How Often Should Your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Be Reviewed & Tested?

hand stopping the domino effect

Let’s face it – Disaster can break your business if you’re not prepared with a business continuity plan (BCP). According to FEMA, around 90% of businesses fail and shut down within a year if they are unable to recover within 5 days after a disaster. With proper continuity planning, you can identify potential risks within your organization and create strategies to handle them.

It’s important for organizations to review their business continuity plans regularly because the business environment is always changing. If you’re wondering what “review regularly” means, this article explains how frequently you should review your BCP.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan is a set of procedures, processes, and systems that help an organization prepare for potential business disruptions. It’s designed to ensure business operations are maintained during unexpected events or disasters. The goal of the BCP is to minimize business downtime and enable business recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What’s Included in a Business Continuity Plan?

A BCP should include detailed steps for restoring business operations and guidelines for managing disruptions. These steps should include:

  1. Assess business processes, critical staff, and data.
  2. Identify and prioritize business risks
  3. Develop strategies to address business risks
  4. Create a business continuity team and assign tasks to each team member
  5. Designate resources for business recovery
  6. Test the plan regularly

Is Testing Your BCP Really Necessary?

Creating a business continuity plan is simply not enough. The plan should be tested to ensure it works and that there are no serious gaping vulnerabilities. After all, cybercriminals love to exploit vulnerabilities and natural disasters are great at catching business owners off-guard.

About 32% of businesses develop and test their BCP. Testing your plan is not only necessary but also important to make sure that the plan works as expected. Avoiding continuity testing can be a costly mistake and could put your business at risk.

How Often Should You Review and Test Your BCP?

The phrase “test regularly” is not very helpful. What is regular to one business may be different for another. The frequency of business continuity plan review depends on the size and complexity of the organization. Generally speaking, a BCP should be reviewed and tested at least once a year.

But if a business is complex or rapidly changing, such as in the case of technology businesses, it should be reviewed more often. Additionally, businesses that operate in high-risk or highly regulated industries should also review their BCP quarterly or bi-annually.

It’s also recommended to review and test business continuity plans after any major organizational changes such as staffing changes or business expansion. This way business owners can be sure that the continuity plan is up-to-date with the latest business information and strategies.

Be Prepared for Any Disaster with Simple Systems.

Proper continuity planning requires a dedicated team and resources to ensure that business operations are restored quickly after disaster strikes. With Simple Systems’ business continuity solutions, you can easily create and maintain an open business with minimal effort.

Our team of experts will help you identify business risks, develop strategies to address those risks, and create plans to ensure your business continues to stay open. We also offer business continuity testing services to make sure your plan works as expected. 

Contact us today to get peace of mind knowing that your business is prepared for any disaster.