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How to Create a Business Contingency Plan

A contingency plan is a plan, and like any plan, it requires a great deal of research and brainstorming. And like any good plan, there are steps to take to make sure you’re doing it right.

  1. Identify and Prioritize Resources: Research your company and list its crucial resources, such as teams, tools, facilities, etc., then prioritize that list from most important to least important.

  2. What Are the Key Risks? Figure out where you’re vulnerable by meeting with teams, executives and every other department in the organization to get a full picture of what events could compromise your resources; hire an outside consultant, if necessary.

  3. Draft a Contingency Plan: If you can, write a contingency plan for each risk that you identified in the above steps, but start with what’s most critical to the life of your organization. As time permits you can create a plan for everything on your list. Whatever the plan, the thought behind each should be the steps necessary to resume normal operation of the company, thinking about communications, people’s responsibilities, timelines, etc.

  4. Share the Plan: When you’ve written the contingency plan and it’s been approved, the next step is to make sure everyone in the organization has a copy. A contingency plan, no matter how thorough, is not effective if it hasn’t been properly communicated.

  5. Revisit the Plan: A contingency plan isn’t chiseled in stone. It must be revisited, revised and maintained to reflect changes to the organization. As new employees, technologies and resources enter the picture, the contingency plan must be updated to handle them.

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