Business Continuity Planning
FEMA has a BCP Generator (as well as a DRP Generator) on their website that seems to be directed at commercial business entities. I'm a municipality and BCP/DRP take on a different meaning for us because we're also the first responders to emergencies, so our "business" is public safety. The FEMA tools might be able to be adapted, but I haven't been able to take the time to figure out how. However, you may find it useful. Here's the URL:
FEMA has an excellent tool that will help you start your Business Continuity Plan. You can find examples and templates at http://www.ready.gov/business/implementation/continuity. There are additional resources available on the Internet. Many companies have made their BCP available to the public. These plans may provide you a guide for your plan.
I wish you the best of luck.
I spent the last year completely overhauling our internal BCP. Start with departmental Business Impact Analysis followed by detailed Critical Process Plans. We also implemented an emergency alert notification system capable of calling, texting, emailing etc. I would be happy to speak with you offline and share our collection template. Good luck Amy
I recently assisted several 9-1-1 Centers in completing their Continuity of Operations Plans and in the process came across some great tools. Here's an excellent website specific to business continuity: http://www.preparemybusiness.org/planning
The SBA and Agility Recovery are working together to better prepare businesses and provide very informative free webinars on a regular basis.
Also, FEMA offers free online training for Continuity of Operations Planning. This is geared more towards government agencies, but could apply to your business.
I also have a template that a local business provided. If you are interested you can contact me directly and I will email it to you.
While I have never done one for real, I have done them in a graduate class. There are great FEMA courses (and some not so great) online.
|IS-546.12||Continuity of Operations Awareness Course -(11/2/2011)|
|IS-547.a||Introduction to Continuity of Operations -(11/23/2009)|
These are two that should help you. The independent study (IS) courses often do not use the formal language of the guidance documents, but make the topic real with easy to grasp concepts.
I have not found a decent sample, but you might try to google for one.
One of the problems I have with using a static template is that in a multi-department environment where each has their own BCP, it is very difficult to maintain the contact information. There really needs to be a central contact database that can change as people come and go and as their roles change relative to BCP.
I've been involved in business continuity management for 20+ years and have written many business continuity plans. I think the first thing I'd say is that, actually, business continuity isn't about writing a BC plan, it's about developing a BC capability, and I think there's a huge difference between the two things. So there's much more to it than simply downloading a template and filling in your organization's details. It's as much about education and awareness and proper analysis to ensure you get the strategy right and exercising and testing and challenging assumptions and a host of other things.
Secondly, as you've probably seen, there's tons of information available on the BC process/lifecycle/methodology and how to "do" BC. The trouble is, there's also a big difference between the theory and the practical implementation of it. Please don't take this the wrong way but if you don't have any previous experience of implementing a BC plan (or, more importantly, a BC capability) and are attempting to do it just by reading a few books, downloading a template and posting a couple of questions on a forum or two, you might struggle at times. I'd suggest you contact an organization such as the Business Continuity Institute (and see if you can get on their mentoring scheme, which will link you up with an experienced practitioner who will give you advice and guidance in whatever areas you feel you need it. You'll have to do an internet search for their website address - or contact me offline - as it seems we're not allowed to include them in posts - my first attempt got rejected on that basis, which I have to say seems a bit silly to me but ho hum!)
Thirdly, and I'd like to stress that this isn't a sales pitch, but if you're on Twitter you could do worse than following @PracticalBCM, which is an account of mine that tweets daily tips from my book Practical Business Continuity Management. If you stick around long enough you'll get the whole book's-worth of hints and tips for free! I also write a "Tip of the Month", the name of which should be fairly self explanatory, so let me know if you're interested in receiving that by e-mail and I'll let you have details of the website to go to (I got censored for trying to tell you that one too. Just trying to be helpful Mr Moderator!)
I wish you all the best with your business continuity programme. If you have any questions on any of the above please feel free to contact me offline, either via Twitter (@PracticalBCM or @AndyatAcumen) or drop me an e-mail (although I'm not allowed to post my e-mail address here!)