Importance of a Business Continuity Plan During a Pandemic/ COVID-19 Crisis
May 28, 2021
Impact on Business Continuity due to COVID-19:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, there has been an increasing need for organizations to rethink their businesses plan and reconfigure their strategies. This marks the beginning of a time when organizations need to focus their efforts on the key areas of their businesses which would help them to adopt a new business environment and the going forward strategies.
The economic backlash by most global corporations has been drastic in the form of supply chain disruption, displacement, and unemployment of people, restrictions to the movement of goods. The enforcement of closure of all government and private organizations has further reduced the profitability and sustainability of businesses and markets having lasting implications. This is special until the organization begins working as per the new rules that may be laid out. The current trends of work from home, managing timelines of services, organizational structure have their pros. & cons that need to be clearly defined. This is important to ensure that no inappropriate practices or loopholes exist within the organization's processes, and businesses can be carried out efficiently.
To ensure that the business is not hampered, organizations require a new or revised business continuity plan for COVID-19 to help them sail through these trying times. This Business Continuity Plan would help them to not just carry-on work but also include any risk mitigation if any worst-case scenario arose, or to simply negate the chances to reach that point. This requires a business planning, methodology, and strategy in place to combat the situation of the current crisis.
Business Continuity Plan for a Pandemic
A business continuity plan is a process for the creation of a system of prevention and recovery to potential threats to a company. This plan acts as a protection for assets and personnel and works efficiently in times of a disaster or calamity.
In the situation of a pandemic like the COVID-19, that we are facing currently in 2021, a well-framed BCP should generally be planned with documentation of inputs from key stakeholders. This involves taking into consideration and defining every risk that can affect a company’s operations and developing the company’s risk strategy around it. These risks may include anything including natural disasters such as fire, flood, weather, or a pandemic itself, along with cyber-attacks.
Once the risks are identified, the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) should also include:
- Determining the impacts of such risks on the overall operations
- Testing procedures to ensure they work well
- Implementation of safeguards and procedures
- Reviewing the processes to ensure for necessary updating
Business continuity plans and management are therefore an essential part of any business. Threats and disruptions may lead to a drop in profitability. In times like this COVID pandemic when the world economy has been experiencing a setback. Businesses cannot rely alone on insurance because it doesn’t cover the costs and customers who move to the competition.
Why is Business Continuity Plan Important During a Pandemic?
Pandemics are a wide-scale outbreak that can increase mortality over a large geographic area and cause economic, social, and political damages. The rise of a pandemic due to ecological factors has increased in the past century and the current scenario of COVID-19 is one such example.
BCP is one of the most important aspects of the business since a continuity plan strategized in advance can help you stand the test of time, calamity, and adverse situations such as a pandemic.
The primary key to the success of any initiative to sustain a business during a pandemic is corporate support and commitment. Corporate leaders through their actions, planning, risk assessment, and strategy must instill the importance of pandemic business continuity planning throughout the company.
Developing a Business Continuity Plan for a Pandemic
There are various steps that companies can take to develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) during a pandemic including the following:
- Business Impact Analysis: within this, a business identifies functions and related resources that can be time-sensitive
- Recovery: in this, a business goal is to identify and implement steps and strategies to recover critical business functions
- Organization: the main goal of the organization is to create a continuity team. This helps in devising plans to manage disruptions
- Training: the continuity team should be trained and tested for a pandemic. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the pandemic strategies and plans
Enterprises should also include a checklist with key details such as emergency contact information, a list of sources the continuity plan may lead, backup data, and other required information.
And more than anything, a company should test its continuity plan several times to ensure that it can be adopted and applied to many different risk scenarios. This will help identify any weakness that may be in the plans which can be identified and corrected.
The BCP for a Pandemic requires Several Steps of Preparedness as mentioned below :
- Determining how an organization will maintain critical services/functions in event of a significant staff absence. A critical step in the BCP process is identifying the number of staff & necessary skills required to perform essential services
- Identifying any special requirements necessary to perform the critical services
- Preparing an action plan for maintaining critical services to ensure all issues are addressed which include decision-making/process/authority for implementing service reduction
- This is proceeded by an Action Plan for each critical service and its management
- A set of key service staff and a flow of operations
Once the Business plan is completely ready for an adverse scenario, you can circulate this within the organization, as with any other business plan, BCP also requires an annual review for any revisions, if necessary.
How MBG Can Help and Manage Business Continuity Plan during a Pandemic:
MBG offers specialized business management services which include proper Business Continuity Planning for organizations to help them through any adverse business situations, either because of economic, social, or in cases of a natural calamity or one as the current COVID-19 scenario. Our Experts help you through the BCP process and prepare a proper strategy and methodology which include:
- Identify the scope of the plan
- Identify critical functions with business areas
- Identifying dependencies between various business areas and functions
- Determine acceptable downtime for each critical function
- Create a plan to maintain operations
- Periodic testing of plans
- Review & improve BCP based on testing results
- Ensure BCP support & awareness through periodic training
MBG’s Business Continuity Planning & Management Services Include:
- Drafting of detailed BCP plan incl. goals, objectives, responsibilities, tasks
- Drafting of Operational Guidelines and Revised Control Framework, implementation support, and periodic testing/revision requirements thereof
- Business Health Check and Transaction monitoring support for accuracy/timeliness of transaction
- Supply Chain Assessment incl. alternative business model, impact, revision in contractual terms
- Business Process Re-engineering, eliminating no value adding sub processes
Our Experts at MBG try to cover each and every aspect of Business Continuity Planning & Management to help you safeguard your business through situations of crisis, calamity or a pandemic itself with our range of diverse and dependable Business Continuity Planning Services.
You can directly reach out to us for your query
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