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Business continuity planning 101

The below are a series of considerations that should form the basis of your business continuity plan. Having a plan in place and ready to activate ahead of any crisis or change in business set up is crucial to ensure you are able to continue running your business and that there will be no significant impact to your customers.

People

  • TEAM: Ensure you have a core team responsible for business continuity planning who understand the plan in detail and management process. They will lead the activation of your business continuity plan if and when required and should include CTO, CFO and an HR lead (if these roles exist, alongside the CEO/MD)
  • ACCESS: Your business continuity plan needs to be accessible to this core team of people and additional office support / team leaders in the event of activation. Make sure it is up to date and easy to access.
  • COMMUNICATE: Communicate the fact that you have such a plan developed so that all staff are aware that there is a business continuity plan available and how this would be used and when it would be activated. For example, office fire, flood, environmental, technology outage/ cyber-crime
  • ACTIVATION: In the event of the business continuity plan being activated ensure there is a way to communicate quickly with all staff, so they are aware of the steps that are being taken to manage the business. This should be led by the CEO/MD/Leadership team with support from HR and could be via email, direct calls, phone messages, virtual meeting – depending on the nature of the incident and size of your business.
  • CONTACT: Ensure all staff are contacted by their direct leads to support the transition and help them through this period. It is important that you prioritise the health and wellbeing of your employees.

Technology

  • TOOLS: If people are unable to gain access to offices and their computer systems, will they have access to technology hardware for use at home (laptop / phone). Setting up a supply system to provide all staff with laptops or access to your systems via their own home systems is key to ensure remote working is seamless and possible, if required.
  • REMOTE ACCESS: Does everyone have remote access to a company server system and how can they quickly communicate with teams remotely through desk top software. Ensure monthly testing so that this works effectively for your remote workforce, should the need arise.

Communications

  • PARTNERS: Get in touch with your supply chain partners if required to ensure this is not affected and that any changes to process and timings with supply / communications is managed appropriately
  • CUSTOMER: If there is to be any delay to customer activity, ensure clear communications are provided and direct contact is made with core clients. Be transparent always
  • MEDIA: ensure you have a clear crisis comms plan in place and ready to activate, in order to manage any related media requests and also with guidance on how teams should handle the social media channels, and direct requests. Planning is key here and should include the creation of a crisis comms team, scenario planning, and leadership training (see crisis comms section).

Tags: business continuitybusiness planningCovid-19