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A formula to rank threats in business continuity planning

Once you’ve identified all potential threats you can come up with in your business impact analysis, you need to rank them as to probability and impact. Try this system for ranking each threat according to specific criteria, with point values for each, and you’ll arrive at a weighted score for each potential threat.

  • Speed of onset: sudden or gradual
  • Forewarning: yes or no
  • Duration: long, medium or short
  • Probability: high, medium or low
  • Impact on functional areas: 0, 1, 2, or 3 (highest impact)

With as many threats as your team can think of identified, and scores assigned to each one, you can systematically prioritize them by likelihood, timing and impact and start to determine the appropriate response to each. This will guide your business continuity planning efforts and resources to where they’ll be needed the most.

For more about business continuity, download our handy reference manual: The Comprehensive Guide to Business Continuity Planning.