How to develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) manual in 5 simple steps

For those that interested with the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) development or just having a task from your company to create a BCP manual here is five simple steps that you can do to develop a sounds simple BCP documentation.

1. Analysis Phase
This is the first step during BCP development which consist of
- Impact analysis
- Threat analysis
- Impact scenarios

2. Solution Design Phase
The second step is to identify the most cost effective disaster recovery solution that meets two main requirements from the impact analysis stage. For IT applications, this is commonly expressed as:
- The minimum application and application data requirements
- The time frame in which the minimum application and application data must be available

3. Implementation Phase
The implementation phase, quite simply, is the execution of the design elements identified in the solution design phase. Work package testing may take place during the implementation of the solution, however; work package testing does not take the place of organizational testing.

4. Testing and Organizational Acceptance Phase
The purpose of testing is to achieve organizational acceptance that the business continuity solution satisfies the organization's recovery requirements. Plans may fail to meet expectations due to insufficient or inaccurate recovery requirements, solution design flaws, or solution implementation errors. Testing may include:
- Crisis command team call-out testing
- Technical swing test from primary to secondary work locations
- Technical swing test from secondary to primary work locations
- Application test
- Business process test

5. Maintenance
Maintenance of a BCP manual is broken down into three periodic activities.
- Confirmation of information in the manual, roll out to ALL staff for awareness and specific training for individuals whose roles are identified as critical in response and recovery.
- Testing and verification of technical solutions established for recovery operations.
- Testing and verification of documented organization recovery procedures. A biannual or annual maintenance cycle is typical.

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