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The Four Phases of a Business Continuity Plan

Posted on Tue, Dec 21, 2010

Business Continuity is a complex arrangement of the critical processes that allow for continuation of business activities after an emergency. Companies that establish Business Continuity Plans (BCP) have a greater chance that their business could withstand an unprecedented operational disruption.  
Business Continuity planning can be divided into four stages. Each phase should be reflected in a site-specific BCP.
  • Initial Response
  • Relocation
  • Recovery
  • Restoration


Business Continuity Initial Response

This phase covers the organization’s initial response to a business interruption. The processes and procedures that incorporate the Initial Response Phase includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Initial Notifications
  • Business Continuity Team (BCT) activation
  • Business Unit personnel activation
  • Initial BCT briefing
  • Review of recovery strategies for implementation
  • Implementation of Business Continuity Action Plan


Business Continuity Relocation Phase

The relocation phase involves mobilization of resources and relocation of equipment and personnel to Alternate Facilities or Redundant Sites. This is where the recovery phase can be fully implemented to sustain minimum service levels defined for each critical process. This stage includes “Work from Home”, as well as, “Alternate Facility” relocation strategies. The Relocation Phase includes, but is not limited to:

  • Confirmation of Department staff relocation schedules and assignments
  • Mobilization and Scheduling of transportation resources
  • Activation of alternate facility equipment and infrastructure resources
  • Occupation of alternate facilities by necessary department members


Business Continuity Recovery Phase

The recovery phase covers the period of time after personnel and equipment have been relocated to an alternate site to when the primary facilities have been restored or permanent alternate facilities have been secured. Procedures to include in the recovery phase of the Business Continuity Plan are:

  • Relocated personnel implement recovery strategies
  • Complete Damage assessment of primary facilities
  • Mobilize tactical teams for Recovery
  • Monitor recovery status
  • Initiate restoration


Business Continuity Resportation Phase

The restoration phase covers the period of time that personnel return to restored facilities, or permanent alternate facilities. The resumption to normal business operations is implemented.

  • Verify restoration of primary facilities and infrastructure
  • Confirm staff relocation schedules and begin relocation to permanent facility
  • Consolidate and archive incident documentation
  • Review and update Business Continuity plan based on lessons learned
  • Return to Business as Usual

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