Assembling a Business Continuity Planning Team

Disasters will strike your organization—it’s only a question of time and severity. You want your organization to survive the impact of a disaster and continue serving customers in a reliable, efficient manner. Business continuity planning (BCP) strives to reduce the possibility that your business will be interrupted in the event of a disaster. Forming an appropriate team is the most critical step in BCP. You need to ensure that you have the right balance of technical skills, business process knowledge, leadership, and attitudes to successfully develop an effective continuity plan for your organization. 

Business Continuity Planning TeamBusiness Continuity In a Nutshell
Disasters will strike your organization—it’s only a question of time and severity. Of course, you want your organization to survive the impact of a disaster and continue serving customers in a reliable, efficient manner. After all, an interruption in your business will cost you time and money. If you can’t meet your customers’ needs, you might lose them to your competitors. It’s a difficult challenge to win back a lost customer, especially if the cost of switching providers is high.

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery
The goal of disaster recovery is to get your business up and running again as quickly as possible after disaster interrupts your normal activities. Business continuity planning (BCP), on the other hand, strives to reduce the possibility that your business will be interrupted in the event of a disaster. BCP uses a combination of technology solutions and business processes to make your organization disaster-resistant.
Legal or regulatory requirements may, in fact, mandate that your company provide business continuity services. For example, institutions that process credit card transactions are required by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to address business continuity in the event of a major disruption, disaster, or failure. Other laws and regulations apply to other industries.

Selecting a BCP Team
Forming an appropriate team is the most critical step in BCP. You need to ensure that you have the right balance of technical skills, business process knowledge, leadership, and attitudes to successfully develop an effective continuity plan for your organization. You need to include four types of team members:

• Team leaders
• Technical team members
• Business process team members
• Supporting team members

Not all team members should participate in every BCP conversation. The team leader is responsible for ensuring that talents and skills are put to good use. For example, if you’re going to conduct a series of lengthy business process interviews, it might be wise to select a subset of the
team familiar with those processes to conduct the interviews and then report back to the full team with a summary of the results. All of the team members will appreciate such effective use of their time.

Have a question about assembling a business continuity team? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!

About the Author

HP Circle Logo Closeup© 2007 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, LP
The HP Small Business Connection brings together products, services, and solutions designed with your business in mind.