Creating Effective Business Continuity Plan

June 10, 20201:43 pm556 views
Creating Effective Business Continuity Plan
Creating Effective Business Continuity Plan

Business continuity planning is a component of building business resilience during both normal and critical periods like today’s COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of a business continuity plan is to ensure that business will be able to survive during tough times. It permits an immediate response to a crisis in order to shorten recovery time and mitigate the impacts. 

In order to build an effective and successful business continuity plan, HR and business leaders must keep in mind to prioritise critical business activities, stabilise cash flow, extend financial resources to keep operational and maintain business reputation. Based on KPMG review, the business continuity plan in response to the current COVID-19 epidemic should focus on four areas, namely HR, business function, client service, and communication. Here are some important checklists when you’re planning business continuity.

See also: Post-Pandemic: Industries that May Have a Hard Time to Rebound

1- Human resources and communication 

  • Are the employees familiar with the business continuity plan and how does the organisation ensure they comply with it during this period? 
  • What is the possible impact on employees’ absences? 
  • Encourage flexible work arrangements, such as teleworking and work-from-home.
  • Limit travelling abroad.
  • Who communicates to disseminate the information within the organisation and customers? 

2- Processes and business function

  • Do HR or business leaders need to quantify financial management implications due to COVID-19? 
  • What are the critical functions and categories of employees for the organisation? 
  • Do we have reliable systems which allow flexible work arrangements? 

3- Client service  

  • Do HR and business leaders need to consider the circumstances under which the organisation might need to suspend operations due to COVID-19? 
  • To what extent are the customers’ dependent on the business? 
  • Do we need to limit the in-person meetings for the following 6 months? 

4- Communications, both internal and external

  • Engage with partners and staff regularly on the subject and keep them closely informed. 
  • Provide very specific personal health and safety instructions for all staff. 
  • Employees should have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities before the virus outbreak occurs, for instance, employees are informed of the business continuity plans measures that will impact them and be kept updated on the policies and progress on the measures to be implemented by the company in the event of a virus outbreak. 
  • Identify relevant stakeholders, such as suppliers, service providers and customers and provide key messages for each stakeholder group 
  • Digital marketing capabilities and customer relationship management need to be ready to allow staying in touch with clients. 

After answering the key questions above, HR and business leaders must push through the crisis by thinning of the recovery phase. The recovery phase will assist to respond effectively so that the company can minimise loss and reduce the time necessary for recovery. The basic question to answer in the recovery phase is: how will the business get back in line after a crisis? There are two key principles to consider when answering this question, namely timing and strategies. 

Timing 

The timing should be realistic. Timing also likely depends on the business-critical hits, such as how bad the crisis affects the business or how much investment should be invested to fully recover from it. Hence, each firm should have its own recovery timeframe. 

Strategies 

In this recovery stage, business recovery operational personnel should develop and operate strategies that prioritise the key elements of business operations. Some of the examples are emergency tool kit, alternatives to run the business (such as distributor, locations, facilities, etc.), increase alternate sources of cash flow, monitor progressively using a checklist.

Read also: Payroll Continuity Plan during COVID-19 Crisis