relations. They will work with the Personnel Department in dissemination of information to staff.
Existing relationships with local media will be utilized to notify the public of emergency and recovery status. The Public Information Officer will maintain up-to-date contact information for the media and other required parties.
A facility will be identified to be used as a press room. Arrangements will be made to provide the necessary equipment and support services for the press. Coordination with the Telecommunications Team for additional voice communication, if required, will also be made.
To provide for all facets of insurance coverage before and after a disaster and to ensure that the recovery action is taken in such a way as to assure a prompt and fair recovery from our insurance carriers.
The team will consist of the Director of Insurance and Legal Affairs and required staff and insurance carrier personnel. The team reports through the Business Continuity Management Team, of which it is a member.
The Insurance Team will interface with the following teams, relative to insurance matters:
MIT News Office
Information Systems Operations
Appropriate FARM Teams
This team will be activated upon the initial notification of a disaster.
Determine needs for insurance coverage. Identify the coverage required for both hardware, media, media recovery, liability and extra expense.
Prepare procedure outlining recommended steps to be followed by Damage Assessment/Salvage Team during initial stage of disaster (Appendix A)
List appropriate contacts in (Appendix B).
Arrange for availability of both still and video recording equipment to record the damage.
Ensure that an equipment inventory is available, to include model and serial number of all devices.
Evaluate all new products and services offered by MIT for potential liability in the event of a disaster.
To provide voice and data communications to support critical functions. Restore damaged lines and equipment.
The team will consist of appropriate Telecommunications Systems staff. Telecommunications Systems will also coordinate with and supervise outside contractors as necessary. The team will report through the Director of Telecommunications Systems, who is a member of the Business Continuity Management Team.
The Telecommunications Systems team will interface with the following teams or organizational units, relative to telecommunications requirements:
Distributed Computing & Network Services
Other Information Systems departments as necessary
Other MIT departments requiring emergency telecommunications
Outside contractors and service providers as necessary
Provide critical voice and data communications services in the event that normal telecommunications lines and equipment are disrupted or relocation of personnel is necessary.
Consult with outside contractors and service providers to ensure that replacement equipment and materials are available for timely delivery and installation.
Utilize available resources, such as the MIT Cable Television network and voice mail system, to broadcast information relevant to the disaster.
Part IV. Recovery Procedures
This appendix contains the names and telephone numbers of managers and personnel who must be notified in the event of a disaster. The Business Continuity Management Team Coordinator is responsible for keeping this notification list up-to-date.
Two individuals are assigned responsibility for the interface with other campus organizations, such as Physical Plant Operations, to monitor emergencies as they occur. These Early Warning Duty people are then responsible for activation of the full Business Continuity Management Team and necessary Functional Area Recovery Management Teams.
The BCMT Duty People are equipped with Pagers, activated either by Physical Plant Operations or they can be paged directly.
In addition, each Duty Person is equipped with a cellular phone for emergency use.
To reach the BCMT Duty Person:
Duty Person To leave phone number To leave an 80 character text Number call: message call:
and give PIN # of pager
By Cellular Phone:
Note: these numbers are to be used only in emergencies or for testing.
The people on duty will monitor the situation and determine if it has the potential to impact our processing ability. [See Duty Person procedure for details]
I/S Operations & Systems
MIT News Office – Public Information
Emergency Response Team
Comptrollers Accounting Office
Plasma Fusion Lab
FARM Team Coordinators
Bursar’s Office Category
Financial Planning & Management Category
Freshman Admissions Category
Operations & Systems Category
Physical Plant Category
Property Office Category
Purchasing & Stores Category
Registrar’s Office Category
Resource Development Category
Technology Licensing Office Category
Business Continuity Management Team Coordinator
This appendix contains instructions to the Business Continuity Management Team Coordinators for overseeing disaster response and recovery efforts.
Coordinator Ensure entire Business Continuity Management Team (BCMT) has been notified. Then notify Vice President for Information Systems and Chairman of Administrative Computing Steering Committee.
Coordinator Activate the Emergency Operations Center (See Page 33) and notify staff to meet there.
Coordinator Meet with Damage Assessment Team to review their findings and present results to BCMT.
Coordinator Present recommendations to BCMT for next steps in recovery effort.
Coordinator Begin notification of all recovery teams. Check to ensure all recovery participants have been notified.
Coordinator Monitor the activities of the recovery teams. Assist them as required in their recovery efforts.
Coordinator Report to BCMT on a regular basis on the status of recovery activities. Report to Administrative Computing Steering Committee as appropriate on recovery status.
Coordinator On an hourly basis, or other appropriate interval, update the Recovery Status information message on _______ .
This appendix contains instructions to the Damage Assessment/Salvage Team for disaster response and recovery efforts.
Building Services Notify team members, and vendors to report to the site for initial damage assessment and clean-up.
Physical Plant AO Notify insurance representative
Operations Center Issue Work Orders and call appropriate personnel.
Team Leader Request permission to enter site from Fire Department (if required).
Take a service representative from each of the appropriate vendors, the insurance claims representative and appropriate Physical Plant and Information Systems personnel into the site.
Team Members Review and assess the damage to the facility. List all equipment and the extent of damage. List damage to all support systems (power, A/C, fire suppression, communications, etc.).
Team Leader Notify the BCMT as to the severity of the damage and what can potentially be salvaged.
Team Leader Notify the BCMT if the area be restored to the required level of operational capability in the required time frame.
Team Leader Initiate the Emergency Notification List and have all members report to the Staging Area.
Salvage Team Have the Building Services Supervisor determine which equipment and furniture can be salvaged. Photograph all damaged areas as soon as possible for potential insurance claims.
Salvage Team Important ** Prior to performing any salvage operation contact Insurance Team to coordinate with possible insurance claims requirements and appraisals.
Have the Physical Plant Supervisor and staff start salvaging any furniture and equipment.
Based upon advice from Insurance Team and customer engineering, contact computer hardware refurbishers regarding reconditioning of damaged equipment
Team Leader Meet with the Business Continuity Management Team Coordinator to provide status on salvage operations.
A sample of the configuration and full equipment inventory report from the Fixed Asset Control Systems or other automated equipment inventories should be inserted here. The Continuity Plan Masters in off-site storage will contain the full listing.
Complete sets of blueprints of the buildings housing critical processing and the data center are maintained at [__________________________] and in off-site storage.
This appendix contains instructions to the Campus Police for disaster response and recovery efforts.
Campus Police Duty Sgt. An MIT Police Case Report will be completed upon stabilization of the disaster situation. As per standard police procedure, this report will detail the names of all victims, witnesses, injuries, facility damage description, etc., as well as list all notifications
Campus Police Duty Sgt. Initiate the notification listing of appropriate Campus Police Department Command Staff and personnel (App. A)
Campus Police Day/Night Notify the Business Continuity Management Team if the emergency affects Data Processing or Telecommunications operations in any way.
Campus Police Duty Sgt. Assign Campus Police personnel to both the damaged and backup sites, as required.
Campus Police Duty Sgt. Ensure that all Campus Police personnel are properly equipped at each affected location and the recovery sites. (Page 33)
Campus Police Duty Sgt. Coordinate the need for additional manpower and equipment as required.
Campus Police Command Periodically submit status reports to the Staff Continuity Coordinator at the Emergency Control Center.
Campus Police Command Ensure that all facets of security protection Staff are afforded, relative to entry/exit controls, transportation of information, etc. at both the damaged and backup sites.
Campus Police Notify MIT News Office when an emergency occurs.
Public Information Officer Assess the public relations scope of the emergency, in consultation with senior management if necessary, and determine the appropriate public relations course of action.
In instances where media are notified immediately, due to fire department or police involvement, the Public Information Officer will proceed to the scene at once to gather initial facts. Emphasis must be placed upon getting pertinent information to the news media as quickly as possible.
PIO Staff Assistant Maintain a log of all incoming calls to ensure a quick response to media and other requests.
Public Information Officer Maintain a log of all information which has been released to the media.
Public Information Officer When appropriate, prepare news releases on a periodic basis for distribution to the local media list.
Public Information Officer If employee injuries or fatalities are involved, notify Personnel to send appropriate management personnel to the homes of the involved families.
Personnel Notify Public Information Officer as soon as families have been informed. This will permit the release of names and addresses of victims so that families of those not involved can be relieved of anxiety.
Public Information Officer Contact the public relations director(s) at the hospitals where injured have been taken to coordinate the release of information.
Public Information Officer In cases where long-term media coverage is anticipated, establish a Press Room in the ( location to be selected) Provide for telephone requirements of the press.
Public Information Officer Schedule periodic press conferences, taking into consideration Management personnel who will be participating.
Public Information Officer If media wants to photograph physical damage, Clear request with Campus Police prior to approving request. Then accompany all photographers.
Public Information Officer Coordinate follow-up news releases after the immediate emergency has passed to present the Institute in as positive light as possible. Possible topics could include: What has been done to prevent recurrence of this type of emergency?
What are plans for reconstruction?
What has been done to express gratitude to the community for it’s help?
What has been done to help employees, students and faculty?
This appendix contains instructions to the Insurance Team Coordinator for disaster response, salvage and recovery efforts.
Insurance Team Leader Contact appropriate Insurance people upon first advice of disaster.
Insurance Team Leader Meet with Damage Assessment/Salvage team at site.
Insurance Team Leader Go through disaster scene with Damage Assessment/Salvage team and advise on matters relating to insurance and claims. Ensure that nothing is done to compromise recovery from insurance carrier. Photograph all applicable areas.
Insurance Team Leader File all appropriate claims forms with all involved insurance carriers.
Report status of claims activity to the Business Continuity Management Team.
This appendix contains instructions to the Telecommunications Systems team for disaster response and recovery efforts.
HELP Line Personnel or Receives report of disaster from Physical
a fter-hours Duty Person Plant or Campus Police and notifies appropriate telecommunications Systems and other personnel.
Director, Telecommunications Systems Oversees assessment of damage to telecommunications facilities. Directs contingency and recovery efforts. Provides updates to Business Continuity Management Team and MIT administration.
Operations and Customer Service Arranges for voice and dial-up data communications services to support critical functions. Procures stock to repair or replace damaged equipment. Restores full services in a timely manner.
Transmission Services Provides data communications facilities or circuits to support critical functions. Assists with restoration of cable and wire plant, as needed. Assists Information Systems and other departments with relocation and restoration of data facilities.
Appendix A – Recovery Facilities
The following facilities have been identified as designated recovery sites for restoration of processing under the MIT Business Continuity Planning strategy.
Emergency Operations Centers
The Emergency Operations Center is the location to be used by the Business Continuity Management Team and their support staff as a location from which to manage the recovery process. As such, the specific location will be selected by the Coordinator at the time of the occurrence. The following are the locations available:
Emergency Operations Center is located in _________________________________
Central Administration building out of service – Immediately after evacuation of building, the BCMT will convene in Building _____ to coordinate intial response to the event. If the problem appears to be long term – or affects the local area, the BCMT will activate the primary EOC in ______.
Hot Sites (Operational data centers providing emergency computing resources)
Facilities provided: (See O&S FARM Team Plan)
Shell Sites (Computer conditioned space available to install equipment)
Facilities provided: (See O&SFARM Team Plan)
Appendix B – Category I, II & III functions
For details about each of these functions see the appropriate FARM Team Plan
Appendix C – Plan Distribution List
PLAN DISTRIBUTION MATRIX
For information call:
BCMT Duty Person Procedures
This booklet contains instructions for the individuals currently assigned to be the active Business Continuity Management Team contact for emergency situations that may develop. The Duty Person is on call 24 hours a day for the one month assignment. The two people assigned as Duty Persons (DP) will be equipped with a pager and a cellular phone – both to be used for BCMT testing and emergencies only. Each person will pass the equipment to the next person on the Duty Person roster when the one month assignment ends. The equipment information is as follows:
Number to call back dial: call ____________ and give PIN #
To reach by cellular phone:
Upon receipt of the equipment, read the directions for the equipment and familiarize yourself with the pager and the phone. Ensure that phone batteries are charged properly (see instructions). Note: the pager takes one AAA battery, which lasts about a month.
Call the other duty person to ensure the phone is operable. Send a page to your own unit to ensure it is also functioning correctly.
At the end of your assignment, pass the equipment and documentation to the next person on the duty roster. Notify the BCMT coordinators, ______________ and _____________ by e-mail that the duty has been transferred. If an individual cannot serve, for a temporary period (i.e.. going to a conference) it is their responsibility to provide a trained alternate as their replacement. The BCMT Coordinators and the other person on duty are to be notified in advance about the replacement.
If there is a need to contact all the people on the Duty Roster send e-mail to:
____________, an Athena mail list maintained by the Information Security Officer for this purpose.
GUIDE TO BCMT ACTIVATION
1. The first indication of a problem will probably be a page alert from Physical Plant Operations. This will be a short text message outlining the problem. Unless it’s obvious that the problem is long term and severe, wait 30 minutes (for things in the Operations Center to quiet down) and call them at ___________. Tell them you’re calling for the BCMT and get the latest status about the problem reported by the page.
2. Does the problem prevent normal access, occupation or usage of any part of any of the areas listed under the FARM Team Contact List, or does the disaster disrupt service provided by telephones, the network, or the mainframe computers?
If no, go back to sleep!
If yes, continue.
3. Will expected recovery of the affected area last into normal business hours?
4. Does the FARM Team Coordinator of the affected service indicate that the disaster will affect that service? The FARM Team Contact List below provides the phone numbers of the FARM Team coordinators and the buildings their functions operate in.
5. ACTIVATE THE BCMT!
Call the coordinators first:
If they can’t be reached, call the BCMT members directly. The numbers are on the list attached. The BCMT has three possible assembly points:
If the problem is _____ related, meet in the ________ meeting room.
If ____ related, meet in the ______________ Conference Room ______
All other problems, meet in the Emergency Operations Center _______
Business Continuity Management Team Duty Roster
FARM Team Contact List
BCMT Contact Office Ext. Home Phone E-mail # BCMT 04 Coordinator BCMT 05 Coordinator Physical 02 Plant Campus 03 Police Operations 40 Center Supervisor Emergency 41 Response Team 42 Safety 43 Office Safety 44 Office DCNS 45 DCNS 11 CAO 46 I/S O & S 06 Telecomm 47 14 MIT News 48 Office 49 Insurance 50 Physical 51 Plant
Cellular Phone Memory Assignments
- Continuity Evaluation Checklist Plan Template
- Disaster Recovery Plan Template Basic
- Disaster Response Plan Template
- Disaster Recovery Project Plan Example
- IT Disaster Recovery Plan Template
- Emergency Planning Guidelines
- Disaster Recovery Glossary
16 Business Continuity Plan Templates For Every Business
As a business leader, you know that unforeseen events can disrupt your business operations and impact your bottom line. That's why having a solid business continuity plan in place is essential.
But where do you start? That's where we come in. This article provides you with 16 free, customizable business continuity plan templates that are prefilled with examples, making it easy to create a plan that meets your unique needs. Whether you're a small business or a large enterprise, our templates are designed to help you prepare for any contingency.
In addition to the templates, we've included a step-by-step guide on how to create an effective business continuity plan. From identifying risks and critical functions to testing and updating your plan, our guide covers everything you need to know.
General Business Continuity Plan Template
New to business continuity planning? No worries! Our general BCP Template is like a friendly guide—perfect for both newcomers and veterans. Use it to get the ball rolling on your continuity planning initiative and create robust strategies that will keep your business operational in times of crisis.
How to use this template? 👀
1. Sign up to get instant access to your chosen template. (Yes, it’s 100% free.)
2. Customize the template to fit your needs:
- Define your focus areas or strategic priorities
- Set strategic objectives
- Assign KPIs and owners
- Create action plans and projects to achieve your desired outcomes
3. Integrate all business data in one place for a comprehensive view of performance.
4. Use reports and dashboards to monitor progress and identify risks before they escalate.
5. Invite your team members to collaborate and ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Business Continuity Plan Template
💡All templates below follow the same structure. The only difference lies in the pre-filled sample data, making them customized for specific industries and use cases.
Industry-Specific Business Continuity Plan Templates
Hospitality bcp template.
Craft a resilience plan for your hospitality business, including hotels, restaurants, or travel services. This BCP template for Hospitality will help you establish measures to handle potential emergency situations and ensure customer satisfaction.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Hospitality Continuity Plan Template
Manufacturing BCP Template
Ensure uninterrupted production and operations with this Manufacturing Continuity Plan Template . Use this template to keep your business partner relationships, supply chains, and production lines strong, even when surprises pop up.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Manufacturing Continuity Plan Template
Transportation BCP Template
Need a solid game plan for spotting risks early and building strong strategies to manage disruptions in your transportation business? Create your own with the BCP Template for Transportation to maintain timely deliveries and operations.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Transportation Continuity Plan Template
Healthcare BCP Template
In an industry where lives depend on service reliability, the Healthcare Business Continuity Plan Template helps you build and execute contingency plans to ensure uninterrupted care and handle emergencies effectively.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Healthcare Continuity Plan Template
Retail BCP Template
Strengthen your retail business's resilience to unforeseen events like global pandemics, supply chain disruptions, or surges in demand. With this Retail BCP Template , establish plans for inventory management, customer service, and store operations.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Retail Business Continuity Plan Template
Pharmaceuticals BCP Template
Keep vital manufacturing and supply chain operations running like clockwork with our Pharmaceuticals BCP Template . This template has everything you need to hit the ground running on your continuity planning. Use it to ensure your business doesn’t miss a beat because of trade disputes, regulations, and recalls.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Pharmaceutical Business Continuity Plan Template
Financial Services BCP Template
The BCP Template for Financial Services is designed to assist financial professionals concerned about their continuity and resilience. Use it to identify and plan strategies to keep your business sailing steady and navigate business continuity management like a seasoned professional.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Financial Business Continuity Plan Template
Telecommunications BCP Template
Our Business Continuity Plan Template for Telecommunications is ideal for internet service providers, telcos, and MSPs that want to keep their telecommunication services humming along, no matter what. Use it to outline strategies to reduce the risk of disruptions such as new technology, regulatory changes, and cyber-attacks.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Telecommunications Business Continuity Plan Template
IT BCP Template
Create a comprehensive continuity plan for your information technology business with the IT Business Continuity Plan Template . This template will help you formulate and execute strategies for data center security, network downtime planning, and maintaining service levels.
👉 Click here to get your FREE IT Business Continuity Plan Template
Nonprofits BCP Template
Ensure that your nonprofit's mission endures through unexpected events and map out your organization's preparedness with the Business Continuity Plan Template for Nonprofits . This template guides nonprofits in developing strategies for funding, communication, and service delivery during crises such as natural disasters.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Nonprofit Continuity Plan Template
Small Business BCP Template
Build resilience and safeguard your small business to weather uncertainties with the Small Business Continuity Plan Template . With this prefilled template, you’ll be able to kickstart the strategic planning process to build effective recovery procedures and disaster mitigation strategies.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Small Business Continuity Plan Template
Special Focus Templates
Supply chain continuity template.
Strengthen the resilience of your supply chain with this Supply Chain Business Continuity Plan Template . Use it to create and track strategies to mitigate risks such as supplier failures, transportation disruptions, and inventory shortages, ensuring a steady flow of goods and services.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Supply Chain Continuity Plan Template
Operational Continuity Plan Template
Keep your business operations running smoothly, irrespective of unforeseen challenges, with the Operational Continuity Plan Template . With it, you can quickly create an actionable Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that guarantees your business’s preparedness when disaster strikes.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Operational Continuity Plan Template
Risk Assessment Plan Template
Risk management is at the heart of any successful continuity planning strategy. Why? Because knowing the risks your organization faces is the first step to preparing for, and effectively navigating unforeseen circumstances.
If you're ready to start building your BCP, begin with the Risk Assessment Plan Template . This framework is designed to help you pinpoint potential risks, measure their impact, and craft proactive strategies to dodge business disruptions.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Risk Assessment Plan Template
Crisis Communications Plan Template
Effectively manage internal and external communications during a crisis with this Crisis Communications Plan Template . Ensure the right messages reach your stakeholders, employees, and customers on time. This will contribute to a well-coordinated response and support your human resources team in managing crisis-related communications effectively.
👉 Click here to get your FREE Communications Plan Template
How To Write A Business Continuity Plan
A clear business continuity plan helps teams act quickly and effectively, minimizing disruptions to operations. If you want to build a resilient business continuity plan, here's a true-and-tried approach:
1. Identify critical business processes and types of threats
First, figure out which parts of your business are the most important. Why is this so crucial? When things go wrong, you can't keep every part of your business going—it's just not practical.
But, many senior management teams stumble at this stage because they:
- Take a siloed approach to continuity planning.
- Misidentify the core processes integral to business success.
- Exclude critical stakeholders when trying to understand what drives the business.
- Rely on outdated risk assessments and information for planning.
As PwC puts it, " Businesses struggle to do this well because it’s complex and can involve multiple departments and players. It’s not the usual approach in which business continuity is looked at solely within the siloed functions. ”
To build a resilient BCP, thoroughly examine your business, engage all stakeholders, and really understand your key business functions and processes.
2. Perform a risk assessment
Risk assessments help companies understand potential threats, their severity, and their likelihood. This crucial step aids in prioritizing planning, encourages strategic thinking, and empowers problem-solving abilities.
💡 Check out our article Risk Matrix: How To Use It In Strategic Planning for guidance .
3. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis and prioritize strategies
A Business Impact Analysis evaluates the possible consequences of risks on your crucial business operations . It’s vital for gathering information, developing appropriate recovery strategies, and setting strategic priorities.
Consider impact such as:
- Lost or delayed sales and income
- Increased expenses
- Regulatory fines
- Loss of business opportunities
- Operational setbacks
- Reputation damage
- Loss of shareholder confidence
- Supply chain disruption
4. Build your business continuity plan
Finally, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and turn your research, risk assessment, and business impact analysis into a fully-fledged business continuity plan.
Your continuity plan should act as a roadmap. It should outline how your organization will keep the gears turning in the face of disruptions.
Here are the key elements:
- 🎯 Objectives
- ⏳ Timelines
- 🏆 Priorities
- 👥 Team members
- 📝 Projects and action plans
If you’re using Cascade strategy templates , you’ll have these vital elements ready and waiting to help you plan faster and better.
💡Don't spend too much time on analysis and planning. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Instead, focus on the execution and adapt your plan as you go.
Tips For Writing And Executing Your Business Continuity Plan
Want to create a business that can ride the wave of any disruption? You'll need a fresh take on strategic risk management and continuity planning. The real magic happens when you blend centralized observability and fast execution .
Creating your plan shouldn't be a one-and-done deal. You need to keep an eye on things and tweak your strategies as needed. This is where Cascade strategy execution platform shines.
Cascade’s customizable dashboards give you real-time insights into your business operations. See the big picture or drill down to team-specific details, all in one place. This helps in identifying issues early and implementing your continuity plan effectively.
Time is of the essence when a crisis hits. Decision-makers need information fast. Cascade's Reports lets you create concise strategy reports with up-to-date data and charts with a click. No more wasting time on manual reporting.
Continuity planning is an ongoing, iterative process. Risks change, and your strategies should evolve accordingly. With Cascade, you can continuously monitor performance and make necessary adjustments to your business continuity plan in one place.
“Cascade provides our organization with a level of transparency we've never experienced before. Traditionally siloed teams have insight into what other groups are working on, facilitating a new level of engagement and cross-team collaboration.” - Katie B, G2
📚 Recommended reads for more tips and best practices:
6 Steps To Successful Strategy Execution
Strategic Control Simplified: A 6-Step Process And Tools
Get Faster Insights And Make Better Decisions With Cascade 🚀
As the world’s #1 strategy execution platform, Cascade cuts through the chaos of running business operations and paves a clear path forward.
Build continuity plans that are data-driven and aligned with your long-term vision.
Cascade helps you diagnose where you stand today and understand the factors affecting your performance, leading to informed and confident decisions.
What’s more, Cascade centralizes visibility over your execution process. This means you can swiftly identify dependencies and potential risks, and act proactively to mitigate them.
Ready to take control? Sign up for a free forever account today or book a 1:1 product tour with one of Cascade’s in-house strategy execution experts.
Business Continuity FAQs
What are the 4 ps of business continuity .
The 4 Ps of business continuity is a way of measuring the impact of disruptions on an organization. They stand for People (the impact on the lives of workers), Processes (the effect on operations), Profits (the impact on revenue generation), and Partnerships (the impact on the enabling business environment).
What is the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan?
The main difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan is its purpose. A business continuity plan aims to sustain the critical functions of an organization during disruptions, while a disaster recovery plan outlines the strategy for restoring normal business operations after major disruptions.
Horizontal Vs Vertical Strategic Alignment
5 PMO Templates And Tools To Deliver Your Portfolio Value
Strategic Planning Vs Operational Planning: What’s The Difference?
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Home Business Business Continuity Plan
Business Continuity Plan Template
Use a business continuity plan to outline how your business will continue to operate in a range of disaster scenarios.
Updated August 29, 2023 Reviewed by Brooke Davis
A business continuity plan outlines the instructions and procedures a business should follow after some disaster. Disruptive events like floods and fires can interrupt your business practices.
It would be best if you had a plan to handle these situations and effectively get back to work.
Give your organization the tools it needs to operate effectively despite any disruptions – you never know when a disaster can strike, but you can be prepared.
How Often Should a Business Continuity Plan Be Reviewed?
Review Your Checklist – Twice a Year: Ensure it is still relevant to your current business processes and status and aligns with your business goals and objectives.
Put It Into Practice – Once a Year : Make sure your plan is solid when implemented.
Formal Review – Every Other Year : Identify any weaknesses or red flags in your plan together with the relevant teams and stakeholders of your business
Comprehensive Review – Every Other Year : Look closely at every aspect and ensure everything is up to date with current business processes.
Mock Recovery Test – Every Two or Three Years : Test your BCP in-depth and ensure your plan works and hasn’t any potential failings
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
Different types of business continuity plans, how to write a business continuity plan, business continuity plan sample, benefits of a business continuity plan, frequently asked questions.
A business continuity plan is a document that sets forth your organization’s strategies for dealing with a disaster. These procedures help you to resume business quickly and reduce downtime and lost revenue.
It covers essential processes like asset protection, human resources issues, and how to deal with business partners.
When to Use a Business Continuity Plan?
You want to create a business continuity plan before you need it . The point of this document is to be ahead of the game. You do not want to respond to a disaster without a set plan. Business continuity planning is critical to a successful response to a disaster.
Once your continuity plan is in place, you may need to use it in disasters such as:
- Major Storms
- Major IT or internet disruption
A business continuity plan is as crucial to your company as a business plan .
You can use a business continuity plan template to define how your organization will handle crisis management and communication in an emergency. It’s important to account for emergency response instructions and capture essential information to get your IT resources up and running quickly since they’re crucial in all recovery efforts.
Emergency Response Plan (ERP):
It outlines evacuation procedures, communication protocols, and initial actions to mitigate the immediate impact of emergencies such as fires, explosions, chemical spills, natural disasters, and other life-threatening situations.
Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP):
It covers strategies for backup and recovery of IT systems, data, and technological infrastructure following a disruptive event.
Incident Response Plan (IRP):
It focuses on how the organization will detect, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents, including steps to mitigate damage and prevent further breaches.
Crisis Communication Plan:
It covers how an organization will communicate with internal and external stakeholders during a crisis.
Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP):
It covers evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place protocols, and communication strategies to ensure the safety of employees and visitors within a facility or building.
Supply Chain Continuity Plan:
It outlines strategies to deliver products and services to customers in case of disruptions in the supply chain—such as supplier failures, transportation issues, or resource shortage
Writing your plan can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. You can create your document easily with a free business continuity plan template. You can even use our document builder to build your plan in minutes. Your business continuity plan should include the following:
Step 1 – Purpose of the plan
The plan should address the scope of its effect. Does the plan cover your entire business? Is it for specific departments?
Your employees and managers need to know how this plan will be applied. It should clearly state over whom the policy applies so everyone knows what is expected of them after a disaster.
Step 2 – Identify Key Business Areas
After a disaster, it will be difficult or impossible to go back to normal immediately. Identify the critical aspects of your business.
What are your main revenue-generating products and services, and how would they be impacted if you could not deliver them? What do you need to function? What operations are critical, and what can wait until later?
This section is not about convenience but necessity. Hone in on these critical functions to determine a priority list for your business continuity plan.
Identify the disasters most likely to occur in your area.
Step 3 – Define the Crisis Team
People must know who is in charge during an emergency and their contact information. There should be no doubt about who will call the shots about essential business decisions.
These individuals will lead the local response and may be responsible for a more comprehensive response strategy outside the disaster’s immediate area.
The crisis team should be identified by role and title. This ensures that everyone knows who is in charge if there is a personnel change. Training and letting these key team members know their positions should a disaster occur is critically important.
Ensure you s peak with your proposed crisis team about their responsibilities and receive input.
Step 4 – Create a Crisis Communication Plan
In addition to identifying the team in charge, the business continuity plan should outline how individuals communicate. Standard methods of communication may be inaccessible.
To test your processes, it would be best to draft sample emergency messages before a crisis. This could include press releases, interviews, or even social media updates.
Step 5 – Relocation and Recovery Operations
You may need to relocate to an alternative worksite in a natural disaster or business disruption. Include the procedure information and what resources will be required.
Step 6 – Review and Testing
It’s critical to ensure that your business continuity plan is effective and stays up to date. Ensure you include who is in charge of this and how often the plan will be reviewed and tested.
You must practice the procedures once they are adopted. Review and test your business continuity plan at least once a year; some sections, such as the critical functions, could benefit from being evaluated every six months.
Step 7 – Plan Deactivation
You should also include who is responsible for deactivating the business continuity plan and what the procedure is. This ensures that someone can decide to get the company back to normal workings.
Below you can find a business continuity plan sample to help you start drafting your plan:
A business continuity plan defines leadership roles in a disaster and focuses on employee and customer safety. It also enables your company to recover more quickly in a disaster.
Here’s a closer look at the significant advantages of writing and maintaining a business continuity plan.
A Well-Defined Leadership Protocol For a Disaster
Senior leadership directs the business continuity plan and sanctions communication protocols for the company. Individual department leaders create continuity plans for IT, security, HR, payroll, legal, and other functions.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to assign a project manager dedicated to maintaining the BCP and setting up training for new and current staff members.
A More Efficient Return to Normal Business Operations
A BCP could differentiate between continued operations and financial disaster in an emergency. Returning to business operations quickly can prevent customers from defecting to competitors.
A business continuity plan template makes planning for contingencies in various scenarios easy and addresses the most critical roles and responsibilities needed to keep your company running.
Above all, having a business continuity plan minimizes downtime and limits confusion during critical situations.
Increased Employee Safety
The BCP should always consider the health and safety of employees above business objectives. Remember that the safety and wellness of loved ones will be at the top of everyone’s minds.
With remote access to key systems, leaders and other team members can balance the needs of their families, coworkers, and customers.
Reduction in Lost Time and Lost Revenue
Unmitigated disruptions can financially weaken an organization quickly. Business continuity plans account for all factors needed for continued operations. The more effort you put into planning, the more time and money you can save.
So, ensure a reliable backup plan for essential IT systems and enable remote access to customer, product, and company data to keep the revenue stream flowing.
Ability to Quickly Implement IT Fixes
Natural and manufactured disasters typically involve system disruptions. To remain functional, build redundancy into your critical systems. This will allow you to implement essential fixes to hardware and software assets.
What is the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan focuses mainly on restoring IT operations and infrastructure following the disaster. It is more limited in scope but is often part of a larger business continuity plan.
What should be included in a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan should include key sections like:
- Scope of the plan
- Crisis team
- Communication Strategies
- Relocation and recovery operations
- Review and testing
- Plan deactivation
What are the four P’s of business continuity planning?
There are four P’s you need to keep in mind when creating a business continuity plan, they are:
- People – employees and customers
- Processes – the technology and processes required to keep everything running
- Premises – the buildings and spaces from which your company operates
- Providers – supplies and partners that your business relies on for resources
- One-Page Business Plan : A simplified version of a traditional business plan that outlines the basics of your business.
- LLC Operating Agreement : An internal written document among members of a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”).
- Articles of Incorporation : A set of formal documents that contain the basic information needed to form an incorporated business (or corporation).
- Social Media Policy : A document detailing the guidelines and requirements for your company's social media use.
- Emergency Action Plan : Use this form to outline a standard process that your company can use in the event of an emergency.
- Lease Agreement
- Power of Attorney
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Eviction Notice
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- Partner With Us
- Do Not Sell My Personal Information
The document above is a sample. Please note that the language you see here may change depending on your answers to the document questionnaire.
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