Business Continuity Planning

Overview

If you wouldn't embark upon a trip without including important survival items and a list of emergency phone numbers "just in case", then you intuitively understand what a business continuity plan is at its core. Preparing for a disruptive change in "business as usual" is what business continuity planning is about. Preparation is accomplished by assessing risk potential, identifying critical business processes, analyzing business impacts of a disruption, creating a plan to mitigate identified risks and participating in exercises or tests that help refine the plan. Upon completion your department or business unit will be resilient and well-prepared to stay in operation under circumstances that are anything but business as usual.

To find out more about business continuity planning and to schedule an informative presentation to your group, please contact WSU's Business Continuity Specialist, Pam Bowers by email or at (937) 775-4535.

View our Business Continuity Planning Presentation Hand Out (PDF) for more information.

The Importance of Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity helps your department or business unit continue to function as a viable part of the entire organization in the event of a disruption to one or more critical locations, people or systems. Having a plan in place means your department or business unit will be able to effectively respond to a disruption by safeguarding people, minimizing loss of essential business services and maximizing timely recovery of critical functions. Business continuity planning benefits the larger organization by maintaining a good public image and reputation, reducing loss potential and enhancing operating efficiencies.

How ready is your area? Take the Readiness Quiz (PDF).

Getting Started

Business continuity planning at Wright State is organized based on three planning phases: building a Site Emergency Management plan, conducting a business process analysis and building the business continuity plan. It is important to complete each phase in order as valuable information will build upon the previously completed phase. In addition to completing each phase in order, the planning process is greatly facilitated if you complete the pre-work worksheets first. The information can be gathered in one or more business unit planning meetings and then using special planning software known as LDRPS, the information is entered into the system. Having your plan in LDRPS will ensure that it is securely housed, allowing easy updates to plan information and downloadable reports that can be held on portable storage devices or printed as hard copies. The Planning Phases tab contains important resources that will guide you through the three planning phases. Although there are some things that you can complete on your own, you may find that you need stepwise guidance in order to fully reap the benefits of the planning process. In any case, WSU's Business Continuity Specialist, Pam Bowers is available to provide additional training and planning assistance to your business unit for every phase of your planning efforts. She can be contacted at (937) 775-4535 or by email.

Planning Phases

Glossary of BCP Terms (PDF)

1

Building a Site Emergency Management (SEM) Plan

The Site Emergency Plan serves to guide activities within the first 4 hours after a disruptive event that impacts one or more critical locations, people or systems. It documents essential information that you will need in order to respond quickly, appropriately and, above all, safely. Essential information includes, a contact list or call tree of team members, key decision makers, vendors and others you may need to contact as part of your event response. It establishes the initial response team members and positions for key personnel and assigns essential tasks to each. It establishes an initial response location away from your usual work location that serves as an assembly place for initial response operations. Lastly, it houses essential documents specific to your business unit  that you may need to access to initiate response operations.

View a Sample Site Emergency Management (SEM) Plan (PDF).

Pre-Work for SEM Plan Completion

2

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

In this phase, you will examine all of your business processes, determining which processes will have the highest priority so that your plan will cover only the most critical processes. Once critical processes are identified and prioritized you will construct business continuity strategies around them in the third planning phase. 

Pre-Work for BIA Completion

3

Building a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

In this final phase, you will formulate and construct detailed plans around 3 outage scenarios; loss of location, loss of essential systems and loss of essential personnel. Loss of location involves determining an alternative work location where your operations can be housed until restoration of your primary work location and its contents is complete. Loss of essential technology systems will involve developing manual techniques with which critical processes can be replicated and streamlining process steps. Loss of essential personnel involves designating alternate personnel that could be tapped, streamlining critical processes, andidentifying procedural documents.

In addition to plan construction, you will need to determine the types of resources you will need to be able to continue the critical processes identified in Phase II.  Resources can include office furniture, office equipment, computer and telecommunications equipment, and other equipment specific to your operations as well as the human resources or teams that will be required to perform the identified critical business processes. Documentation important to the conduct of operations will be housed in the business continuity plan as well. A completed business continuity plan will provide capability to continue the most critical operations of your business unit. The plan addresses all business unit activities from about 4 hours after a disruptive event until such time that restoration of primary facilities and operating conditions are complete.

Sample Business Continuity Plan (BCP) (PDF)

Pre-Work for BC Plan completion

Asset Assignment Matrix (PDF)

Advanced Planning

Planning Using Living Disaster Response Planning Software (LDRPS)