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Strategies for recovery after a business interruption

Business continuity planning is really about thinking ahead to recover your business processes after they are interrupted, because interruptions are bound to happen. If the idea seems overwhelming, use these best practices to get started:

Do it department-by-department, process-by-process
Each department should figure out recovery strategies for its own critical processes, based on your recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).

Be consistent
Document your strategies the same way across all departments so that anyone reading them will be familiar with how the information is organized. This will minimize the need for them to relearn anything in the critical moments after an emergency develops.

Write procedures to skill set
Keep in mind the skills, knowledge and experience of the people who will be tasked with carrying out these procedures and write in plain language.

Include manual procedures
Start with manual procedures for carrying out key functions while recovery is underway. If the time to recover a process will be longer than your recovery time objective for that process, a manual workaround will be needed to stay in operation.

Document technical procedures
Identify which procedures you’ll use to restore technological capability. For example, with regards to disaster recovery of your IT, you could choose from a tape-based backup and restore, disk-based backup and restore, continuous data protection or high-availability solutions (delivering continuous uptime with zero data loss).

Consider alternate worksites
If a primary site is destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, you’ll need a predetermined solution to continue working at alternate locations.