10 ways to Improve your Business Continuity Plans – tip #2 Be Concise

It is time to sit down, put pen to paper and write your business continuity plans. They should be straightforward: easy to read, easy to reference and easy to use.  These ten tips will help you to compose a practical plan that you will be proud to publish.

Tip #2 Keep your plans concise and divided into meaningful sets

Keep your plans brief but assume the plan will be implemented by personnel unfamiliar with the function. It is easy to get carried away when writing business continuity documentation.  Core information can get lost. Staff should not be confused as to when to apply Disaster Code A, B or C. These codes should be clearly defined in the document or not be there at all. The essence of a business continuity plan is to explain which tasks should be undertaken, when and by whom. Don’t write a novel when a punch list will do.

Divide the plan into meaningful sets. Avoid including background analysis and history with actual procedures. Contained in the first set should be general information such as the business continuity planning policy, risk evaluation and business impact analysis.  The second set should contain your response plans and include all instructions on the function of the emergency operations centre. The third set should lay out your recovery activities, how you will deliver service to your clients and how you will meet your recovery time objectives.

Use lots of appendices to break down the information. This will help with distribution during an event as well as maintenance of the plans.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

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