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Business Continuity Planning is a subset of risk management planning when thinking about how to keep business operations going. There’s a life cycle when considering all components of the business. Any organization should have in place a version of business continuity planning, thinking about how it will continue its operations in the event that something occurs. Subscribe for more episodes weekly!
Welcome to Business Bites. My name is Sara. This is the podcast for busy professionals who want the quick hits of business terminology, historical context, and strategies for integration. This week we're going to be talking about business continuity planning. Business continuity planning or risk management planning are connected in a way when we're thinking about how to keep operations of a business going. There's a life cycle when we're thinking about business continuity going from analysis, solution design, implementation, testing and acceptance, and then maintenance.
Any organization should have in place a version of business continuity planning, thinking about how it will continue its operations in the event that something occurs. And this can be any disruptive event. Most times when I talk to organizations, people think about business continuity as a disaster has occurred or some really serious issue. However, business continuity could be needed when you have a data ransom or you have an environmental factor such as a snowstorm or other means for people not being able to do their work. You may need to trigger a business continuity plan in one of those types of situations as well, not necessarily some global risk.
When we're thinking about business continuity, as I mentioned earlier, it is a subset of risk management planning. And it's important to remember that when we're thinking about why this is so important for organizations. It starts with thinking about all of the different components of the business in the analysis phase. What are some of the areas that we have that are most critical and that would be part of the business struggling if we weren't able to continue doing? How do we withstand a challenge in that specific situation?
Then the organization needs to think about solution design. What would we do if we were not able to do some of our core services, some of our core products? How would we solve for that in a hypothetical situation? Implementation is part of thinking about how does it get brought into our operations? How do we think about actually integrating this step-by-step, including roles, including specific timelines, including a lot of details about what actually gets triggered? The more details that are included in this stage, the more likely they'll be success. In the moment, it can feel like it's too detailed or too much effort being spent in that implementation or outlining phase. However, in an actual crisis or disaster scenario, having detailed plans makes a huge difference to be able to ensure that actual business operations can continue.
Next, is testing and acceptance. This is actually running through and doing drills of your specific plan. When you're thinking about a fire in your organization, it's important to do the fire drill before something happens, rather than waiting for the building to be on fire to test if your plan worked. This is part of testing and acceptance, working through the specific implementations in a mock scenario or a simulation to test whether or not the plan that you put into place actually works. Then it's maintenance. Maintenance is one of the areas that people tend to struggle with that upkeep. How do we make sure that this plan continues to be up to date? Continues to reflect the needs of our organization, the services that we offer, and the individuals who are operating it.
You can often find that organizations spend time working on their business continuity plan and then might leave it on a shelf for three, five, or even 10 years. Imagine how many changes happen in your organization even within one calendar year. And if your business continuity plan isn't getting updated at the same time, in that maintenance phase, then you will have challenges.
This has been Sara with Business Bites. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you on what other terminology you would like bite-sized. As always, give us a quick rating on your platform of choice and share this podcast with a friend. We'll see you next time.