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Objectives of Business Continuity Management System

July 22, 2023

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Business continuity management (BCM) is important to any organization’s operations. BCM helps organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from any type of disruption. It is essential for organizations to have a clear understanding of the objectives of a BCM system to ensure that it meets all the necessary criteria and provides the best possible protection against unexpected events.

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A comprehensive Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) is essential. No matter how well-crafted the strategy of a business might be or how successful its operations are if precautions aren’t taken to ensure continuous operation during unanticipated crises or emergencies.

The business may suffer huge financial losses or even collapse completely. BCMSs can help organizations equip themselves with the knowledge and resources they need to face any contingency, no matter what form it takes confidently, from physical events like flooding and fire to digital security lapses or software bugs.

In this blog post, we’ll look at why BCMS has become so important for businesses today and also explore some of the key objectives that an effective BCMS should strive for in organizations.

Objective #1: Minimizing Losses During Disruptions

The main goal of a business continuity management system is to minimize losses during disruptions. This includes minimizing financial losses, operational losses, and any other losses that could occur due to a disruption in service or operations

In having an effective BCM system in place, organizations can minimize their losses by taking proactive steps such as developing contingency plans and testing them regularly.

Objective #2: Ensuring Business Continuity

A key objective of a BCM system is to ensure business continuity in the face of any type of disruption. This means that companies must be prepared for any potential disruption to continue operations with minimal disruption.

To do this, organizations must develop effective strategies for responding quickly and efficiently when disruptions occur. This should include creating emergency response plans and training staff on how to execute them appropriately.

Additionally, businesses should consider investing in technology solutions that can help them maintain operations even if disruptions occur in their supply chain or customer base.

Objective #3: Enhancing Risk Mitigation Strategies

Another objective of a BCM system is to enhance risk mitigation strategies so that organizations can better prepare for different threats and risks . Organizations should develop comprehensive risk management plans that cover all areas of their operations, including financial risks, technological risks, environmental risks, human resources risks, and more.

These plans should be tailored specifically to each organization’s needs to effectively identify potential threats and create appropriate responses for each situation. Further, organizations should also make sure their risk management plans are regularly monitored to be updated based on changing conditions or new threats/risks that arise over time.

Business continuity planning is an organization-wide management process that aims to prevent service interruptions and restore the organization’s full functionality. It is essential to keep vital operations functioning in the event of a natural disaster and to return to business as soon as possible.

Business continuity plans are prepared to deal with various unpredictable events, including fire outbreaks, cyber-attacks, and other external threats.

Sometimes disasters occur without warning. Even if we’ve been advised before the event, there are still several factors in the event of an unexpected disaster. Each incident is unique, and understanding why business continuity is critical is essential.

business continuity plan

Business Continuity Planning Process

Business continuity planning is the process of developing an organized strategy to help ensure the continuous operation of a business in response to any potential disruption . It involves creating a plan that outlines how a business will respond to various threats, such as natural disasters, pandemics, and cyber-attacks.

The goal of this planning is to minimize downtime and keep operations running smoothly during difficult times.

The first step in business continuity planning is assessing the risk factors that could potentially disrupt the company’s operations. This includes identifying potential threats, evaluating their likelihood of occurring, and determining their impact on the business if they do occur.

After identifying these risks, the next step is to create a comprehensive business continuity plan . This plan should outline strategies for responding to such events and procedures for restarting or continuing operations afterward.

The third step in this process involves putting the plan into action. This includes regularly testing different aspects of the plan and ensuring that all personnel involved are adequately aware of their roles and responsibilities within it. Finally, all necessary resources must be allocated for carrying out the tasks outlined in the plan.

How to write a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan bcp is a document that outlines how a business will continue to operate during and after an unexpected event. The plan comes after doing a business impact analysis on the organization to determine critical business processes.

The purpose of a business continuity plan is to minimize the impact of an interruption to normal business operations. Business continuity institute(BCI) provides information on business continuity systems frameworks that organizations can follow.

  • Identify the essential functions of the business Assess the current processes and services to identify which functions are essential for day-to-day operations.
  • Develop strategies for keeping those functions running during an interruption Identify methods that can be used to sustain these critical functions, such as backups, redundancies, or alternative solutions.
  • Create a plan for implementing the strategies Develop detailed plans on how each strategy will be implemented, who is responsible for implementing it, and when it should be done by.
  • Test and revise the plan regularly Test any strategies identified in step two, and refine and revise them as needed. Create easy-to-follow checklists, so employees know what needs to be done in different scenarios. Review your plans regularly to ensure they are still relevant and up-to-date with changes in technology or procedures.

It is important that your business develop and maintain an employee team that helps you develop and maintain continuity plans. Ideally, the team should comprise the Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Director of IT. Simple, effective plans.

At a minimum, provide continuity of group role responsibilities and contact info. Alternatively, it is necessary to add rules or checklists in the event of unexpected incidents. The business’s daily functions depend upon various resources including people and power tools. It’s no different when recovering from an unavoidably destructive situation.

Disaster recovery plan

The disaster recovery plan is very detailed, but it is not an integral component of the recovery plan. It generally has been limited to concentrating more on information technology systems in a business . The disaster recovery plan aims to preserve data for rapid recovery if a disaster occurs.

Usually, they focus on IT operations because they influence everything within the company. Disaster recovery plans involve protocols from outside IT departments, especially from financial industry regulatory authority. For example, there are steps needed to be taken by recovering personnel to ensure a smooth resumption.

Mitigation strategies

The mitigation strategies are based on risk evaluation points. The companies must assess their risk and mitigation measures. In determining a mitigation policy, it is important to understand the cause or failure of a control system. These dangers should be avoided. The risk assessment process is performed with the goal of assessing the threat.

This step will help reduce risk by preventing the disruption of business processes. Companies have been provided with tools to detect threats. The detection mechanisms are used as monitoring instruments that help identify and report mistakes within the business process.

Mitigation strategies are a vital component of this continuity plan . They can involve risk assessment, up-to-date insurance guidelines, updated emergency procedures for personnel, asset protection plans, and the development of backup operations. Considering these strategies as part of an actionable plan that works best for your organization is important.

It should act as a framework to ensure optimal business operations even during distressful situations. With the required parts in place, you can easily provide your business with certain protections beyond financial assistance or other external factors – allowing it to emerge stronger post-crisis.

Business Continuity Plan

Generally, the plan aims at maintaining a smoothly run business. This plan focuses on a whole enterprise and is specific in identifying situations in which operation risks can arise. This objective will help businesses remain operational and continue to perform their business activities.

When implementing an effective business continuity strategy, companies are receptive to change even when emergency situations arise. This helps minimize disruption during and after catastrophes. Besides the requirements, the company must address the needs of the vendors and their partners.

business continuity

Business Continuity Plan Template

Using these templates, you can document business activities during disruptions and disasters to maintain critical processes. The plan contains a space for recording business functions, recovery priority, recovery plan, and alternative locations. Plan systematically for interruptions and minimize downtime so you can maintain optimal performance.

Strategic recovery

The recovery strategy is designed to recover business revenues lost in catastrophic situations. Identifying the loss in profits and finding the necessary resources is essential. In addition, it is important to indicate how quickly a person needs a certain amount of resources to acquire.

In deciding which resources are available, it’s a matter of how to find and develop them. This recovery program provides guarantees. Moreover, you have to look at the resources necessary to support critical business functions.

Crisis response strategy

Unless there is no incident management plan, the organization may not be prepared to provide a plan of action in a crisis. This strategy allows firms to determine the most critical activities for disaster management . This usually covers evacuations, communications modes, and situational assessments.

It’s a basic document that defines how your business operates when alarming and unforeseen situations happen. BCP comprehensively plans various business processes, partners, assets, or workforce.

Creating a crisis response strategy is the key to effectively managing and minimizing the impact of any unexpected event. A well-crafted plan can help you maintain control and ensure that your business continues to operate without disruption.

There are four steps to creating an effective crisis response strategy:

  • Identify potential crisis scenarios List all potential risks and crises that could affect your business operations. This includes natural disasters, customer service issues, supply chain disruptions, security threats, etc.
  • Develop strategies for mitigating each scenario Develop strategies for responding to each identified crisis before it happens. These strategies should include specific actions such as backup plans, strategic partnerships, or alternative solutions.
  • Create a plan for implementing the strategies Develop detailed plans on how each strategy will be implemented, who is responsible for implementing it, and when it should be done by. Additionally, create checklists for every step so that employees know how to respond in different scenarios. Business continuity plan objectives must be followed when creating checklists.
  • Test and revise the plan regularly Test any strategies identified in step two, and refine and revise them as needed. Additionally, review your plans regularly to ensure they are still relevant and up-to-date with changes in technology or procedures.

Training program

The training program and timeline must be developed. Your training plan needs to be tested annually. It helps identify errors and gaps in the plan and updates it to the stakeholders. As you can see below, some businesses only test a plan once per year, which depends on business preferences.

The benefits of business continuity planning are obvious: unpreventable situations can occur anytime, from accidents to natural disasters.

Setting up the governance system

You should outline your team’s duties and their title and contacts. It is recommended that you include the organization diagram.

Key Business Continuity Management and Planning Considerations

Business continuity planning is essential for maintaining any organization’s long-term success and sustainability, regardless of its size. From understanding the scope of recovery goals to responding quickly and efficiently to an emergency situation, having a plan in place can be a lifesaver.

Even so, there are a few key considerations that should always be taken into account when developing a business continuity management plan. These include identifying potential risks within your organization’s activities and operations and assessing the impact of those risks on business objectives.

Determining which customer needs must be met in case of an emergency, developing strategies to mitigate any identified risks, analyzing the effectiveness of implemented plans on an ongoing basis, and regularly updating as required. With these elements in place, organizations can be better equipped to make informed decisions during times of crisis.

There are many tools and services to assist in developing and improving your business continuity plan. Among these factors you should look for is Business Continuity management software. There are hundreds of business continuity software available.

The importance of senior organizational leaders supporting your business continuity management and planning

Your leadership needs to support business continuity and action plan to succeed. This leadership has increasing importance for disasters, flood events, pandemics, and breaches in data centers.

Ensure senior management is committed to planning, developing, executing, and implementing business continuity and disaster recovery programs. Such programs work better when there’s high-level funding for developing a new one.

Business Continuity Plan Test Types

Test the effectiveness and training of your participants. Assuming smoother and more efficient communication between vendors and customers. Consider also integrating local emergency personnel where required.

Each type carries four different testing methods, requiring increased planning and attention. All drills need to be carried out regularly in your schedules. Make sure you record all the tests to allow people to understand what went well in the tests.

Business continuity planning is essential to business strategy and operations to keep going in the face of adversity. Different tests need to be implemented in a business continuity plan to ensure success. Penetration testing simulates a real attack by exploiting identified vulnerabilities and testing the plan’s defenses.

Operational readiness tests take place after changes, such as migrations or system upgrades, to ensure these changes haven’t affected any existing operations or procedures. A disaster recovery test verifies if the backup systems will work should an emergency occur.

Incident response tests evaluate how well an IT team responds when a disaster does occur and how well each employee knows their role in that situation. Finally, awareness testing examines employee knowledge of the company’s continuity plan and understanding of its role in it. All these tests come together to form a comprehensive business continuity plan that can be relied upon during times of crisis .

business continuity

Your organization’s Business Continuity Management System should accomplish

BCMs may help in many ways, such as helping businesses to reduce the risks from disasters and ensuring that they don’t happen. Generally means determining critical process equipment and tools, then implementing basic recovery strategies.

Business Continuity Management Policy Statements

Business continuity policy statements describe an organization’s business continuity management programs. Every staff member communicates, signs, and approves the policy statement.

Effective business continuity management is critical for any organization of any size. A policy statement is a useful tool that defines the core elements of business continuity management practices and procedures within an organization. This includes clear objectives, roles and responsibilities, planning objectives, incident response protocols, and supporting documents.

Additionally, a business continuity management policy statement outlines the steps needed to ensure that your organization can respond effectively to crisis situations to maintain uninterrupted operations. While each specific policy may vary depending on the organization’s individual needs.

Most of these statements should include risk assessment criteria, goals and objectives related to business continuity strategies and practices, and guidance on how these strategies are implemented. Taking time to develop a comprehensive business continuity policy can protect businesses from unexpected events in a swiftly evolving environment.

Challenges in creating a business continuity plan

Challenges in creating a business continuity plan can include:

1) Assessing organizational needs and determining the scope of the BCMS :-Assessing organizational needs and determining the scope of the BCMS requires an analysis of current operational processes and an evaluation of potential threats and their impacts.

This includes analyzing existing resources and capabilities to identify preparation or response strategy gaps. Additionally, clear communication and cooperation with key stakeholders are essential to ensure that all areas impacted by the plan are included.

2) Establishing policies, procedures, and resources required to respond to potential risks :-Establishing policies, procedures, and resources required to respond to potential risks requires an in-depth look into the organization’s needs and capabilities.

This includes determining the risks the plan should address, such as natural disasters, cyber security threats, or other incidents. Once the scope has been determined, relevant policies should be established, along with the appropriate procedures and resources necessary to respond effectively. The plan should also be regularly evaluated and updated as needed.

3) Identifying appropriate personnel roles and responsibilities to ensure full implementation of the plan:- Ensure full implementation of the plan requires a detailed evaluation of existing staff and their skillsets, along with an understanding of the specific tasks that need to be completed.

A clear chain of command should be established, with each person assigned particular responsibilities, to ensure smooth execution. Additionally, resources should be allocated appropriately to support personnel and allow for effective monitoring of progress.

4) Preparing for changing threats and developing strategies for responding to them : Requires an understanding of the current landscape and future trends. Organizations should continually assess their risk exposures and update plans accordingly.

This involves conducting regular vulnerability assessments, reviewing security policies, and developing incident response plans . Furthermore, organizations should create a culture that encourages employees to report any suspicious activity or potential vulnerabilities to be prepared for any incidents that may arise.

5) Developing cost-effective solutions designed to minimize disruptions: carefully considering the company’s needs and priorities. Companies should explore technology-based solutions and process-oriented alternatives, such as improving communication protocols or introducing automation where appropriate.

Solutions should be assessed for their potential return on investment, and implementation must consider any disruptions to regular operations. Companies should ensure that the chosen solution aligns with their overall objectives and values.

6) Ensuring timely updates of procedures, plans, and protocols as needed : is essential to ensuring that an organization remains secure and prepared for any potential threats. Companies should regularly audit their existing policies and procedures and update them in line with the latest best practices or changing requirements.

Developing clear communication protocols can ensure that everyone knows the most up-to-date information regarding security risks and policies.

disaster recovery

Business continuity management systems are essential for ensuring your organization’s operations remain uninterrupted during times of disruption or crisis situations. By understanding these three key objectives—minimizing losses during disruptions, ensuring business continuity , and enhancing risk mitigation strategies.

Organizations can develop effective BCM systems that will help them stay resilient no matter what challenges may arise in the future! With a well-designed BCMS in place, businesses can confidently know that they have taken all necessary steps towards protecting themselves from unforeseen events while continuing operations with minimal interruption or loss!

Have you read?

Why business continuity management?

What is business continuity management system?

Key components of business continuity management system

Business continuity management system examples

What is a business continuity management system?

Purpose a business continuity plan

Key elements of business continuity management system

Key components of business continuity management system.


Chris Ekai is a Risk Management expert with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a Master’s(MSc) degree in Risk Management from University of Portsmouth and is a CPA and Finance professional. He currently works as a Content Manager at Risk Publishing, writing about Enterprise Risk Management, Business Continuity Management and Project Management.

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Business Continuity Simplified

By Andy Marker | December 17, 2018 (updated October 24, 2021)

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Unexpected work interruptions can cripple a business and cause millions of dollars in expenses and lost business. Learn about the importance of business continuity planning and management from experts. 

In this article, you’ll learn the definition of a business continuity plan and the primary goal of business continuity planning . Additionally, you’ll learn the steps involved in business continuity planning and about the business continuity lifecycle .

What Is Business Continuity Management?

In business continuity management (BCM) , a company identifies potential threats to its activities and the threat impact. The company then develops plans to respond to those threats and continue activities through any crisis.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) describes how a business will continue to run during and after a crisis event. The BCP details guidelines, procedures, and work instructions to aid continuity.

To learn more about writing a plan, see our how-to guide to writing a business continuity plan .

What Is Business Continuity Planning?

Business continuity planning (BCP) refers to the work a company does to create a plan and system to deal with risks. Thorough planning seeks to prevent problems and ensure business processes continue during and after a crisis.

Business continuity planning ensures that the company deals with disruptions quickly, and minimizes the impact on operations. Business continuity planning is also called business resumption planning and continuous service delivery assurance (CSDA) .

What Is the Primary Goal of Business Continuity Planning?

The main goal of business continuity planning is to support key company activities during a crisis. Planning ensures a company can run with limited resources or restricted access to buildings. Continuity planning also aims to minimize revenue or reputation losses.   

A business continuity plan should outline several key things that an organization needs to do to prepare for potential disruptions to its activities, including the following:

  • Recognize potential threats to a company.
  • Assess potential impacts on the company’s daily activities.
  • Provide a way to reduce these potential problems, and establish a structure that allows key company functions to continue throughout and after the event.
  • Identify the resources the organization needs to continue operating, such as staffing, equipment, and alternative locations.

Business Continuity Planning Steps

A business continuity plan includes guidelines and procedures to guide a business through disruption. The efforts to create a plan are the same for large or small organizations. A simple plan is better than no plan. 

The basic steps for writing a business continuity plan are as follows:

  • Create a governance team.
  • Complete your business impact analysis (BIA) and risk assessment documents.
  • Document your plan. Remember to include detailed guidelines and procedures that cover key processes and facilities.
  • Test and update the plan regularly.

The Business Continuity Management Lifecycle

Business continuity management includes preparing for and handling unexpected events. BCM has a six-step lifecycle. This cycle repeats during both in regular business times and crises, as you take the right steps to keep activities always running.

The BCM lifecycle includes the following points:

  • Mitigate Risk: Proactively identify business continuity risks to your company, and plan how your company will respond.
  • Prepare: Train staff on your business continuity plan and ensure they understand what they need to do to help the business respond.
  • Respond: Ensure that your company and all employees respond appropriately to a crisis. Be prepared to adapt in the moment.
  • Resolve: Ensure that the company plans how to communicate effectively with staff and that it does so appropriately during the crisis.
  • Recover: Inform employees, customers, and other important people about the status of the crisis and your company’s response.
  • Resume: Communicate with employees and others after the crisis ends.

What Are Business Continuity Risks or Events?

Also called business continuity events, business continuity risks are the most common events that can disrupt a company’s regular operations — these can be natural and human-made crises. Defining these risks is a vital part of business continuity planning.

Such events might include the following:

  • Severe weather
  • Natural disasters (tornadoes, floods, blizzards, earthquakes, fire, etc.)
  • A physical security threat
  • A recall of a company’s product
  • Supply chain problems
  • Threats to staffing and employee safety
  • Accidents at an organization’s facilities
  • Destruction to a company’s facilities or property
  • Power disruptions
  • Server crashes
  • Failures in public and private services (communications, transportation, safety, etc.)
  • Environmental disasters, including hazardous materials spills
  • Network disruptions
  • Human error/human-made hazards
  • Stock market crashes
  • Cyber attacks and hacker activity

Any of these triggers can result in broader problems for a company, such as danger or injury to staff and others, equipment damages, brand injury, and loss of income and net worth. Business continuity management and planning address and mitigate these contingencies.

What Is a Business Continuity Strategy?

A business continuity strategy is more often called a business continuity plan. The strategy includes the processes and structure a company uses to manage an unexpected event.

Some people consider business continuity strategy to be a step in the planning process. In the strategy phase, business continuity planners describe the overall approach a company should take to prevent, manage, and recover from a crisis.

An Overview of Business Continuity Management and Planning

There are several goals, key elements, and benefits to business continuity management and planning. The primary goals of management and planning are as follows:

  • Build Company Resiliency: Doing so means that your company’s tools, buildings, and operations are resistant to — and not greatly affected by — most disruptions.
  • Create a Plan for Recovery (with Contingencies that Aid in That Recovery): If a major event does cause problems, you should have a plan for how to recover quickly. That plan will include contingencies. For example, you should plan for how key operations will resume if there is a widespread power outage.

Business continuity management and planning generally cover the following areas, with differences depending on the organization and industry:

  • Disaster Recovery: Disaster recovery involves recovering technology after a disruptive event. You can learn more about disaster recovery and download free templates in our comprehensive article .
  • Emergency Management: Emergency management focuses on avoiding and mitigating catastrophic risks to staff and communities.
  • Business Recovery: Considered part of business continuity, business recovery centers on short-term activities after a disruptive incident. The short-term is sometimes defined as less than 60 days.
  • Business Resumption: This describes the longterm phase of recovery (60 or more days after an even), wherein the company returns to near-normal conditions.
  • Crisis Management: Crisis management focuses on communicating with stakeholders during and after a crisis, and controlling damage during the event. To learn more, read our comprehensive guide to crisis management .
  • Incident Management: Incident management is an ITIL (previously known as Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework for reducing or eliminating downtime after an incident.
  • Contingency Planning: This covers outlier risks that are unlikely to occur but which could have disastrous results.

objectives for business continuity plan

“A well managed business continuity management program will help protect people, assets, and business processes,” says Scott Owens, founder and managing director of BluTinuity , a business continuity firm based in New Berlin, Wisconsin. “It may not be able to prevent all incidents. But it can reduce the likelihood of incidents, decrease response time, and lower the cost and impact of an incident.”

Key Elements of Business Continuity Management

All business continuity management programs should include a number of key elements, which serve to ensure that your plan is positioned for success and that you regularly update and improve it.   

These important elements include the following:

  • Governance: This is the structure and team your business sets up to create and monitor the program.
  • Business Alignment: This section details how your company’s current business continuity management and planning processes compare to expert approaches and industry standards.
  • Continuity Strategy and Recovery Strategies: Include a detailed plan that assesses risks to your organization and how you can recover, should those risks become reality.
  • Plan Documentation: Provide details on the plan that everyone in your company can access. To get started, see our roundup of free business continuity plan templates .
  • Tactical Implementation: This section includes details on the specific ways your company plans to recover from certain types of incidents.
  • Training: In this section, detail how you will train your staff to understand the business continuity plan and their role in it.
  • Testing: Include real-world simulations of a crisis event, and test how your company and its employees respond and the effectiveness of your business continuity plans.
  • Maintenance: Make changes to the plan where necessary to increase its effectiveness.
  • Monitoring: This section details how you will continue to compare industry standards and expert advice to how your plan is working.

To learn about formal requirements for business continuity planning and management, see our comprehensive article on the ISO 22301 standard . 

The Costs of Business Continuity Management

The costs to do an appropriate job of business continuity management can be significant. However, some reports say that the cost of unforeseen downtime may be as much as $2.5 billion a year for Fortune 1000 companies.

Kurt Engemann, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Business Continuity and Risk Management at Iona College in New York, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management and author of Business Continuity and Risk Management: Essentials of Organizational Resilience . In the book, he says that costs for business continuity preparation do not only include the groundwork to assess a company’s risks and plans to manage those risks. Rather, they also cover the needed backup facilities and equipment and company assets for emergency response. In addition, costs must cover resources for training employees and testing the plan.

Some experts have estimated that business continuity management and planning within only the crucial information technology aspects of companies can cost two to four percent of the information technology budget. But the costs are necessary, and worth it in the long run, according to business continuity experts.

“There is an initial outlay of a modest amount of money that will lessen the financial impact of a possible future crisis,” Engemann writes in his book. “Similar to an insurance policy, the financial benefit of BCM must be viewed from a long-term prospective.”

When an organization’s top executives complain about the costs, Owens says, “Ask them what it would cost their organization for an hour of downtime. Or eight hours. Or 24 hours. Chances are the cost — financial, operational, and to brand and reputation — of having key business functions unavailable for an extended period are significant. They will most likely find business continuity management to be worth the investment.” 

Benefits of Business Continuity Management

Like Engemann, Owens points out that there are significant benefits to the investment organizations make in business continuity management, including the following:

  • Mission Critical Processes: If you understand your key processes, you can plan to protect them and prioritize their recovery.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Laws or regulations require companies in some industries to implement a formal business continuity management system.
  • Satisfying Demands from Other Organizations: Some groups and companies may require that your company sets up BCM before they do business with you.
  • Insurance Payments: To get the maximum payments from an insurance policy after an event, a company must have suitable business continuity management policies in place.
  • Reputation Management: Your business’s brand will be greatly helped or hurt, depending on how an unforeseen event affects its operations.
  • Competitive Advantage: A strong business continuity plan can offer your company the advantage over peers who are not as well prepared.
  • Seamless Recovery: Cloud-based technologies make data backup, remote work, and business recovery affordable and accessible. Groups and businesses of all sizes can benefit from such tools. See our article on cloud computing for business continuity to learn more.
  • Time Savings: Planning prevents teams from scrambling at the last minute to cobble together a recovery effort. Strong planning helps you get back online — and back on track — faster.

Michael Herrera, CEO of MHA Consulting , a business continuity and disaster recovery firm, cites two other significant benefits: 

  • Keeping Customers and Avoiding Major Financial Losses: Getting operations back to normal quickly after an event means your company loses less money.

objectives for business continuity plan

“Your customers aren’t as patient as you think they are,” Herrera explains. “They expect you to have a business continuity system and they expect you to be up and running. Their patience does run out.”

  • Improving Day-to-Day Operations: Herrera says his firm’s clients often discover how business continuity planning gives them insights into the day-to-day operations of their company. “It really can help you with process improvement and getting a good understanding of what your business does every day.”

Additionally, strong business continuity planning will enable you to do the following:

  • Officially declare a disaster and alert senior management.
  • Assist in the development of an official public statement regarding a disaster and its effects on a business.
  • Monitor your business’s progress and present the recovery status.
  • Provide ongoing support and guidance to teams with pre-planned operations.
  • Review critical processing, schedules, and backlogs to keep everyone up to date on status.
  • Ensure businesses have both the resources and the information to deal with an unforeseen emergency.
  • Reduce the risk that an emergency might pose to employees, clients, and vendors, etc.
  • Provide a response for both man-made and environmental disasters.
  • Improve overall business communication and response plans.
  • Summarize both the operational and the financial impacts resulting from the loss of critical business functions.
  • Allow businesses to plan for a loss of function that has potentially larger, more severe consequences.

See our article on the importance and benefits of business continuity planning to read more expert examples of how business continuity can bolster your company. 

Key Business Continuity Management and Planning Considerations

Companies don’t have to face business continuity planning alone. There are a variety of tools and services that can help, including the following:

Consultant Services

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of consultants and companies that can provide help with developing your business continuity plan. Below are a few things to think about in choosing one:

  • How experienced are they? How long have they been around?
  • What’s their reputation as a company? What do their clients say about them?
  • Are they focused on a specific industry or area of business continuity, or do they have experience with a range of industries and a broad spectrum of business continuity?
  • How do they think about business continuity (as a somewhat separate practice or something that needs to be ingrained within your organization)?
  • How aligned is their advice with standards in your industry?

Business Continuity Software

There are also hundreds of pieces of business continuity software on the market. Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you looking for software that will automate the development of plan components, or software that offers more in-depth help during the planning phase?
  • What is the history of the software and the company behind it? How long has this particular software been on the market and what is the history and the reputation of the company behind it?
  • Is the software being continually updated and improved?

Below are some specifics to consider as you test drive the software:

  • Does it have an easy-to-use interface?
  • Does it cover all aspects and components of business continuity, including business impact analysis and risk assessment ?
  • Does it include sufficient storage for your company’s supporting documents?
  • Does it provide secure portable access via mobile or other technologies, if a crisis interrupts your information technology systems?
  • Does it provide strong data analytics?
  • Is it secure and private?

Primary Things Your Organization’s Business Continuity Management System Should Accomplish

While your business continuity management system will have various elements and details, there are some primary things it should do for your organization. They correspond to the key elements listed earlier in this article. 

For example, a BCM system should help do the following: 

  • Understand your company’s needs for business continuity and disaster preparedness. A BCM system should be able to assist company leaders in understanding the need for a business continuity management policy.
  • Understand which processes should be recovered and in what order.
  • Establish business continuity metrics to gauge success.
  • Plan for communicating with customers, staff, and other stakeholders.
  • Determine what tools, technology, and staffing are required to restore activities and support customers.
  • Establish remote-work support or relocation plans for staff and activities.
  • Implement ways to continually assess and manage continuity risks.
  • Monitor and review how its business continuity management system is working.
  • Continually improve the system.
  • Respond effectively in a real-world crisis, and allow the business’s critical operations to continue and all operations to resume quickly.

Although nobody wants to think about disasters or the effort needed to prepare to meet and mitigate crises, the alternative is the potential loss of reputation, income, or the entire business. In sum, planning translates to determining your key processes, equipment, and tools, and applying basic recovery strategies. 

The Importance of Senior Organizational Leaders Strongly Supporting Your Business Continuity Management and Planning

Your senior leaders must strongly support your company’s business continuity management plan for it to succeed. Such leadership is key as storms, floods, pandemics, and data breaches increase in force and frequency.

objectives for business continuity plan

“Make sure senior management is committed to the planning, development, execution, and implementation of a business continuity/disaster recovery program,” says Paul Kirvan , a business continuity consultant and a fellow of the Business Continuity Institute with 25 years of experience in business continuity work. “Otherwise, it simply won’t happen. Such programs work best if they have top-down support and funding, as opposed to being developed from the ground up.”

Business Continuity Plan Test Types

Testing verifies the effectiveness of your plan and provides training for participants. To ensure better communication, include suppliers, vendors, and other stakeholders in exercises. If appropriate, also consider including local emergency preparedness officials.  

There are four types of testing, and each requires increasing levels of planning, resources, and focus. You should try to run each type of drill regularly.

  • Plan Review: Plan reviews are often the first test applied to a new plan. In this test, top management and some key BCP personnel review the relevance and completeness of a plan. Such a review can verify risk and BIA results, and help you check for gaps and inconsistencies among continuity documents.
  • Tabletop or Structured Walkthrough: A tabletop test requires more preparation and time. It provides a role-playing exercise for recovery teams.
  • Simulation or Walkthrough Drill: In a walkthrough drill, your continuity team physically completes the type of tasks they'd find in a crisis. They may practice evacuating a building during a fire, restoring a backup, or switching to another communication frequency.
  • Functional or Live Scenario: Functional tests include a complete physical drill of continuity plans. Live tests may focus on one aspect of the plan or include the complete plan. They may include one part of the company or all team members.

Be sure to document what happened in the test so everyone involved in the exercise — and especially those who created the plan — can understand what did and didn’t go well, and can revise as necessary.

Business Continuity Management Policy Statement

A business continuity policy statement is a written document that outlines an organization’s business continuity management program. The policy statement should be communicated to all employees and should be signed and endorsed by the organization’s senior management.

See real-world examples of a business continuity policy statement .

Cultivating Awareness of Business Continuity Plans

The best business continuity system is useless if no one knows about it. Find ways to promote your plans in daily company activities, and discuss business continuity regularly in company and team meetings. Also, be sure to include the business continuity manager in cross-functional planning meetings so they can represent the business continuity perspective. Above all, exercise your plan, test your plan, and then test again.

What Is the Importance of a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan is vital to ensure that your company mitigates downtime during a crisis. Resuming activities quickly after an event also helps ensure your company’s financial health.

How to Write a Business Continuity Plan

It is crucial that your company set up a group of people to help create your business continuity plan. The group should include senior leadership, experts, and staff. A simple, practical plan is the best plan. At a minimum, include continuity team roles and duties, and team member contact information. You should also add guidelines and checklists for dealing with unforeseen events. 

Daily business functions rely on many resources — human, utilities, machines, and even paper, pens, and pencils. Business recovery after a disruptive event is no different. See our in-depth article on writing a business continuity plan for a complete list of resource types you may want to include in a plan.

You can ask certain questions as you form your strategy, and a business continuity plan usually includes common resources and elements. See our article on how to write a business continuity plan to learn more.

Business Continuity Plan Template

objectives for business continuity plan

This template can help you document and track business operations in the event of a disruption/disaster to maintain critical processes. The plan includes space to record business function recovery priorities, recovery plans, and alternate site locations. Plan efficiently for disruption and minimize downtime, so your business maintains optimal efficiency.

Download Business Continuity Plan Template

Word | PowerPoint | PDF

You’ll find other most useful free, downloadable business continuity plan (BCP) templates, in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and PDF formats in this article . 

What Is a Business Impact Analysis and Why Is It an Important Part of a Business Continuity Plan?

A business impact analysis (BIA) is one of the most important parts of business continuity planning. The analysis considers how an unforeseen disruption could affect a company. BIA results also suggest how a business can recover from a crisis.

The business impact analysis will include details on the following:

  • Recovery time objectives that outline the organization’s goals relating to how quickly various services and processes will resume after an event
  • Financial impact of an incident
  • Impact on customers
  • Other possible impacts of an incident
  • How the organization will prioritize recovery steps
  • How the organization will prioritize critical services or products
  • Identification of potential revenue loss
  • Identification of additional expenses the organization will incur because of the event
  • Identification of insurance an organization has or needs to have
  • Identification of an organization’s dependencies on other agencies, companies, and providers

See our business impact analysis toolkit to find guidelines and templates to get started.

Risk Mitigation for Business Continuity

Risk assessment is one of the first steps in preparing your business continuity plan. 

Risk management includes identifying and ranking risks, and risk control includes identifying policies and procedures to avoid and contain risks. 

To learn more about risk management , read our comprehensive guide.

The Importance of Periodically Testing an Organization’s Business Continuity Plan

Even the best business continuity plans are useless if you do not continually test them in real-world mockups. Testing helps you continuously improve procedures, and also keeps plans synched with current business context.

Robert Sollars, a security trainer and consultant from Mesa, Arizona, says, “You must exercise your plan and train your employees in it. This can be costly and unwieldy at times, but it is an absolute must. I liken this to buying a Lamborghini and letting it sit in the garage, never starting it up, never driving it, never doing anything but admiring it. Your plan must be taken out and test driven at least two to three times per year. If you don’t test it, then when the real thing pops you will realize what the books, consultants, and experts have told you is useless for your organization. Testing it allows you to figure out the bugs and tweak the necessary items to make it more efficient and effective.”

Owens adds, “If you haven’t tested your plans, you aren’t ready for a disaster.”

You can do some testing through simpler table top exercises — for example, by talking through hypothetical incidents with your team. But Owens and other business continuity experts say organizations should also periodically do exercises that more closely mimic a real-world event.

“Organizations need to move … to progressively more complex scenarios, involving cross-functional teams and interdependent systems and processes,” he writes in a blog post about business continuity. “This is the only way that a company can get outside its comfort zone to truly understand if what they have designed will really work. My preference is to involve role-playing, actors, and include participation from vendors, business partners, and local law enforcement when appropriate. This will almost always result in lessons learned and opportunities to improve the plan, which is another great outcome.”

The most important result from testing your plan is an understanding of where theoretical solutions won’t work in real events. This understanding will then allow your organization to amend the plan to be more effective.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan Governance Committee?

Many companies set up a business continuity plan governance committee, which consists of staff members and senior leaders (their continuity efforts is vital). Governance tasks include writing the business continuity plan and supervising ongoing plan maintenance.  

The committee is often responsible for the following duties:

  • Approving the governance structure of the committee
  • Clarifying the roles of committee members and others working on the plan
  • Overseeing the creation of working groups to develop and implement the plan
  • Providing overall direction and communicate important information to employees
  • Approving the continuity plan and essential specifics within it
  • Setting priorities within the plan

The committee often includes the following members:

  • A senior leader from the business, often the sponsor
  • A business continuity manager and assistant manager
  • The company employee, or outside consultant, who will serve as overall coordinator of the business continuity plan
  • The company’s security officer
  • The company’s chief information officer, or information technology leader
  • Representatives from the company’s business department, to help with the business impact analysis
  • An administrative representative

How to Cultivate Resilience in Your Organization

A resilient organization has the tools and abilities to survive a disruptive event, and also regularly looks for new threats and adapts to changes in the organizational and industry landscape. Resilience experts recognize two types of resilience: reactive resilience uses a company’s existing processes to meet and overcome a crisis; proactive resilience anticipates disruptions and considers methods to prevent problems.  

Real World Example: Lessons Learned About Business Continuity from the Terrorist Attacks of Sept. 11, 2001

Organizational leaders and business continuity experts learned a lot from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Worst of all, the attacks killed thousands of people. But they also severely disrupted communications, financial transactions, and some commerce in New York City and throughout the world.

The following are among the lessons learned:

  • Business continuity plans must be tested frequently, and updated where needed.
  • The plans must assume a wide range of threats.
  • The plans must take into account how much companies, agencies, and other entities depend on each other.
  • Key people from any organization must be available and reachable when an incident happens.
  • The ability to communicate, especially through landline phones, cell phones, and the internet, is vital.
  • Sites that organizations use for backup of their digital information should be located at a distance from their primary information technology site.
  • Employee support and counseling may be important during and after a crisis.
  • An organization should store copies of its business continuity plan at a location apart from its primary location.
  • Security perimeters around the scene of an incident may be large, which may affect employees’ access to organization facilities for long periods.

Legislation Governing Some Business Continuity Management and Planning

The United Kingdom did approved the Civil Contingencies Act in 2004, which requires businesses to have business continuity plans in place.

Some industries do have regulatory bodies that may impose business continuity requirements within those industries. For instance, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a private self-regulatory organization overseeing the U.S. financial securities industry. FINRA established FINRA Rule 4370. This rule requires securities firms to create and maintain written business continuity plans. Utility bodies, such as North American Electric Reliability Corporation ( NERC ) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( FERC ), also require continuity plans.

Guidelines, Standards, and Resources Providing Guidance on Business Continuity Management and Planning

Organizational leaders can use a number of standards set by industry and other groups to guide their business continuity planning and management programs. Below are some commonly used standards:

  • ISO 22301 : Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a standard-setting body, this group of standards sets out appropriate business continuity management practices. Learn more about how this standard can help businesses of all sizes in our guide to ISO 22301 . 
  • NFPA 1600 : Developed by the National Fire Protection Association, the standard is one of the most widely recognized in the U.S. on emergency preparedness and business continuity.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology SP 800-34 : Sets contingency planning standards for federal information systems in the U.S.
  • SPC-2009 — Organizational Resilience : Security, Preparedness and Continuity Management Systems provides critical business and infrastructure security standards developed by the American Society for Industrial Security.
  • ISO 27000 : Standards for security in information technology systems, which include standards for business continuity in information technology. Learn more about ISO 27000 and find free checklists and templates . 
  • DRI International : Professional Practices for Business Continuity Management
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Continuity Guidance Circular: Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Entities: An 86-page formal document, the circular presents FEMA’s perspective on how businesses can prepare for disasters.
  • Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety: Open for Business Continuity Toolkit: This site offers a video, FAQ, and downloadable continuity planning tools.

What Is the Business Continuity Institute?

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI), based in the United Kingdom, is a non-profit professional organization providing education, certification, and leadership on business continuity management. The Institute has more than 8,000 members in more than 100 countries.

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What is the primary goal of business continuity planning, and how to achieve it

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

Disaster often strikes without notice. Even with some prior warning, a multitude of factors can cause the best of intentions to result in errors, and mistakes when faced with disaster.  Every incident is unique, and understanding what is the primary goal of business continuity planning can ensure your business can respond to every disaster with a tailored and measured approach.

Below, we explain exactly what is the primary goal of business continuity planning, how to create a business continuity plan, and what measures you need to put in place to maximize your organization’s chances of success during a disaster.

On this page:

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

Why business continuity planning matters, advantages of business continuity planning, how to write a business continuity plan, difference between disaster recovery and business continuity, business continuity and insurance, testing your business continuity plan, business continuity standards.

To overcome any crisis, and minimize any impact to your staff, customers and the business, you need a robust business continuity plan (BCP).  Having a BCP demonstrates to your customers, insurers, investors, and stakeholders that your business is robust enough to overcome any disaster that it may face.

So, what is the primary goal of business continuity planning?

A business continuity plan presents how the business will proceed during a crisis. It is considered a blueprint for an organization to maintain continuous business operations during disasters, emergencies, and other business disruptions, and get back to normal business operations as early as possible.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP primary goal

What are the objectives of business continuity planning

Now we understand what the primary goal of business continuity planning is, let’s take a look at some of the objectives that businesses can achieve through business continuity planning:

  • Operations continuity assurance during disruption – Ensuring your business has the capability, systems, protocols, and practices in place to mitigate most probable forms of disruption
  • Improved mitigation of risks – By establishing risk management strategy and regular appraisal and assessment of existing, and new risks, businesses can improve the mitigation of risks.
  • Robust platforms continued operation – Making sure your organization has the necessary platforms (infrastructure, resources, technology, capacity), to operate in the event of a catastrophic disruption.
  • Improved commercial health, and competitiveness – Developing the capability of the organization to ensure it can operate more effectively, and better serve its customers, than its competitors during a catastrophic event.
  • Reducing the risk of financial loss – Increasing financial stability by ensuring the business can overcome any catastrophic event cost-effectively.
  • Improved customer confidence and reliability – Ensure the uninterrupted availability of all its critical services and products in the event of a catastrophic incident.
  • Secure contribution to the national economy – Through continued contribution to the local, regional and national economy, businesses can support local employment and industry.
  • Increase capability to manage business-impacting disruptions
  • Increased resilience against disruption, to protect sales, production, employees, customers

While the terms business continuity and disaster recovery are closely related, they a different.  Typically, disaster recovery is associated with the technology function of your business.

See also: Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

Your disaster recovery plan should form a core component of your business continuity planning and strategy. This approach puts the emphasis on the whole business, not just on technology alone, reinforcing the concept of continuity of all key business processes, beyond information technology systems.

What are the primary objectives of business continuity planning

The primary output from the business continuity planning process is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). The BCP comprises many elements which, collectively, define the approach an organization should take to recover to normal business operations.

See also: Understanding Business Continuity

So, we understand what the primary goal of business continuity planning is, and we also understand some of the objectives that a business can fulfil through business continuity planning.  But why does business continuity matter, and what are the advantages for your business?

Businesses strive to remain competitive regardless of whether they are a small business or medium organization, or the industry they are in. For your business, it is crucial to retain and maintain your existing customers while simultaneously growing your customer base.

What does this have to do with business continuity planning and achieving the primary goal and objectives?

Having the capability to manage any adverse incident effectively can positively affect your business’ reputation and market value, increasing customer confidence.

At a basic level, there is no better test of your capability in serving your customers then than immediately following an adverse event.

Most businesses have several disaster recovery solutions available, ranging from data backups to data recovery. But what recovery processes do you have for the remainder of your business processes and workflows?

objectives for business continuity plan

There is an increase in consumer and regulatory expectations for security today. Organizations need to understand the processes and workflows within their business and the impact of the loss of these processes in the event of an adverse incident.

Disruptions to an organization’s operations can be very costly, both in the short the long term. They can adversely affect the market value and consumer confidence.

If in the event of a disruptive event, customer experience is negatively impacted, then those customers can quickly abandon the organization permanently.

Building your recovery strategy around these processes can be mitigated through business continuity planning:

  • Risk mitigation and risk management strategies – The best way to reduce the impact of a disruption is to avoid it. By implementing, or adjusting, existing work processes and procedures, businesses can often significantly reduce the impact of any disruption or even avoid altogether.
  • The protection of crucial business functions and assets – In the event of a significant disruptive incident, you need to take swift action to protect essential functions and assets in your business. For example, in the event, your supply chain is disrupted, you should have in place alternative sourcing solutions to minimize any interruption to service delivery.
  • Steps to restore impacted operations and assets as quickly as possible – Any protective measures, such as sourcing from an alternative supply chain, should only be temporary. What you should be aiming for, and as per the primary goal of business continuity planning, is for your business return to normal operations, at the earliest opportunity.

Business continuity planning can help your business react in an efficient and effective manner to unplanned disruptive incidents and events, reducing losses and impact on your business’ ability to operate.

Many businesses are facing deliberate and accidental damages. These damages can cause significant disruptions in the operations and interfere with preparing for emergencies.

That’s why we have business continuity planning. It helps you with the recovery strategy, prepare for the unexpected incidents, and show you the ultimate benefits.

Importance of business continuity planning

Whatever problems you’re facing with your business, you are bound to end up with some consequences for the best or the worst.

While you can’t altogether avoid getting hit, you can at least try to reduce the effect by executing a clear and comprehensive business continuity plan.

A perfect plan will help you survive. Make sure you throw your plan out there and test it. Don’t forget to see how you can minimize the potential impact of crises .

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP benefits

Key benefits of business continuity planning

While we’re at it, let’s see how business continuity planning can help you:

  • keeps your business trading during and after a crisis
  • recovers operations more quickly after interruptions
  • reduces expenses and duration of any disruption
  • reduces risks and financial exposure
  • builds considerable seller-customer confidence and trust
  • safeguard company reputation
  • develops confidence within the business
  • complies with regulatory or legal requirements
  • insures against otherwise unacceptable risks
  • saves lives, if dangerous events (such as a fire) occur

You may find the basis for business continuity planning to be two linked, but distinct practices :

  • Risk assessment – it shows the different type of situation you may face
  • Business impact analysis (BIA) – this determines the cooldown period for major activities

Priorities and deadlines for activities are BIA’s territory. While risk assessment is limited to drawing the possible scenarios, the effects, and the danger.

These two provides you with the most reliable information you can use to develop your continuity plan.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP process

Your business continuity plan (BCP) should outline the course of action you need to take to restore business functions as quickly as possible.

Business continuity plans are tailored to specific business workflows and processes, with each BCP unique to each organization.  However, there are some common steps that businesses undertake when developing business continuity plans:

  • Assignment of a business continuity planning team – The business continuity planning team, will coordinate the activities required to assemble and develop the plan. The contact details of for each member of the team should be documented, as well as the role for each team member within the management structure.
  • Risk analysis and assessment – The first step is to identify potential areas of risk, the likelihood of that risk occurring, and the level of impact that risk will have on the business. Read more about IT risk and technology risk assessment methodologies .
  • Analysis of the potential impacts of disruptions – A business impact analysis, or BIA , assesses the impact that any risks would have on a business’ operations. It will also ascertain any financial impacts too. This analysis helps the business continuity planning team to prioritize the plan’s sequence of events, and determine restoration timelines, in terms of RPO and RTO .
  • Strategy development – The protection and restoration of business functions, process, and procedures will be a core part of the business continuity plan. The team will need to coordinate, identify and document action plans to address each type of risk. The action plans need to be tailored to fit specific scenarios, such as a natural disaster, as well as a specific business unit.  Disaster recovery plans fall into this step.  For instance, if a flood was to damage critical computing equipment, the IT department may need to restore data from backups.
  • Training, testing, and exercises – It is crucial to test the plan to evaluate the plan’s feasibility. Exercises will help the business continuity team to identify potential issues, as well as familiarizing them with the content of the plan. Training activities must be performed regularly to ensure that team members stay competent and proficient.
  • Regular revisions – Your business continuity plan should be continually updated, and where necessary revised, to maintain its relevance and usefulness. For instance, the plan may identify the use of software or personnel that are no longer available. Without an updated plan, any business continuity effort could be compromised.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

What should a business continuity plan include?

The nature of the solution will depend on the type of disruption.  Try covering the following areas:

  • Emergency response – your priority should be the welfare of the suffering people before doing something about the crisis. To ensure them the maximum safety develop incident response flowcharts or checklists, evacuation guidelines and procedures, list of relocation sites, etc. After assuring safety to each and everyone, you can now start measuring the damage and restoring procedures of your business.
  • Crisis management – decide the information flow to media, stakeholders, staff, etc. Agree on the communication protocols, determine managing the loss event, and make sure you have enough resources to support the recovery. Prepare yourself for the possible media interest. If required, consider appointing a spokesperson for any media queries, being clear and transparent by communicating with staff, customers, and suppliers before the media.
  • Business recovery – Inform BIA’s detailed operational plans for critical functions and assets. To restore essential operations, identify the resources and the personnel you may need help from. Make sure all of you agree on the followable strategies and responses to reduce the loss of business. Make a plan that’s clear enough to get through everybody, and they can start taking actions immediately in emergencies. You can also try training them beforehand to deal better with such a situation. This will build a reflex in them with their assigned task.
  • Key contacts – create a list for both the internal and external people and organizations to reach them instantly for help. Also, assign them with roles you need them for during the crisis. Such as details of key staff, critical suppliers, local councils, neighboring businesses, police, utility providers, landlords, or insurers. Including details of service providers like glaziers, locksmiths, plumber, electricians, and IT specialists will also help. Don’t forget to include maps of your business premises’ layout as it’ll help the emergency services to start taking actions faster.

However, despite these plans, you need to consider the fact that there could be different disruptive situations that call for a different response. That’s why you need to keep several alternatives to address different disaster scenarios, whether it’s the worst-case events or the partial outages.

Business continuity plan templates and tools

You have two options to start your business continuity plan with. Go from scratch or get some help from online templates. To find your best suit, you might need to customize the plan according to your business needs.

You can get some help from GOV.UK’s business continuity management toolkit (PDF, 569K) [8] and get yourself a tailored plan according to particular circumstances of your business

You can run into a lot of technological incidents during a crisis. To recover your business from the damage, you need a disaster recovery plan. This plan will help you restore the destroyed data and applications due to the data center, servers, or IT infrastructure damage.

Use the disaster recovery plan besides the business continuity plan to get the necessary strategies to handle the risk.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning - BCP and DRP

Continuity planning relates very closely to business insurance. You’ll find that most of the insurers consider business continuity to be a prerequisite for providing cover. To get more details, check out business insurance .

Business continuity plans must be working documents which has to be written, updated, and tested daily to check the performance. Regular testing of your business continuity plan will provide an indication of performance during emergencies.

For effective testing, you should test it against something more plausible than hypothetical scenarios. Doing this will also help you figure out and fix some things before the test, like:

  • agreeing on clear testing criteria and procedures
  • agreeing on the procedures of documenting the findings
  • determining the process of correcting problems that arose during the test

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

Why should you test your business continuity plan?

To understand and verify that your plan is useful and fulfilling its purpose, you must run a thorough and careful. Doing this, you’ll be able to:

  • properly train your staff involved in the recovery of the business
  • figure out which part of your plan needs more strength
  • demonstrate your company’s recovering ability

You may consider outsourcing certain functions of your business to a third party. If you do, you’ll need to evaluate the adequacy of their business continuity plan and the compatibility with your plan.

How to test business continuity plans

You can run a few tests to estimate the effectiveness of your plan. For example:

  • checklist tests
  • table-top exercises
  • structured walk-throughs
  • scheduled simulations
  • full recovery / interruption tests

Now, besides running these tests, it’s vital that you take care of all the essential details involved in the plan, such as the correct contact information. If there’s something wrong with a phone number, then it can take a considerable chunk out of your precious time to find the right one and eventually resulting in a late response to the crisis.

How often should you test your business continuity plan?

It depends. You’ll see many businesses testing their continuity plan more than two times a year. You need to consider a few factors when concluding how often you should test the plan.

Factors such as the type of your business, turnover of staff, and changes in the procedures and technology used in your business, all need to be taken into account when determining the frequency for testing.

Maintain your business continuity plan

Creating and testing the plan may require a considerable amount of effort and time. But there’s more to it. You must update the plan daily to consider your business’ everchanging circumstances. Take moving into new business premises, for example.

The previous plan might not have anything in common with the new premises, which can be threatening as you face completely new sorts of risks. You’ll have to make a new plan and include a newly drawn map for the emergency services and also amend the contact numbers.

This can help review your business continuity plan annually and completing this review beside testing will ensure the maximum efficiency of the plan.

To understand the accuracy and efficiency of how your business continuity plans and procedures align with the best methods out there, you should measure them against and international standard.

What is the primary goal of business continuity planning

The standard defines the requirements for a management system to protect against, reduce the risks, and ensure the recovery from the crisis.

Find out more about the ISO 22301 business continuity management standard .

  • Understanding business continuity and crisis management
  • Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery – Understanding the difference
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  • Why all organizations need a data breach response plan
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Lucy has more than 23 years of experience in the technology industry. Specialising in the cloud and telecommunications sectors, Lucy has previously worked in senior management roles within HR & Operations for major national and international organisations such as BT, O2 and more recently, Vodafone. Lucy is currently the Deputy Online Editor at BusinessTechWeekly.com

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Definition of Business Continuity Plan Objectives

  • Small Business
  • Business Planning & Strategy
  • Business Continuity Plans
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The Business Continuity Institute defines the purpose of business continuity management as identifying “potential impacts that threaten an organization and provid[ing] a framework for building resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation and value-creating activities.” Therefore, the main objectives of a business continuity plan are to identify critical operations and risks, provide a plan to maintain or restore critical operations during a crisis, and create a plan to communicate with key people during the crisis.

Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment

The Office of Information Systems at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine defines the goal of a business impact analysis as identifying “an organization’s system resources, critical processes, allowable outage times and potential impacts that may result from a disruption in operations.” Risk assessments “identify vulnerabilities and threats that may impact the business unit's ability to fulfill” its objectives. By understanding the business and knowing potential risks, companies can reduce the probability that a disruption will occur, minimize the impact of a disruption, protect assets, and address weak points in operations.

Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives

The business continuity plan establishes both the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). The RPO considers how much of a company’s infrastructure, whether it be data, facilities, processes or other key components, needs to be restored before operations can resume normally. The RPO varies from Zero RPO, where no restoration is necessary, to Point of Failure RPO, where everything that occurred up to the failure must be restored. The RTO becomes the amount of time necessary to resume normal operations. By understanding the RPO and RTO of business units and processes, a plan to restore operations as quickly as possible can be developed.

Communication Plan

The objective of the communication plan is to define who will provide key communications during a crisis and the content, recipients, schedule, method of delivery, frequency and priority of the communication. By outlining communications in advance, companies protect the effect of a crisis on employees, reduce the impact of bad publicity, maintain customer service, bolster relations with vendors and address the concerns of other key stakeholders.

  • Business Continuity Institute: Certification Standards
  • Office of Information Systems, University of North Carolina School of Medicine: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Information Security and Privacy
  • North Carolina State University: Developing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans
  • Continuity Central: The Key Importance of Understanding Recovery Point Objectives
  • Finance Division, University of North Carolina: Guide to Business Continuity and Recovery Planning on Campus

Michele Jensen started writing professionally for businesses in 1999. Her writings include articles for eHow, Answerbag and COD, marketing materials and project-related documentation. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in international relations from Troy State University.

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  • 1 What Are the 5 Elements of a Business Impact Analysis?
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  • Business Continuity Plan Basics
  • Understanding BCPs
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What is a business continuity plan (bcp), and how does it work.

objectives for business continuity plan

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What Is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)? 

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company. The plan ensures that personnel and assets are protected and are able to function quickly in the event of a disaster.

Key Takeaways

  • Business continuity plans (BCPs) are prevention and recovery systems for potential threats, such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks.
  • BCP is designed to protect personnel and assets and make sure they can function quickly when disaster strikes.
  • BCPs should be tested to ensure there are no weaknesses, which can be identified and corrected.

Understanding Business Continuity Plans (BCPs)

BCP involves defining any and all risks that can affect the company's operations, making it an important part of the organization's risk management strategy. Risks may include natural disasters—fire, flood, or weather-related events—and cyber-attacks . Once the risks are identified, the plan should also include:

  • Determining how those risks will affect operations
  • Implementing safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks
  • Testing procedures to ensure they work
  • Reviewing the process to make sure that it is up to date

BCPs are an important part of any business. Threats and disruptions mean a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can't rely on insurance alone because it doesn't cover all the costs and the customers who move to the competition. It is generally conceived in advance and involves input from key stakeholders and personnel.

Business impact analysis, recovery, organization, and training are all steps corporations need to follow when creating a Business Continuity Plan.

Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan

Businesses are prone to a host of disasters that vary in degree from minor to catastrophic. Business continuity planning is typically meant to help a company continue operating in the event of major disasters such as fires. BCPs are different from a disaster recovery plan, which focuses on the recovery of a company's IT system after a crisis.

Consider a finance company based in a major city. It may put a BCP in place by taking steps including backing up its computer and client files offsite. If something were to happen to the company's corporate office, its satellite offices would still have access to important information.

An important point to note is that BCP may not be as effective if a large portion of the population is affected, as in the case of a disease outbreak. Nonetheless, BCPs can improve risk management—preventing disruptions from spreading. They can also help mitigate downtime of networks or technology, saving the company money.

How to Create a Business Continuity Plan

There are several steps many companies must follow to develop a solid BCP. They include:

  • Business Impact Analysis : Here, the business will identify functions and related resources that are time-sensitive. (More on this below.)
  • Recovery : In this portion, the business must identify and implement steps to recover critical business functions.
  • Organization : A continuity team must be created. This team will devise a plan to manage the disruption.
  • Training : The continuity team must be trained and tested. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the plan and strategies.

Companies may also find it useful to come up with a checklist that includes key details such as emergency contact information, a list of resources the continuity team may need, where backup data and other required information are housed or stored, and other important personnel.

Along with testing the continuity team, the company should also test the BCP itself. It should be tested several times to ensure it can be applied to many different risk scenarios . This will help identify any weaknesses in the plan which can then be identified and corrected.

In order for a business continuity plan to be successful, all employees—even those who aren't on the continuity team—must be aware of the plan.

Business Continuity Impact Analysis

An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis. It identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.

FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis. The worksheet should be completed by business function and process managers who are well acquainted with the business. These worksheets will summarize the following:

  • The impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and process
  • Identifying when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts

Completing the analysis can help companies identify and prioritize the processes that have the most impact on the business's financial and operational functions. The point at which they must be recovered is generally known as the “recovery time objective.”

Business Continuity Plan vs. Disaster Recovery Plan

BCPs and disaster recovery plans are similar in nature, the latter focuses on technology and information technology (IT) infrastructure. BCPs are more encompassing—focusing on the entire organization, such as customer service and supply chain. 

BCPs focus on reducing overall costs or losses, while disaster recovery plans look only at technology downtimes and related costs. Disaster recovery plans tend to involve only IT personnel—which create and manage the policy. However, BCPs tend to have more personnel trained on the potential processes. 

Why Is Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Important?

Businesses are prone to a host of disasters that vary in degree from minor to catastrophic and business continuity plans (BCPs) are an important part of any business. BCP is typically meant to help a company continue operating in the event of threats and disruptions. This could result in a loss of revenue and higher costs, which leads to a drop in profitability. And businesses can't rely on insurance alone because it doesn't cover all the costs and the customers who move to the competition.

What Should a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Include?

Business continuity plans involve identifying any and all risks that can affect the company's operations. The plan should also determine how those risks will affect operations and implement safeguards and procedures to mitigate the risks. There should also be testing procedures to ensure these safeguards and procedures work. Finally, there should be a review process to make sure that the plan is up to date.

What Is Business Continuity Impact Analysis?

An important part of developing a BCP is a business continuity impact analysis which identifies the effects of disruption of business functions and processes. It also uses the information to make decisions about recovery priorities and strategies.

FEMA provides an operational and financial impact worksheet to help run a business continuity analysis.

These worksheets summarize the impacts—both financial and operational—that stem from the loss of individual business functions and processes. They also identify when the loss of a function or process would result in the identified business impacts.

Business continuity plans (BCPs) are created to help speed up the recovery of an organization filling a threat or disaster. The plan puts in place mechanisms and functions to allow personnel and assets to minimize company downtime. BCPs cover all organizational risks should a disaster happen, such as flood or fire.  

Federal Emergency Management Agency. " Business Process Analysis and Business Impact Analysis User Guide ," Pages 15 - 17. Accessed Sept. 5, 2021.

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